On Saturday, I took Gwen to see her first movie theatre movie. I was so excited about this, and so was she - we'd been planning it for a full week. We went to see The Adventures of TinTin, which promised to be a rollicking good time full of pirate ships, car chases, plane rides, good guys, bad guys, pratfalls, physical humour, and one cute white dog. (Moreover, it was a tiny rebellion - in my own mind - against the countless Facebook statuses I've read lately about moms taking their daughters out to see Beauty and the Beast 3D, 'cause, y'know.)
The movie more than delivered on its promise, and having read the books as a kid I thoroughly enjoyed this very faithful vision. It was action packed and a very, very fun movie. Gwen, on the other hand ... well. I guess she isn't ready for the movie theatre experience. Problem #1: she is not heavy enough to properly weight down the movie theatre seat, and ends up being a bit squished, which aside from tempting her to constantly bounce the seat up and down (fun for everyone around, am I right?!), can't possibly be comfortable. Be that as it may, she didn't want a booster seat or to sit in my lap. Problem #2: WOW THAT WAS LOUD. As soon as the pre-show was over and the actual movie came on, I could tell she was quite uncomfortable with how loud it was. She was also pretty alarmed when the lights suddenly went off, but that didn't last long. Problem #3: About an hour or so into the movie, she just decided she'd had ENOUGH of this sitting down business, and proceeded to explore all the surrounding seats, sitting in each for a maximum of three minutes before getting up and trying another one.
The saving grace here is that we were in the very back row with no one else around us, so she wasn't bugging anyone except me. Also, by virtue of the fact that she is not quite four years old yet, she got in for free - so I didn't have to lament the loss of $9.75 while watching her frib around like a baboon on meth. And hey, ~I~ was enjoying myself, so WHATEVER, kid.
On the whole, though, I find I am hitting a brick wall with Gwen's behaviour. She pulled the same kind of stunts the next day at church, when it was WAY less cute. She refused to sit in one seat, wouldn't stay with either me or the other children, kept running up and down the aisles ... it was madness. I've put in a concerted effort in the past few weeks and have really truly learned and internalized the concept that yelling at Gwen does not yield the desired results. However ... I have nothing in my toolbox to use instead. In the case of church, I actually considered leaving, thinking that might get my message across; but as I mentioned in yesterday's photo post, I was part of a presentation that morning and so I couldn't just take off. The only privilege I've got to hold over her head is her bedtime story, and honestly - it's a pretty empty threat. I love our bedtime reading as much as she does, I'm just as loathe to call it off.
I'm planning to (re-)read this in the next week or so to come up with some better tools and strategies, because otherwise I'm just never going to leave the house with her again.