Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mommie Fully Loaded

I am a bad person. I lose children, and I make them cry, too.

Here is my story.

Yesterday I took the girls to the movies. We had all sufficiently recovered from our trauma at the hands of the Conflagration Of Crotchety Book Hags so we decided that some fun was in order. Besides, Rigel was going to see a movie, too, with some friends from work. He was going to see ‘War Of The Worlds.’ (Did you hear that Tom Cruise is dating Katie Holmes and he really, really loves her? Did you know that he’s a Scientologist? And that he knows lots, more than you and I and Matt Lauer PUT TOGETHER, about psychiatry and vitamins and like, life in general?) I didn't want to see this movie anyway, but it was a grown-up movie, and he was going with adults, and then afterwards out to eat with adults to a grown-up place to talk about grown-up things. Not that I'm bitter.

The girls and I, on the other hand, were going to see ‘Herbie Fully Loaded’! With Lindsay Lohan! Sure, she's a little on the emaciated side, but at least I haven’t been pushed to the brink of nausea with photos of her kissing Katie Holmes. Although, that would make a tasty story! You heard it here first!

We got to the mega multi-plex, and after spending our usual $150 at the concession stand, I issued my pre-movie warning, "If you need to use the bathroom, please go now so we don't have to leave in the middle, thereby missing what could possibly be an essential plot element. I don't want to be left guessing whether Herbie is really magic, or in fact, just a car." This is said while standing in front of the restrooms, before we make our five-mile trek down the hallway to theater 94, but there were no takers. It is a long way from the bathrooms to the theater. Hold this thought - it will come in handy later in my story,

We were enjoying the movie, (SPOILER ALERT: Herbie IS magic!) and as it approached the big race at the end we were all glued to our seats. All of us, except for Kira, however, as I noticed she was now squirming uncomfortably and then whispered to me,"I have to go to the bathroom! NOW!" I could tell by the quiver in her voice that she had waited a little too long, obviously riveted by this tale of girl/car love unfolding on the screen, and now it was an emergency. I told Kiyomi that we were going to have to all go, as leaving a seven year old unattended in a movie theater is not considered good parenting. Do not leave seven year olds alone in a theater. Hold this thought - it too will come in handy later in my story,

This didn't go over well with Kiyomi, since going to the bathroom meant we would miss the big race finale. And me, I didn't spend two hundred dollars for tickets and snacks just to up and leave before I found out who won! Would good triumph over evil? It was a Disney movie after all, so you just never know! I asked Kira if she could possibly wait five more minutes, but by now she was practically in tears, so I scooped up all our things and we left.

As we started our five-mile trek from Theater 156 to the restroom, Kiyomi began to voice her discontent, subtly. "I CANNOT BELIEVE WE'RE GOING TO MISS THE ENDING!! I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!! DEAR GOD, GET ME OUT OF THIS FAMILY!" Sandwiched between a hissy-fitting seven year old and a near-bursting nine year old, I made an executive decision, and told Kiyomi to go stand inside the door of the theater and watch the end of the movie while I took Kira to the bathroom. (Parents! Begin judging!) And, as we were only around ten feet from the entrance to the theater, and as Kira was now howling, "I have to go BAAAAD!" I didn't actually LOOK back to make sure Kiyomi went into the theater. Tarnations!

As I was walking Kira into the bathroom it hit me - Sending seven year old alone into theater - Bad! So, I told Kira to STAY RIGHT HERE IN THIS STALL DO NOT MOVE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES and ran all the way back to check on Kiyomi.

Only she wasn't in the theater. Anywhere. So I started calling her name, trying to be heard above the cheers of the NASCAR audience on the screen, but NO ANSWER. So now. Panic. And running, back to the bathroom to check on Kira, who was now completely in tears because I had left her, and the door had swung open and someone had seen her sitting on the toilet and so these were tears of embarrassment, too. And I'm yelling at her to STAY HERE DO NOT MOVE BECAUSE NOW I HAVE LOST YOUR SISTER!

(If any of you parents out there have ever LOST YOUR CHILD, even for a minute, you know what an awful, indescribable feeling this is. Seconds seem like hours, and horrible, horrible thoughts race through your mind. LOGIC or REASON do not come into play.)

And now MORE running, back to the theater, wondering if she had gone into the wrong one, or even worse things that I couldn't wrap my mind around. And I'm frantically asking a stranger, a woman who was sitting at the end of the row, if she had seen my daughter come back in, and she's looking at me confused and shaking her head. (Hey lady - sorry about shaking your arm so hard! I didn't mean to break it but I was really panicked!)

Then I see, way over on the opposite side of the theater, behind the wall that separates the aisle from the seats, a stuffed animal being thrown up in the air. And I realize it's Kiyomi's.


I hug her, tell her to SIT DOWN AND DO NOT MOVE BECAUSE NOW I HAVE TO GO GET KIRA WHO I LEFT CRYING IN A STALL. Then BACK to the bathroom, to extricate Kira from her potty hell, and skipping hand-washing JUST THIS ONCE, I take her by the hand for my FIFTH trip back to the theater for a joyous family reunion. And we got to see the end of the movie! Herbie won! A good time was had by all!

And that is the end of my story. Berating commence!

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1 comment:

  1. I am stunned into complete silence and extreme disapproval...

    there is just NO WAY a vintage 1100cc Volkswagen bug could out run a 650 horespower Ford Nascar!!!!!!!!!

    Magic my ass!!!!!


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