I’ve never enjoyed—or wanted to go to—the movies on my own. It felt so embarrassed and lonesome, I remember going once before and when the movie finished I pretended to be on my phone telling someone I was “waiting for them and the movie was over and they could pick me up now”. Real brave stuff.
When I was in my third trimester—you know really into the fat, wobble, sweating-all-the-time phase—we were approaching summer. And I live in Perth, so a Western Australian desert summer is not to be messed with. To make my situation better, I didn’t have air-conditioning and a heat wave was fast approaching. I did what any respectable person would do and headed to the shopping centre to leech off their cool air.
You know, the shopping centre isn’t really a pregnant lady’s friend. One: You have to walk … that in itself is tough BUT to navigate a big shopping centre with swarms of other people while you waddle through, nightmare! Two: Shops to me are; clothes, food and other pretty stuff. So you can imagine that clothes is a no go and pretty much meltdown zone for a heavily pregnant expectant mum and food…basically a bottomless pit.
This whole “shopping” idea was actually depressing and making me hungrier, hotter and more exhausted than ever—hot mess mum meltdown about to happen! So I sat down on the nearest seat, which happened to be right under the escalators to the movies and eureka, I had it!
The movies are always unbearably cold, you can sit down in comfy chairs for one-two hours, no matter the crowd, you’re not battling for walk space, if you pick strategically you can have two, or three or half a row to yourself AND overpriced movie snacks ALL TO YOURSELF! Without your partner or a friend, you can see ANY MOVIE YOU WANT!
So I waddled up, picked the best chick flick out bought a large popcorn and drink combo and a pack of Maltesers. Side note: cinemas are dark, ain’t nobody judging me in the dark, win! I stumbled on a paradise, on a cold, quiet, junk food paradise which was mine and my unborn little man’s secret. I seriously couldn’t believe I hadn’t been cashing in on this dynamite paradise, albeit their cashing in on me with their ridiculous prices, BUT I had found my new sanctuary.
Needless to say I kept my little paradise close to my heart, I didn’t even want to tell my husband my little secret. I went back at least once a month, I saw Inside Out and The Dressmaker and the ONLY negative was the amount of unsolicited, hormonal crying! Thank God the cinemas are dark!!
Kaiser was born in January and Deadpool came out February 11. He fell asleep and the newborn sleep of two-three hours gave us a window of opportunity. We immediately got in the car, strapped him in and went to a 10am session of the movie. It was early and a Tuesday but we were determined. We put him in the wrap still dead asleep and took him to the movie. What a dream boat, strapped to me, keeping me warm he soundly slept, while I got to adult and date all in one.
About a month later I had time to kill and was feeling cocky. Kaiser was awake but I put him in the wrap and went to see How To Be Single. I sat in the nosebleed version of the cinema, where you are so close you have to crane to watch, but he was awake and there was no one around so we had room to be our happy, sad, unsettled selves if that was the way.
This time I had to feed him and I did, breast out for the whole movie. It calmed him and settled him and thank god for the front row. Again I felt cocky, until he spewed on me. As I had him in the wrap, so close to my chest, the vomit went straight down my bra and in between my boobs. I panicked for a moment but saw he was still sleeping, so you know what? I just sat there and watched the movie because he was sleeping, it was funny and honestly…mumlife now means a bit of spew.
Fast forward and he’s four months old. We take him to with us to see The Boss and how times have changed. He doesn’t simply go to sleep and I didn’t wear breastfeeding-friendly clothes, so I couldn’t just whip it out for a comfort feed. He’s more alert now and loves to play. We moved twice as he was restless and I ended up walking around with him and bouncing for the rest of the movie.
So, for now, that phase is gone, or maybe on hold. Soon he’ll be a little older and I’ll take him to the latest kids’ movie or cartoon. Soon it will be PG and then him wanting me to drop him off with friends. Soon he’ll be taking a girl on a date and one day his own son to the movies.
But for three blissful months before and four blissful months after, my son and I went to the movies…just mummy and me.