Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I like watching movies. And I very rarely have popcorn or soft drinks during movies, I like to stay totally hooked to the movie. And I’m usually one of the last to leave the cinema, reading all the credits, while listening to the soundtrack, just to soak up all the good feels of the experience. And I only watch movies at night. Coming out from the comfortable, cool, enchanting darkness into bright hot sunlight would vapourise all the imagination stirred up during the movie, it gives me headache too.

And it’s been eight long years since I last fully enjoy a movie.

After my eldest child was born, fatherhood had somehow diminished my interest in movies, and makes cinema a less attractive place than by the side of my children. It was not until my eldest girl was six and my little boy was four that we went for our first family movie, when I thought they were old enough to be introduced into the wonderful world of movie magic.

“Chicken Little” was the first movie we went together as a family, and the first after a 6-years-long hiatus. I was ready to enjoy movie again. Yipee!

“Why the soda give out gas when you shake them?”, “How come Chicken Little is so little and can swing such a big bat?”, “How come the pig so fat can go through the hole so small?”, “How come … ” - Q & A session.

Ooo…kay, that’s what it’s like bringing little children to their first movie. I spent half the time answering their questions while trying to hush them down. Needless to say, I didn’t get to enjoy the movie, but it’s a revelation.

So there was quite a long while before we decided to take the children for another movie again. “Spiderman 3” came along. That time, I invited my cousin and his family to come along. My 2 kids and his 3 kids would have each other for company sitting together. They would have a good time while I could enjoy my movie.

All was fine when there were fast and furious actions on the screen, However, when the audience was enjoying a quiet, romantic moment between Peter Parker and Mary Jane, they also had to endured our kids arguing about whose turn was it to hold the popcorn bucket. Ooo…kay, too many “cold” scenes, and not enough hot actions on the screen to attract their attentions. Lesson learned.

We sat through the movie trying to instruct, order, and even threaten the kids to shut up or turn down their voices, while hoping for more car chasing, web swinging, and villains fighting scenes on the screen.

There would be another long wait for the next movie. “Transformers”. That time, I made sure by consulting my friend who had watched the movie, “Good exciting actions from start to finish. Good show.” Ah … that’s the one. No cousin that time. Some expected Q & A sessions regarding the story. Tolerable. And just when we’re getting excited gearing towards the final showdown between the Autobots and Decepticons with Sam and Mikaela being brought to the secret base of Sector 7, a voice whispered in my ear …

“Baba, I want to pee-pee …”

“WHAT?” I screamed out at the top of my lungs … in my thought. “But they are going to fight soon, it’s going to be very exciting, you’ll like it,” I tried to persuade him to hold on.

“But it’s going to come out already …”

Ooo…kay, no more popcorn and soft drinks for movie, another lesson learnt.

A few more movies we watched recently during school holiday, “Iron Man” and “Indiana Jones”. Knowing what to expect, the pain and disappointment in not able to enjoy the movies become more tolerable.

Finally, “Kungfu Panda”. I expected the worst for this movie. Because we’re going with the family of my sister-in-law, 5 adults, 5 children, loads of popcorn and soft drinks. Ooo…kay, I’m ready.

However, as soon as I walked into the cinema, I had a good feeling. Children were everywhere (it was school holiday and it’s the second night after the premier) talking, eating, laughing and, of course, asking questions. Seemed like my kids were the more mature ones this time round. One down.

In the middle of the confusion in trying to get everybody seated, I was separated from my kids, by two seats, my wife and my sister-in-law. Shouldn’t be any Q & A this time round. Two down.

If only I could sit through the whole show with Mother Nature going AWOL on my kids, I would have a great time.

True enough, after being enchanted, and laughing together with everyone in the cinema, I was able to enjoy the whole movie for once, at long last. No Q & A, no fighting for popcorn, no toilet breaks, lots of laugh, loads of humour, kungfu in every other scene, nice atmosphere, .... Ah ... satisfied. Oh, I love movies.


Johnny Ong said...

what?????? u asked the kid to hold on to his pee???????

hahahhahahhaa, what a torturing moment for that kid. i fully understood yr feeling there.. LOL!

The Fearless Blog said...

Your description is soooo real....

You have captured a "young parent's life" at the movies quite well. If it all sounds like an ordeal at the movies, now imagine us mom's when we have to grocery shop, store shop or run errands with our little ones. Yep! It's a handful. However, I would not trade those days of baby carriages, large diaper bags or crying toddlers. I struggled alone many times but I enjoyed "almost" every single moment I spent with my boys. I was all for them and they were all for me. Perfect...the way it should be. Now my boys are growing, one even has an aspiring mustache and when I look at them, I have to try so hard to remember what they used to look like, their little bodies and little faces. Thank God for photos and videos...they grow so fast, so fast.

BTW do your kids ever get you to watch the same movie over and over again on DVD? I was very talented once :):)...I could recite the entire dialog for movies like Lion King, Iron Giant, James and the Giant Peace and so many more.

Sweet Jasmine said...

This is what we call fatherhood....bringing up children have its wonderful moments and some sacrifices like this...it will all pass in no time...and you would be surprise you will one day be left alone again to enjoy your movies in peace...
Now it is my turn to keep quiet when they do take me to a movie once in a while...

Buzzing J said...

Johnny Ong: It's OK. I only asked him to hold on until the end of the show ... :) No-lah, right after the moment he said it's going to come out, we're already at the toilet.

Fearless Blog: I realise how fast they will be growing up. And right now, I am enjoying my fatherhood so much that I'll take every opportunity to be by their sides.

Yeah, they watch movies on DVD (and also rerun of cartoons on satellite TV too) over and over, and over, and over again. Makes me wonder why would their imagination be hooked to the same story, same picture, same people, same voices repeatedly. But I'm not as talented as you to be able to recite the whole dialog. But my kids can :)

Sweet Jasmine: I'm looking forwards to days when my kids and me can truly enjoy a movie together in the future. In the mean time, I'll learn how to be "quiet" too ... But, is it -

"Be QUIET or I won't take you to the cinema." OR
"Be QUIET in the cinema or I won't take you there."

Hmm... let me rethink about this "fatherhood" thing ...

Johnny Ong said...


Johnny Ong said...

with a few adults, we brought 26 kids to watch kung fu panda on sat morning. after that we have 26 extra kung fu kids

QuaChee said...

lol this is quite a nice post on fatherhood & movies :) and yes the kung fu panda was a great show!


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