Sunday, December 20, 2015

Let's Go to the Movies

Nathan is 9. 

Isaac is 6-1/2. 

They've never been to the movies. 

They've seen plenty of movies at home and are able to make it through an entire 90-minute show without screaming "pause it! I gotta pee!" And in our home that's some pretty significant progress. 

We drive by the one movie theater our town has every time we go into town. We also pass it every time we go home. There's no way around it. 

Well, there is, but you'd have to go out to the West End of the Peninsula, to Forks, where the glittery vampires are. (Note: glittery vampires are not the same as the REAL vampires!) And then south all the way to Aberdeen, where Kurt Cobain is from. Then east to Olympia, north towards Tacoma, across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and then across the Hood Canal Bridge (the third longest floating bridge), through Discovery Bay and Sequim, and then we'd be home. Or we could head up the Hood Canal from Olympia, but 101 is really twisty and curvy and induces nausea. Seriously. But either way, that drive would take like 8 hours. And ain't nobody got time for that. 

So we drive by the movie theater.

The boys can read the marquee. They know Minions was playing this past summer; they'd yell "MINIONS!" every time we drove by and they saw it on the marquee. They know The Peanuts Movie was there. They know The Good Dinosaur was recently playing. 

They know Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened on December 18th. 

It says so on the marquee. But also, were their parents so there are certain things they're just gonna know. 

Nathan and Isaac do not know about going the movies. But tomorrow is the day.

They do not know that you've got to spend money for your ticket. Or that your ticket gets you in the door. 

They do not know that the smell of popcorn when you first walk in. Or that movie theater popcorn is as addictive as crack cocaine. And has more calories than a Big Mac (540 calories). Of course, they don't know what a Big Mac is. And really, even though a serving size of popcorn, nobody eats only one cup of popcorn.

(Why doesn't the Fed classify movie theater popcorn as a Schedule I substance? That shit is way more harmful than marijuana!)

The boys do not know that the size of the screen. Or the auditorium. Or that the lights go down. Or that you get to have an experience with other people watching, laughing, and having the same emotions as you, at the same time. 

They do not know that they will be able to hear and feel the sound coming from the speakers. They know absolutely nothing about surround sound. 

They do not know that you need to sit still in your bouncy seat. Or how important it is to be quiet. 

We've been talking about it with them, of course, to try and prepare them for the experience. We'll pack Nathan's backpack with sensory gear: his weighted blanket, his pink kitty that he's had since he was 3 months old so that he can chew on her tail in case he has anxiety, and both boys will have their noise reducing headphones. I'll slip some earplugs in my pockets, too, just in case they need them. Or I need them. It's been a long time since I've been to the movies. 

And Randy and I are going tonight. We need to preview it for them! And we need a break. Because really, we don't want to risk our Star Wars Experience. We don't want this movie to be ruined by two little trolls who will ask questions, bounce around, get up to pee, and I know all this is normal, but seriously, I need a break from you people. 

Some people call this being selfish. And those people are wrong. It's called "self care" or "self nurturing." We are taking care of ourselves by going. It's gonna cost more money; but it's totally worth it to me and Randy. 

So one of our awesome sitters is coming over. He's home on break from college. We're pretty particular on who we leave our kids with; our sitters have to be Nathan proof. You can't leave an epileptic & autistic child with just anyone! And this sitter has been with us for like 4 years. He is fantastic; he gets my kids; and my kids absolutely love him. We are so thankful for him.

We were hoping to take the boys to see a Level One movie, like The Peanuts Movie or The Good Dinosaur before seeing The Force Awakens, because it's a good idea to do a test run and make sure they can get through a 90-minute show first. 

I know Star Wars: The Force Awakens is 2 hours and 16 minutes.

That's a long movie. 

However, all the Level One Movies are gone. We do not have a theater where you can go see an "older" show for less money. 

We checked the times on The Good Dinosaur, and the 2D version starts at 5 pm. Most families would just suck it up and go. But not us. Nathan needs his anti-seizure medication at a specific time, and we simply don't do stuff in the early evening if it's gonna interfere with dosing medications. 

We could go to the 3D version, but the glasses would likely become a weapon for my two. It's how boys roll. When you're born with a penis, you just naturally shoot things. It's like having a gun on your person at all times. And how many times to boy parents say something like "make sure you aim it in the toilet!"? I can tell you it's a LOT. Seriously. 

Anyway, so tomorrow, we're having a first for the Anderson Family Circus: we're going to the movies as a family. 

Here's hoping everyone pees before the movie starts, and that we can make it through the entire show without having a meltdown because of the sensory overload!

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