With Grandkids, Trip To The Movies Is An Adventure

Deborah Welky


I took the grandkids to see The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. One might think that a movie starring little plastic rectangular bricks wouldn’t be that exciting, but it was. It was almost as exciting as when you think you hear a noise in the middle of the night and quietly get up to investigate and you sneak into the living room only to step on a real Lego brick. Exciting!

The most exciting thing about this trip to the movies, however, was that the theater was running a special on kids’ snacks. It was actually cheaper to get them each their own bag of popcorn than it was to share a tub. So, for the first time in their lives, they each got their own little striped sack.

Because we are old, fuddy-duddy adults, we have long forgotten the simple joy of being in charge of one’s own popcorn, of carrying it proudly down the aisle (like a grown-up!) and of settling ourselves and our precious snack into our seat.

Yet, this was a mistake.

As I worked to get his 4-year-old sister Tess settled in, 6-year-old Skippy set his popcorn on the floor (nooooo!) where he promptly kicked it over (of course). He quickly ducked down to scoop the precious kernels back into the bag, but I managed to catch him in time.

While that mini healthcare crisis was being averted, Tess dumped quite a bit of popcorn onto her skirt, and it spilled over into her seat. “We have to move,” she said. “There’s popcorn on my seat.”

I showed her how the seat tipped up to dump overage onto the floor. Not the best solution, but probably less troublesome than gathering everyone up and moving.

Finally, the show began.

The fun thing about going to the movies with Tess is that she doesn’t hold back. She’s immersed in the film to the point of hollering “wow!” every time there’s some action. She’s also immersed in her soda (forbidden at home) and, an hour or so later, is frantically tugging at my sleeve because she has to go to the bathroom.

This side trip, too, is exciting. Not only will I miss key points in the plot, have to leave a 6-year-old alone in the dark in a room full of strangers, and find the restroom amid a maze of hallways, but Tess took off her shoes during the movie. While I am using the light from my cellphone to locate them, she is holding herself and yelling, “I’m going to pee in my pants!” Heads around us turn to see if she will, and what kind of grandmother is this anyway?

Ultimately, I scoop her up shoeless and we dash out of there while I livestream a list of cautions to her brother, who is nodding encouragingly but clearly not listening at all. We leave amid a shower of, yes, popcorn.

She makes it (a miracle), but we won’t talk about the condition of her socks by the time we’re back in our seats. The credits are rolling (sigh), but we sit through them while I gather up the sodas, the drink carrier, my purse, the errant shoes that have winnowed their way through the backs of the seats onto the floor.

On our way out, I stop to tell the poor teenaged usher which row we were in and to apologize in advance. He is not happy, but I console myself with the fact that he will probably have children of his own someday. And it’s exciting.