Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Ninja Turtle at a Cocktail Party

 

A major focus of our homeschool is an emphasis on the arts: fine literature, fine music, and fine art. We’ve been going to the Kennedy Center and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; both nearby classical music options, to take in concerts and shows. The BSO offers discount tickets for students under the age of 18, and outside of the daytime concerts where homeschoolers can sit in the balconies, I wanted to make a date with my oldest, my six-year-old daughter, the only one of my four kids who is actually homeschooling. I perused the offerings at the BSO and saw a show advertising movie experience alongside the orchestra, and Amadeus was the most appealing. I remembered watching the movie in school as a kid whenever my music teachers were absent and thought it would be an educational and enjoyable experience for my daughter.

The first hiccup in my plan was the fact that I’m breastfeeding my youngest daughter, and to be honest, I completely forgot about her when I purchased the tickets. I realized on my way out the door and snapped her into her car seat, hoping that she would sleep and nurse happily through the show, as she has during past shows.

After a while trying to find parking after the nearby lot filled up, we started on our walk to the BSO. We were dressed casually, my daughter in jeans and a sweater, me in a spit-up covered sweater and a casual skirt. I realized we were in trouble before we ever entered the building: everyone on their way to the same show was of a much older demographic and dressed very nicely. I assumed the 3 pm show of a movie I watched as a kid would be filled with families, but it was quickly clear that this assumption was very, very off-base.

We walked into the theatre and picked up our tickets, working our way against the throng of patrons, all giving us dirty looks. My daughter was excited and oblivious, the baby on my chest looking around quietly. It felt like someone had told us we were on our way to a costume party, and I was dressed like a ninja turtle, and only upon arrival did we realize it was a formal cocktail party.

We got into the elevator and I saw a program and realized my next problem: The show was four hours long. The first act was over two hours, there was a 20-minute intermission, and the next part of the show was an hour and a half. I remembered that we could watch the movie in about two class periods, although when I sat down and actually thought about it, I realized we never watched more than the first 45 minutes of the movie because it was just a movie shown at the last minute by substitutes. I assumed the movie was about an hour and a half.

By this point I was panicked, seated in the dead center of a row in the dead center of the balcony. If (and when) the baby started crying, I’d have to jump over half a dozen people to race out of the room. I didn’t want to take the experience away from my oldest and didn’t know how to extract us out of the situation without disappointing her. While I was still brainstorming an exit plan, the show began. And we were stuck.

Starting from the first scene, I knew something was off. This was not the movie I remembered from my conservative middle school that had once debated banning books like Lord of the Flies and the Bell Jar. One of the main characters was on the floor of a room, covered in blood from a clear suicide attempt. And it didn’t get any better, one of the next scenes featured who we would discover was Motzart, trying to undress and fondle his girlfriend before his show for the royal court. I spent a good part of the first half-hour of the show trying to quietly distract the baby while covering my oldest daughter’s eyes. I sat there hoping, in vain, that the baby would fuss and we could make an exit. But somehow, the baby was calm for an hour and a half. And I stewed in anxiety that I was traumatizing my daughter and would have a baby scream out, interrupting the show for hundreds of other people.

Eventually, the baby did make the slightest of peeps, and I took the opportunity to usher us all out of the theatre. We went to the concessions stand, where I plied my oldest with candy, cookies, and popcorn before informing her we wouldn’t be staying for the second act.

A few hours later, a Twitter follower informed me that there were two versions of the movie: the PG-version I was shown in school, and an R-rated director’s cut, a longer show, that was released years later.

My daughter’s first movie was Frozen II with her dad a few weeks ago. And her first movie with mom? An accidental R-rated feature with way too much gore and sexual content. If we’re being honest, the comparison perfectly represents how we parent.

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There are 8 comments.

  1. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Yes, but Amadeus has a better score than Frozen II. 

    • #1
    • January 13, 2020, at 12:27 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. John A Peabody Member
    John A Peabody Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Your daughter has learned the lesson that it is ‘okay’ to leave a performance. That’s a good lesson! I was about 12 when my mom and I entered the lobby at intermission and she casually said, “Well, we won’t have to suffer through the second act,” and we left! I was flabbergasted. 

    • #2
    • January 13, 2020, at 12:48 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Weeping Member

    {{{Bethany}}} <- hope you don’t mind the cyberhugs. I felt like maybe you could use a few. I know I could have in the situation.

    As for not realizing there can be two different versions of a movie, I did that once when I was in college. I had enjoyed a movie on a recent airplane trip and had the opportunity to watch it with my younger brother at home. He was in 11th or 12th grade, I think. We watched it. All I’ll say is never do that if the movie you’ve watched on the airplane is Working Girl (starring Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, and Sigourney Weaver) and the version you’re going to watch at home with your younger brother is the movie-release version. Just don’t. Calling the experience embarrassing is an understatement – a major understatement.

    • #3
    • January 13, 2020, at 12:53 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. Stad Thatcher

    Bethany!

    I apologize for laughing, but this is a great story you can tell them when they’re all grown up. Keep trying to raise ’em right, go with the flow, and they’ll learn parenting lessons they can use on your (Gasp!) grandchildren . . .

    • #4
    • January 13, 2020, at 1:53 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Weeping (View Comment):

    {{{Bethany}}} <- hope you don’t mind the cyberhugs. I felt like maybe you could use a few. I know I could have in the situation.

    As for not realizing there can be two different versions of a movie, I did that once when I was in college. I had enjoyed a movie on a recent airplane trip and had the opportunity to watch it with my younger brother at home. He was in 11th or 12th grade, I think. We watched it. All I’ll say is never do that if the movie you’ve watched on the airplane is Working Girl (starring Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, and Sigourney Weaver) and the version you’re going to watch at home with your younger brother is the movie-release version. Just don’t. Calling the experience embarrassing is an understatement – a major understatement.

    I guess it just goes to show you how different people are, because as a kid I used to watch Conan the Barbarian on TV a lot. I loved it. Then at University I discovered one of my friends had never seen this Arnold classic so we rented it from the video store, and much to my delight I discovered it was filled with blood and nudity! Oh what a day to discover that the movie I loved was even better than I had thought because TNT had censored it to be PG-13 when it fact it was a R rated masterpiece. It had never occurred to me that this might be the case. 

    • #5
    • January 13, 2020, at 2:46 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. SecondBite Member

    Excellent!

    My children all have stories of dad-induced movie traumas. Movies I saw on TV that left a lot out, or movies that I saw in college, when I was insensitive to the difference between child viewing and adult viewing. They all turned out OK, but there are movies they will never watch because I ruined them. Oh well. So it goes.

    • #6
    • January 13, 2020, at 3:18 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. ShaunaHunt Member

    That kind of shock is also induced by returning from a Latter-Day Saint mission, newlyweds watching a movie you thought was fine when you were single. And, yes, watching a show with the kids that you thought was fine before having them!

    I think you handled things admirably! I always love your articles. Any more articles for LDS Living?

    • #7
    • January 13, 2020, at 6:43 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. The Dowager Jojo Member

    My mother marched me, my younger brother, and my father out of The Four Musketeers as soon Racquel Welch’s nightie hIt the floor. ( I think that is as explicit as it got but I will never know.) At the time I was embarrassed but now I think it was awesome of her.

    • #8
    • January 14, 2020, at 7:23 AM PST
    • Like