How To Take Your Toddler to the Movies in 36 Easy Steps

Image via Flickr/ eflon

Remember what going to the movies was like pre-kids? Just two simple steps: pick a movie time and show up. Well, going to the movies with a toddler is the complete opposite of that. Fortunately, I have been able to break the process down into 36 simple steps.

You're welcome.

Tell yourself, ‘This will be fun,' over and over in your head for 48 hours prior to the movie.

Pack a gigantic bag of snacks to keep them from being bored.

Image via Wikimedia/ Tomasz Sienicki

No, you cannot pack a flask.

No, not even wine.

Add a change of clothes for your toddler.

And yourself. Trust me.

Ask your toddler if they need to go to the bathroom

Ask again.

child size potty seat
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And again.

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Drive to the theater before telling them where you're going (in case you change your mind).

Try to point out the upcoming movie posters to prevent them from seeing the concessions.

Give in and buy popcorn.

And candy.

Image via Flickr/ Austin Kirk

And an Icee.

Ask again if they have to go to the bathroom.

Try not to drop the popcorn and the Icee and the candy and your purse as you struggle to climb the stairs with a child who wants to “hop like a kangaroo” from one step to the next.

Find a seat.

public bathroom
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Leave your seat with all of your snacks in hand because your toddler has to go to the bathroom.

Come back and attempt to find a new seat next to quiet-looking children.

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End up sitting in front of a kid who is kicking out a funky beat on the back of your chair.

Play waitress to your toddler who asks for a drink, then a snack, then a drink, then a snack, until you remind them they are supposed to be paying attention to the huge screen.

Keep a firm grip on them while they pout because they can't go dance in the aisle during the songs.

Image via iStock

For just a moment, watch them as they watch the movie; marvel at how fast they're growing up.

Remind yourself that you're an adult and that it's a kid movie as the kicking of your chair vibrates your entire body.

Take your toddler to the bathroom to change their clothes after they spill the watered-down Icee on themselves.

Come back and sit in a sticky chair with a sticky toddler on your lap.

Realize the toddler has fallen asleep on your lap with M&M's in their hand, which have now melted.

Comfort a crying toddler who is woken up abruptly by screaming and laughing children.

Delight them with a juice box and sing along to the final song.

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Thank the heavens you made it as the lights come on, and attempt to stand up, crunching popcorn and spilled Icee underneath your feet.

Console crying child (AGAIN) and promise you'll come back and see a “big movie” again one day (though, not anytime soon, Kid).

Image via Flickr/ kourtlyn lott

Throw your gigantic bag over one shoulder and hoist your toddler over the other as they crash back into a sugar-induced sleep.

Smile sheepishly and apologetically at the cleaning crew waiting outside the doors because that is one job you don't envy.

Strap your kiddo into their car seat and climb carefully into the driver's seat you've covered with a towel to keep your Icee-covered pants off the leather.

Call your husband and tell him to have a warm bath ready to clean the sticky kid and a cold glass of wine in his hand to give to you.

at the movies child
Image via iStock

Congratulations. You successfully took a toddler to the movies, even though you have absolutely no idea what the actual movie was about. Mental note: See Finding Dory by yourself before taking your toddler. Hey, you actually care about seeing that one!

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How To Take Your Toddler to the Movies in 36 Easy Steps

Rachel is a stay-at-home-mom to her 4-year-old daughter, Sydney, and her 18-month-old son, Jackson. Her writing can be found all over the web, mostly detailing her own parenting struggles and triumphs, as well as her life as the military spouse of an active-duty airman. She also writes about her life as as a special needs parent on her blog, Tales From the Plastic Crib, and spends an unnecessary amount of time on Twitter. ... More

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1 comment

  1. Amber727 says:

    Hahaha! Very funny and highly accurate


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