Tuesday, September 13, 2005

AND it's off to the movies we go!

Well - yesterday I had a HUGE list of things to do ready for myself, but first I needed to lie down with Elsa after breakfast I was, err - I mean she was tired. She nursed quietly for a bit and we both dozed off. I woke with a jolt and hurried downstairs to grab my clothes out of the dryer.

Once dressed, I called the gang together and we said our Rosary. By now it was about 11 am. Well - I thought I still have a little over half a day with which to tackle my ‘to do’ list. Lesson plans times five children so we can get back to school next week. List five items for sale for my husband; help with packing as we are behind since so many of us have been ill. Finish two loads of laundry, prepare supper. Get everyone to do the three o'clock chores, preferably at three for a change. Oh, there were other inspirational thoughts on my list of to do's but at 12, almost exactly twelve, Nathaniel, my five year old handsome red head (not toot, only girls and babies are toot!) remembered that I had promised that I would take him to the movies.

I had been looking at his hair that was badly in need of a trimming so I asked; "Tanny - would you like me to cut your hair today? (Not, btw, on my to do list!) And his little face just lit up as he said; "Oh yeah - so we tan go to the mooies? You haid we would go to the mooies today. "

He had me over a barrel with those big owl round blue eyes that were shining with expectation as well as the confidence that I would keep my word. I had promised. I had promised I would take him LAST Saturday, but I saw no benefit in pointing that out since I had clearly forgotten that promise. My husband's eyes grinned at me over his laptop balanced on his knees. "I have a ton to do with this business plan.", he reminded me. This was also true. I looked at Nathaniel and his happy grin. "Well," I said, "we need to have a bath before we can cut your hair."

He skipped up the stairs ahead of me and made not a complaint while I scrubbed his scalp clean and wrapped him up in a towel in prep for the hair cut. While I was doing this, word got around that 'we are going to the movies'. Bethany pirouetted before me seeking approval of her blouse and pant combo. She got it. Another child checked to see if their hairdo was suitable for the movies. Another child was told he was not invited, no one was sure why but apparently he was not. I quickly put that rumour to rest. So, total count for this trip was eight plus Mummy. Thankfully we were heading for the 1.50 theater.

Finally, all groomed and presentable, my ‘to do’ list completely forgotten, we loaded all the car seats, diapers bags and babies, toddlers and the rest of us into the van. We waved goodbye to Finnegan and left. We made a quick pit stop at Ahmed's to top off the gas and thriftily pack the diaper bag with some candy and tiny cans of pop - cans the perfect size for the youngest to enjoy a taste of soda during the movie. The older kids and I would buy some there.

We got there with time to spare to spare so I ushered all the girls into the Women's bathroom while sending Teddy and Noah to the Men's. I had a mild heart attack when Anna asked me; "Where's Nathaniel?" He, of late, has decided he is too old for the Women's restroom but I had not given him permission to go to the Men’s and did not know if he had done that or gone looking for our movie - Madagascar. I hurried back out and, of course, there was no little red head to be seen. But I did spy a little blond boy about 7 years old. AND he was heading to the Men’s. I cut him off and asked him if he would look for a little red head who was five, or maybe just call out Nathaniel and see if anyone answered. "Sure!" he said as the door swung shut behind him while I tried not to obviously glance in. I strained my ears and I could hear a young voice calling out Nathaniel and I heard other voices. I waited and then clapped my hand to my forehead - of course - I had not asked him to come back out to tell me, so of course... he did not. A few paces back and forth and the boys, all three, trooped back out. By now Gabriela, 14, had joined me in the hallway so I told her watch them all while I went back to supervise the rest of the female pit stop.

Bladders empty and fingers squeaky clean we scooped up two booster seats neatly piled by the door to Madagascar and filed into the empty theater. After all - it was too early on a school day for there to be many children there. Two other families joined us as we settled into our seats and quietly divided out boxes of candies and split up the single box of popcorn I had purchased. Sadly I had not thought to bring some zip locks so I carefully wrapped up handfuls of popcorn times seven and passed them down. We were all ready when the lights finally dimmed and the previews rolled across the screen. Jaws silently chewed, and Emma gave up on her seat since it kept closing up on her like a clamshell regardless of her booster seat. Elsa more or less co-operated, but surprisingly I found that her attention is better held by the grown up movies we have brought her to. Perhaps it was the fault of the much taller seat backs in this theater? None the less, she added to the enjoyment by constantly tackling the wrinkly sounding chip bag on my lap.

Ninety minutes later and it was all over. Not a single bathroom trip was requested and I consider that quite a feat! Madagascar gets five stars from me!

Later, at night, I lay in bed and thought guiltily of my forgotten ‘to do’ list. I felt a bit miserable. I had not done a single thing on it. Nothing had been posted for sale, I had not packed one item, supper had been late and the three o-clock chores were done around seven. But then as I lay there, I looked at the 'got done' list; breakfast together, a little laundry, a pleasant cuddle with an adorable baby, a hair cut, one set of bangs trimmed and happy memories for seven wonderful kids. And most important - a promise kept, even if two days late. Read more!