Monday, January 14, 2008

A Toddler and "The Water Horse"

Two weeks ago the Catholic school had a half day for teachers’ conferences. I love those days because I can take the kids wherever we like to go without the crowds experienced on days off shared with the public schools. If there is a movie we all want to see, I usually save it for one of those days.

We went to see The Water Horse. We have always been fascinated by tales of the Loch Ness Monster. I for one believe the explanations of an ancient sea monster (Plesiosaurus, perhaps) that used to be in the open sea and eventually became land-locked. Certainly Noah was not instructed to bring sea monsters into the ark. The creature could have become displaced by the high waters and then left in Loch Ness.

Incidentally, my attention had originally been gotten by an advertisement that read “The Chronicles of Narnia” as a subtitle. I thought perhaps this was a renaming of The Voyage of the Sea Treader. The advertisement was misleading, and I eventually found out it was created by the same company that produced The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

We ran into two other families from our school – happily, at first, but later this would turn to my embarrassment.

The older children and their friend all fit in a small row on right-hand side of the theatre. I sat across the aisle, on the left-hand side, where the seats were joined in pairs. At first the baby was amused by her seat and her animal crackers. But this did not last long. Whether it was the darkness, the loudness of the movie, the sea monster, or just the fact that she was supposed to stay in one spot, she soon became very upset.

She ran into the aisle; I caught her. Repeatedly. I tried to take her into the back of the theatre. She ran into the aisle, tripped over herself, and started to roll down the aisle – right past the friends from school. By the halfway point of the movie I gave up and decided to watch the movie from behind the door in the back of the theatre, through the little window.

I could see the picture fine and missed out on the dialogue, which I figured was not too important anyway in an action-adventure-fantasy. I was a little lost on what was happening with the army, and more than a little perplexed by my toddler’s behavior.

I later found out that my friend Leticia Velasquez had reviewed the movie on her new blog, Catholic Media Review. Had I previewed her review I would have been forewarned that the movie was a little too loud, dark, and scary for little ones. I probably would not have listened – but then I would only have myself to blame.

I also later discovered that some theatres have “family-friendly” morning showings specifically for mothers with toddlers. The lights are not so low, the volume is lower for sensitive ears, and changing tables are available. (On Long Island, Holtsville’s Island 16 is one such theatre.)

Catholic Media Review, an alternative to the USCCB Office of Film and
Broadcasting Site, was co-created by Julie at Happy Catholic, Jean at Catholic
Fire, Christine at The World . . .IMHO, Scott Nehring at Good News
Film Reviews, and Leticia Velasquez at Cause of Our Joy.

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