Monday, July 21, 2008

Hey Daddy, Look At Me!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog about hubby and I going to see the movie Wanted on opening night. The jist was that I was seriously annoyed by two particular parents… one who brought a weeks-old baby (along with all the paraphernalia - car seat, diaper bag, bottles, etc) and worse, a dad who brought his 10-year old daughter. Apart from it being too late for those kids to be out (9:45 showing) I couldn’t imagine how it was ok for a 10-year old girl to watch bullets come out of people’s bloody skulls in close-up mode; or, the real kicker, (tiny spoiler alert) watch one guy have sex with his best friend’s girlfriend on a kitchen table in a shabby apartment. How is that ok?

I ended up taking the post down after only a day. Quite honestly I just didn’t want to deal with all the “who do you think you are” comments that were likely to ensue. Oddly enough, just this week CNN posted a blog article about how inappropriate it was to take young children to see The Dark Knight. While the author did get her fair share of “who do you think you are judging others” comments, she also got many, many more supportive ones. I feel a little vindicated.

So this weekend hubby and I went to see Wall-E (without Coco – she’s still too young to sit through 90 minutes of just about anything right now). Its rated G and while it was a little late (movie ended at 9:30) I could understand it being a “treat” for the kids (like when my sister and I got stay up and watch Fantasy Island on the weekends). So there should have been nothing to get my hackles up right? Wrong.

In our row was a dad with his two girls. I am guessing they were about 5 and 8. He was sitting in the middle with one girl on either side of him (daddy seating is prime real estate, I’m sure). The problem wasn’t that – it was the daddy. He sat and did almost nothing else but play with his Blackberry. Whether he was doing emails, texting, playing a game, etc., I have no idea. What I do know is that two little girls just sat staring around the movie theater. To make it worse, for some reason there was nothing but a blank screen ahead – no commercials or stills. On the rare occasion that he wasn’t engrossed in the 2.5” screen of his phone, he just stared straight ahead not speaking to his little sideline admirers.

What these girls had most assuredly hoped would be a fun night out with dad had turned into a night at the movies with a bodyguard – there to make sure no harm came to the girls and to make sure they did no harm to anything else. (Which I will say to his credit, they were very well mannered). No more, no less.

C’mon dads. I know work is important. I know Wall-E may not be your idea of an engrossing movie-going experience. I know you’d probably rather be in the next theater watching Wanted. But your kids want to be right where they are… with dad, getting ready to watch an animated masterpiece. And that alone should be motivation enough to put the Blackberry away. You have to know that soon there will come a time when going to a movie with dad would be only slightly more preferable to getting a root canal with no anesthetic (this does change back btw but its a long time coming). Take advantage of making the special memories now. I doubt you’ll remember in a week what was on that Blackberry. But you could end up remembering forever the look on your little girl’s face when dad put it away and asked her what she was most excited to see about Wall-E.

1 comment:

Amy said...

You preach it, sister!!!!! He'll be packing those little girls up getting ready to send them off to college one day & he'll be sad. sniff. Ask me how I know. sniff.