Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Screen-Free Summer

We've been having a screen-free summer.  For the past month, the kids haven't watched any television shows or movies.  We've always had limited screen time for the kids, but I thought taking it away completely would be met with some resistance.  Instead, I don't think the kids really miss it at all.  The other night, as a super-special family treat, we decided to take all 3 kids to see 'Cars 3' in the movie theater.  It was a special State Farm night with cheap movie tickets, popcorn, and drinks.  It was Briggs's first movie theater experience.  All three kids were super excited, and our night of family fun went perfectly EXCEPT...

1.  Briggs took an hour and half to fall asleep for his nap.  Therefore, we couldn't leave early enough to grab dinner before the movie like I had planned.  I guess popcorn and fruit snacks for dinner is better than nothing.
2.  Staley is always a little anxious about watching new movies, especially on a big screen.  She was covering her ears during the commercials before the previews even started.  She asked me no less than 20 times during the commercials and the previews if the movie was starting.  I had prepped her about the two more "intense" parts of the movie that I had read about, so she continued to ask me throughout the movie if it was time for those parts yet.
3.  Although I had mentioned to Adelie that she shouldn't drink her whole drink right away or she'd have to go to the bathroom, she drank it immediately.  Then she had a bit of a melt-down when she needed to go to the bathroom halfway through the movie because she didn't want to miss any of the movie.  Crying child #1.
4.  Briggs became a little bored about halfway through the movie.  He decided that the best way to combat boredom was to keep telling us he needed to go to the bathroom...because public restrooms and the chance to flush apparently are way more fun.  Briggs and Zach made no less than 4 trips to the movie theater bathrooms during the movie.
5.  Staley had what I can only describe as a panic attack when the movie ended and the credits began.  I'm not sure what triggers this reaction, but Staley always wants to leave or turn off the television as soon as a movie or show ends.  Because we were sitting towards the back of a crowded theater, I thought we'd just wait a bit to let the crowd thin out before getting up to leave.  My screaming, crying, hyperventilating, out-of-control daughter apparently thought that waiting was not a good idea.  Crying child #2.
6.  As I was already frazzled from Staley's epic melt-down, Briggs thought the best way to help the situation would be to scream almost the entire ride home because he wanted the toy train that had fallen on the floor that I couldn't reach while driving.  Crying child #3.

By the time we got home from our night of "family fun", I decided that:
1.  I needed a stiff drink.
2.  We really need to help Staley come up with some better coping strategies for movie anxiety.
3.  The rest of our screen-free summer should probably include movie screens too.

On the plus side, it was a cute movie that everyone seemed to enjoy.



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