Blogging about Japan, food, parenthood, music and life!
And…breathe… It’s Friday!
Friday will never stop being a good day, even though the great associations I’ve made with ‘Friday’ are now rather out of date. Friday is no longer the day we go out for dinner, then to the cinema – it hasn’t been for a long time. Since having children, in fact.
Hubby and I love films. We love the cinema. We used to go to the cinema regularly – sometimes even twice a week if there were lots of new releases out. So just before I continue with this… If you are thinking of having children and you also like the cinema, GO TO THE CINEMA AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. NOW! EVERY DAY!! You will wonder why you didn’t, once you are a prisoner in your own home for the next 15 years.
Our last cinema visit BC (Before Children) wasn’t even a proper visit.
We were going to see ‘I, Robot’, but just as we reached the mini roundabout that led to the cinema car park, we were bumped from behind by another car. It was a gentle nudge, rather than a bump, and there wasn’t even any damage, but I burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying. I was eleventy zillion months pregnant, awash with hormones, and even putting a seat belt on was like lassoing a whale. The driver of the other car – a long haired, gentle hippy guy – was very apologetic and looked rather alarmed when he looked through the window at me.
Hubby assured him everything was fine, and tried to comfort me, but I insisted on going home. Just as well. I couldn’t have sat through the whole film without needing to visit the loo every 10 minutes.
Once our baby had arrived, Hubby and I fell into the trap many new parents succumb to. We lavished attention on our child, but forgot to pay much attention to each other. We poured love onto our son, but the connection between us grew faint and blurred. To some extent, it’s inevitable. You’re both so tired that you tend to take turns doing everything – this means you’re never even awake at the same time, let alone feel like going on a date.
Our first holiday, all three of us together, was a ‘staycation’ (sorry - very annoying word), because the thought of arranging cat care, packing pretty much every item in the house, going to a strange place, not sleeping there either, then coming home and then washing everything made me feel faint. Instead, we set aside a week and took day trips, bought takeaways and – drum roll please – remodelled our film nights. Our new film nights involved borrowing or buying DVDs and watching them at home with tapas and wine.
This seemed like a great plan at the time, especially since our baby was now sleeping reliably between 6pm and midnight.
Our first of the rebranded film nights was a showing of Troy, aka Brad Pitt in sandals.
We put our son to bed, cracked open the wine, sliced pitta bread, arranged homous, roast peppers, manchego cheese and cured meats on a plate. We sat down, embraced our Brave New World, and pressed play on the DVD player.
Predictably, we got to an important plot point (OK – maybe there weren’t any in this film), and darling son started to cry, very insistently. Hubby got up, went upstairs, dealt with him, put him back to bed, came downstairs and picked up his plate and his glass of wine… A few minutes later, our baby was crying again, and it was my turn to leave the room – the TV frozen on an image of Brad looking a bit grubby and shiny with sweat, holding aloft a spear and inciting some kind of violence – and I did exactly the same (the bedtime routine, not the violent spear holding).
Our son managed to time his interruptions to perfection – waiting till we actually believed he was going to go back to sleep, so we’d pick up our food and attempt to reengage with the film. After the 6th or 7th disruption, we admitted defeat, turned off the film, and cleared up the food – utterly depressed.
Thankfully, subsequent attempts were much improved, and we have now established a healthily regular film-watching itinerary. Some years back, we wrote a list of all the films we should see – you know, the ones everybody acknowledges are classics, but no one has ever actually seen – and we have worked our way through it steadily. We have now seen Gone with the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, The Third Man, Strangers on a Train, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Singin’ in the Rain, Casablanca, Rear Window, Citizen Kane… and countless other films that we probably would never have watched if it hadn’t been for our enforced house arrest. Although, come to think of it, we STILL haven't seen Troy or I, Robot...
We are also delighted to note that our children inherited our film-loving genes and, more importantly, have large enough bladders now that neither parent has to escort either child to the toilet during a cinema showing. So family cinema visits are very much on the agenda again.
As for our film nights, I’d say they run like a well-oiled machine these days. Our son reads a story to his sister, they brush their teeth, get ready for bed, and then read a book until the prescribed ‘lights out’ time. Easy.
Hubby and I watched The Theory of Everything yesterday. Afterwards, we discussed the mysteries of the universe – black holes, the time continuum, and the Law of Netflix ('if you want to watch it, then it’s not on Netflix.' Although this one was, surprisingly. Hm. Is this what Stephen Hawking meant by ‘a singularity’?)
It made me feel ashamed of my constant complaining about everything. If a young man can be diagnosed with MND, be given two years to live, and still manage to unlock the secrets of the universe at the age of 74, then I ought to stop moaning about our lost cinema nights.
I bet Mrs Hawking didn’t get to go out much either.