Sunday 25 August 2019

Cinema etiquette with three year old and existentialism at 8 a.m.

David Looby
David Looby
Pixar's brilliant Inside Out had The Whirlwind Princess causing ructions at the cinema

By David Looby

AMONG the many responsibilities that accompany parenthood is that of the first trip to the cinema.

I'll never forget my forays into the inviting darkness and seashell-like cocoon that is the cinema, to watch the Star Wars trilogy (when it was a trilogy), among other fantastic films.

The Whirlwind Princess had her first cinematic experience on Saturday to see Inside Out. Little did I know the gigantic step I was taking by bringing her to the cinema. Up until the moment we ambled up the narrow walkway to make the turn off for the seats in the Maxx cinema, I had not given much thought to this particular, momentous event. Horror stories of a parent I know who took his 12-year-old daughter to see Black Swan believing it was a fun Disney type ballet story, only to discover it more Eyes Wide Shut than Angelina Ballerina, flooded my mind. I had heard Pixar's latest film was great, but also devastatingly sad and profoundly moving. How would my three-year-old react to being sat in front of an overwhelmingly giant screen and launched into a vortex of emotions?

Armed with pocketfuls of sweets and jellies, I unburdened myself of my sweetie cache and let her away to munch down all the different additives and colours of the rainbow, partaking of a few myself.

The film was great, with wonderful animation and great characters. It managed that Pixar genius of being able to entertain both adult and child in equal measure.

The character Bing Bong was a particular hit, his antics leading to some fantastic paroxysms of laughter to my right, much to the annoyance of her fellow cinema goer to her right. At one point she shouted out, cheering the imaginary friend character on, stoking up more glares of derision. Correct me if I'm wrong, but we weren't exactly at Apocalypse Now, even if that is what our neighbouring Inside Out viewer was feeling at that moment. This was a children's movie afterall, not a silent movie in the library. Reacting like the film's angry character, I was close to saying something, but I didn't want to introduce any more emotions to what was an already emotionally frought afternoon. There were a few moments when The Whirlwind Princess had to exchange the comfort of her seat for her Daddy's arms, along with a Bambi type moment which led to a few wobbles of the lower lip, but we survived intact and no cross words were said across the aisle.

THE cot is no more! The Little Fella is now able to roam free. I've never seen him so excited. Like an uncaged tiger cub or a puppy off the leash he loves his bed, at least the thought of it and the accompanying freedom it brings. One and a half hours running along the landing and back couldn't wear out his excitement on the second night. The following morning, having awoken at 6.30 a.m. with excitement, I was tasked with entertaining him and his rudely awoken sister downstairs. On with the telly and over with the throw blanket and we were all happily ensconced watching Baby TV. After breakfast I entered within earshot of the sleeping dragon's lair and asked if breakfast was required. Upon learning that the elder one hadn't had her night pull up changed, words were exhanged on the landing.

'You're nowhere!,' I bellowed. 'I'm in existence!' she replied.

The latter comment brought the house down. So much for getting the balance right, but maybe such moments are all that really matter on a rainy summer's morning.

Wexford People