The snacks were great too | Living with Gleigh

I remember when my youngest daughter began to enjoy seeing movies in theaters. As a pastime my husband and I have always loved, it was even more fun when we had our daughters as a front to see animated movies.

Although my daughter seemed to like what she was seeing, she would get squirmy. We would placate her with candy and popcorn, but about the middle of the movie, she began to complain about the uncomfortable seat. She’d spend the remainder of the movie switching between my lap and her father’s; not happy, not pleased, not watching the movie.

Understandably, it was in the days when theater seats still folded up and a young child had a difficult time holding them down, but because my kids were rather tall for their ages, they were also uncomfortable in those plastic booster seats. She was my toughest child during her toddler years. She started the terrible twos at 18 months and didn’t come out of the phase until she was five.

She didn’t act out in public when she was miserable, but when we got home, she’d let ‘er rip. We sent her to her room when her temper let loose; not for a time-out, but just to let her calm down. She’d scream, throw plastic vegetables at her door, fling open the door and zing them out across the hallway. It was a good old temper tantrum.

For the most part, we ignored her; plastic vegetables and all. After she’d spent her temper on her toys, she’d calm down, gather them all back up and return to us as a reasonable child; whatever grievances she’d had were long forgotten.

Then one day, the spring after she’d turned five years old, we went to see “Piglet’s Big Movie.” She sat on the edge of her seat the whole time with her little hands grasping the seat in front of her. The snacks were ignored, her little feet planted firmly on the floor; she didn’t move an inch.

When the movie was over, she exclaimed, “That movie was better than the snacks!” Future movie viewing was much more pleasant after that.

Now my daughters are 16 and 18 years old. My youngest daughter prefers not to snack during movies anymore so as not to distract her from the plot. They’ll see any movies these days along with animated ones, but they love all the fantasy/sci fi/superhero movies I’ve never particularly liked.

How did this happen? These are not movies I ever took them to when they were young. I guess that’s what comes from sending them to public school where they can meet other people with other interests. Hindsight tells me I should’ve homeschooled them if I didn’t want them to discover other genres of movies.

It’s too late now, they love these movies and now that they are driving there is nothing stopping them from going. So when my youngest came to me and said she really wanted to see the newest Hobbit movie before it went out of the theaters and she really wanted me to see it too.

I waved goodbye to them.

Then I thought better of it. My teenage daughter was inviting me to share a movie she loved; I shouldn’t pass up a bonding moment. There weren’t going to be a lot more of them now that she was only a couple years from graduating and my oldest already in college.

So I went. It was the second Hobbit movie, I hadn’t seen the first and it had been years (30?) since I read the book. I had no idea what was going on, so I sat back and enjoyed the cinematography and a moment out with my daughters.

The snacks were great too.


Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She continues to enjoy the snacks and moments out with her daughters. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Lifestyles section.

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