Robbie’s had a rough few weeks, particularly last week when he didn’t understand what was going on around him or why Justin and I weren’t there. Getting him back into a schedule and where he can “play kids” has been good. But I needed time to connect with Robbie. Time just for him to do fun, frivolous kid stuff. And, with Justin out of town for the weekend, Friday night seemed to be the perfect time to do it.
When I picked Robbie up from daycare, I told him we were going to go to dinner and to see the penguin movie. I probably should have waited until we were ready to go to tell him; he didn’t stop talking about it for three hours! Now, keep in mind that Robbie has never successfully sat through a movie. Ever. Well, except for The Hangover. But he was only three weeks old, so that doesn’t really count. Given his behavior over the past week, I was hoping we would make it through an hour.
When we pulled up to the theater, I heard a little voice exclaim, “Oh, boy! Dancing penguin movie! ‘Corn, Mom! ‘Corn!” I couldn’t hide my grin at his enthusiasm, impressed that he remembered popcorn. He danced around while we waited in line for tickets, afraid that I might forget his popcorn. Please note, he had saved room from dinner, not even eating a chicken nugget because he remembered that he wanted ‘corn.
We made our way into the (thankfully) nearly empty theater and Robbie picked out our seats, climbing right into his like a big boy. He got his jacket off, sat back, and waited for his kiddie combo. And then he watched the movie. All of it. He ate his popcorn, one deliberate piece at a time, and explained to me what the penguins were doing (mostly dancing, singing, swimming, and fishing). I’m not sure what I watched more, the movie or Robbie. Sitting there all grown up, his eyes glued to the screen.
But my heart didn’t really melt until the very end of the movie when he climbed down from his chair and scrambled into my lap. He gave me a big hug and kiss and pressed his face next to mine to watch the rest of the show. Eventually, he snuggled down a little deeper and then leapt forward when (spoiler alert!) the penguins escape, screaming, “Penguins climb, Mama! Penguins out!”
As we left the theater, Robbie gave me a hug and a kiss and said, “Mom, fun date.” And it was. It was absolutely perfect. Now we’re cuddled up in bed, watching The Muppet Christmas Carol. It’s important that he be introduced to the best Christmas movie at an early age. And I figure that on a Mommy Date Night, it’s OK to stay up late and fall asleep to a movie. Right?