Monday, July 02, 2007

When Do You Take A Toddler To The Movies? My iPhone Experience, And Parents That Buy Kids Expensive Things.

On summer Fridays, the J.O.B. let’s me free at 1pm. “Summer hours” they call I; the wife and I call it “A chance to go see a movie while our daughter is at the sitter until 5:30.” The last real movie we saw together in a theater was that Harry Potter movie (the one that came out 2 years ago.) Although I did try to take my daughter to see “Meet The Robinson’s” a few weeks (or months) ago only to have her tell me “all done daddy – I want home! I wanna play!” 20 minutes into it. To be honest I wanted to leave too, that movie was really boring and didn’t make sense.
So last Friday, the wife and I wanted to see Ratatouille and we were really struggling whether or not to take our daughter. Her current movie watching record is about 25 minutes of Cinderella, then she’s off to pretend cook lemon-crusted pork chops with rice, or sing to the dog.
Fellow parents, when did you first take your to the movies? 3? 4? 13? I lost my child owners manual and I want to know.
The first movie I can remember was E.T. at a drive-in. I remember watching for awhile and then somehow, I ended up at the swings eating a Fudgesicle. I wish more drive-ins were around these days... parenting would be so much easier.
My quick review of Ratatouille – I really liked it (so did the wife.) In my Pixar favorites, this is #2 after Finding Nemo. The story is great, the animation and art direction are stunning. It makes the Shrek movies look like “Dude, Where’s My Car.”

That was my Friday afternoon, guess where I was Friday night? Standing in line with about 600 people in front of me waiting to get an iPhone at the Apple store in the Sherman Oaks mall (and I thought nobody would be there because it was the valley – boy, I felt pretty dumb.) Two and a half hours later, I finally made it to the front (about 10 minutes before they sold out), bought the thing and then the Apple employees high-fived me on the way out while hooting and hollering “Whoo-Hoo! All right! Way to Go! You da' MAN!” (they were high-fiving everybody… I guess to make you forget the amount of money you just spent...)
I went along with it. Then when I got to the car, I felt dirty.

I didn’t have any problems porting my number from Verizon, I was able to start making calls from the iPhone in about 2 hours, and started receiving calls on Sunday. I played with the thing all weekend like a kid with Pokemon on a new Gameboy.
I have to admit – the thing is freakin’ cool. It really feels more like a computer than a phone though, which isn’t so bad. I do have a few complaints, which are more techie problems (Why can’t I get any notes on it from my computer like my Treo? AT&T EDGE is really, really slow. The WiFi helps when strangers have open routers. I want games on the thing and I want to use my music for ringtones.) I hear all of those are suppose to happen sometime soon in a software update.
Good things? The maps (and real-time traffic), the Internet works really well (full access to Blogger), the camera is pretty good for a phone, video looks amazing, oh - and the phone part works pretty good too.
The oddest thing while standing in line - there was a mom and her 11 year-old son ahead of me. The mom was buying one for her son. Say what? What kind of parent would buy an 11 year-old a $600 phone!? I sure wouldn’t. What’s wrong with parents? No wonder kids live at home well into their 30’s. I bet that kid will be living at home until he’s at least 40.


Whit said...

I really want an iPhone. Soon.

We took our oldest boy to the movies since day 1, and of course there was a big period of time where he couldn't sit still, but he's a month into 4 and has been doing very well for a year now.

Our youngest boy? Forget about it.

metro mama said...

For her 11-year old! Oh my.

Anonymous said...

I took the 3 kids to see Ratatouille over the weekend. JUST me. A matinee. And it went well, actually. We did the potty thing before the movie, and had enough popcorn to feed a small army. My 5, 4 and 2 year olds loved the movie, too.

We went for a noon movie, and by the time it was over, they were tired, so we headed home for resttime. I think part of taking kids to a movie is picking the right time for your child.

And I agree - the movie was very good!

And I will wait for an iphone. Too much money for something fresh out of the gate. I could use that money for something more practical. Like a dancing pole for my bedroom. NOT!

radioactive girl said...

ET was my first movie too.

My youngest is a really good tv/movie watcher, so I would take him now if I liked movies. My older three are not so great at sitting still, although they will now but never would have before. My 9 year old goes to movies all the time with her friends, my two 7 year olds have no interest, so we almost never take them. The last movie we went to see was Shrek the third or whatever the title was and they all sat and watched it, but then they all said it was boring after it was over. I think it depends on the kid as to when they are ready.

kittenpie said...

Pumpkinpie is three, and I don't think she'd necessarily have the attention span to sit that long. Maybe in a year or two...

Gad, I won't even buy myself a $600 phone. I know Pumpkinpie is going to be so ticked when she realizes I'm not buying her pricey toys like that. Not only do I not trust kids not to lose them, but I don't think they're reayd for the responsability yet. When they get their own job and can pay for the difference between the free phone and the fancy upgrade? Then they can make that call about whather they want to spend the cash or not.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Did you open the phone up, see which companies make what components, then go to the buy the stocks of those component makers? You'll probably buy your daughter a Ferrari after that, not just an iPhone :)

painted maypole said...

The May Queen is 4.5, and we have yet to take her to a movie. We're debating about Ratatouille. I wish they would come out with another Pooh movie! Alas.
I bet that same mother will be buying her son a Mercedes (or the like) in 5 years. Crazy. How about sending some of that extra cash my way, lady? And it kills me that they high-fived you on the way out of the store. A whole new level of hype. How stupid do you think those employees felt doing that for hours on end? And could any of them actually afford the thing themselves?

JayMonster said...

I could point to the fact that there was no reason to wait on that line for the phone as they "sold out" in less than 20% of stores (less that 5% by end of Saturday).

I could also point to a number of poor reviews that have come out since Friday (I guess they didn't want to piss Apple off until after the release so they could get the ad revenue).

But I am not about being persnickity (at least not today), and after all, you are the one that has to be happy with the phone, so as long as that is the case, I will say "Congrats!"

My daughter did not sit successfully through a whole movie until she was about 5-1/2 years old. (As always YMMV)

I was sorely disappointed that we couldn't get Ratatouille in our schedule this past weekend, but perhaps we can at least avoid the crowds when we see it this week.

And for the record, any person buying a $600 phone for an 11-year old (I believe) is trying to get their child killed, since the risk of somebody trying to steal it from him (and maybe doing bodily harm in the process) is too great for me to consider. I would say that it also qualifies as a person that has "More Dollars than Sense (Cents)"

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

My oldest daughter went to the movies for the first time when she was 3 with my husband and because I'm a horrible parent I can't remember what it was but she did sit through the entire thing. She also went to see the Charlotte's Web remake last fall when she was 4. So I think from about 3 on is the "right age," depending on their tolerance to sit still. In other words, my 27-month-old? Ain't no freakin' way she's going to the movie theatre any time soon. She just doesn't do movies unless we're on a roadtrip to Florida and she's a captive audience via her carseat.

And I want my mommy to buy me an iPhone! ;) Seriously there's something wrong with that. I hope (and I'm sure this is not the case) that the kid is mowing the lawn all summer to help pay for it.

Ben & Bennie said...

Little Miz Wah sat through an entire movie when she was three but it took many trips to the candy counter to make it through. I'd say 4 to 5 is a good age for a more enjoyable experience.

pixie said...

We started taking the kids to the movies when Volcano turned about 2 -- he saw Elmo in Grouchland. It depends on the kid and the movie, though, because Monkey could barely sit through a whole movie until just this summer. You also have to load up on the popcorn or some other snacks, because food is always a motivator to stay in one place.

P.S. I just gave you a meme, tagging you on my blog. Don't let me down!

Rebecca said...

I am holding off on the iPhone just to see if its really worth it.
I covet it though.

Absolutely Bananas said...

I'm totally green with envy over your iPhone. I secretly hope that they suck so that we don't have to spend $1200 on the blasted things. because yes, we'd have to buy ONE EACH.

Darren said...

I think Clare was 2 when she first sat through a movie. Watching something is sometimes the only thing that'll keep her still.

We loved Ratatouille too, btw. I love your Shrek comparison.

As much as I'd love to have an iPhone, I wouldn't spend $600 on myself either...not with my record of losing things. And I wouldn't let an 11 year old buy one even with his own money.

DJ Kirkby said...

Hello! I seem to have been living under a rock, what is an iPhone? I wish there were more drive in movies too. None in Enlgnad but I remember going to them as a child in Canada. We do take number 3 son (4 1/2 years old) to the cinema but there are 'special needs' showings of films that we go to; so he can abseil the walls during the movie without us getting thrown out! Most of my friends took their neuro-typical children to the movies 'sucessfully' from age 4.

Lisa said...

I'll have to wait on even considering an iPhone until AT&T doesn't have the monopoly on them anymore. I wouldn't use their service if it was the last on the planet. Enjoy your new toy!

As for the movies, I started taking WJ when he was 3. Our most recent two were Meet the Robinsons (which we loved, so not sure why you thought it was so bad you had to leave) and Pirates: At World's End. We'll probably see Ratatouille too.

crazymumma said...

my children are glued to movies. Have been since little little little. In fact, I think they stop breathing.

I don't get the expensive stuff for kids thing at all. Have fun with your new toy!

Mitch McDad said...

You can't see me but I'm green with envy. As an "apple guy," it's a sin that I don't have an iPhone yet. But my iBook just died and I really need a new lapper. Tough call.

Jenster said...

An iPhone for an 11-year old is ridiculous!

I think both our kids were around 3-ish before we took them to the movies. And they did very well.

Whirlwind said...

I have to admit, the iPhone looks Freakin' sweet. Although I will not be shelling out that kind of cash for one any time soon. It's yearly projected bill is almost as much as one kids tuition.

As for movies, we took Einey and Meenie to see Curious George wehn it came out. I think they were 3 and 4. However, we were the only one's in the theatre and they were given free ballons on the way in. Plus we allowed them popcorn and candy! So the ydid great!. Einey has since gone with Daddy (on her "dates" as whe calls them) t osee Meet the Robinsons. I suspect he'll take her to see Ratatouille soon.

Do you have a Regal Theatre around? 9 They are offering Free Family Film days throughout the summer.

Good luck with the movies.

My first movie was the Care Bear Movie when I was 4, followed by Nightmare one Elm Street not to long after that (Yeah I had sucky babysitters!)

MommasWorld said...

Spreading some cheer your way today! Come get your Award! Why? Because you ROCK!

If the movie is that good I wont wait for DVD. Thanks for the review. I hate paying $75 for the movies then have to sit through watching dud.

Denguy said...

Whoa, 11 years old? No, my kids will not be receiving such extravagent gifts from me.
I bought my son a toy car made of wood for his birthday.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

I got one too! I got one too! I posted a huge review, and I am quite happy myself. I have a few cons too, but I never expected it to be perfect.

I am also looking forward to seeing Ratoiliiifgdhlkmdfg, however you spell it. We are huge Pixar fans (and even named a cat Pixar)... but Declan is just not there yet with Disney movies. The only one he can handle is Cars. But maybe... What are the violent and sad parts like? That's what usually freaks my kid out.

P.S. You are gonna need it: reset is holding the home and off button for 6 seconds. I am getting searched all over the world for that little combo on my blog.

Maureen said...

Man, I saw ET at a drive-in, too. It's a shame that all the old drive-ins now seem to have been turned into swap meets.
We took our kids (4.5 and 2.5) to see Ratatouille and my husband and I enjoyed it, son liked it and my 2.5 year old fell asleep. The only reason we take our younger one to the movies at all is because she can't stay home by herself (and she's still free). I think 4 is a good age for starting to see movies... that's when our son really seemed to start "getting it"

wayabetty said...

YOU DA MAN TONY!! That's too funny about you feeling dirty! My hubbie would love to be your friend at the moment. He'd love to have an iPhone but again that $600 buys A LOT of diapers!!

As for taking the kids to the movies, my 4 y/o son is still afraid of the movies. The hubbie took him three months ago to see a movie and he was outside waiting, with my son,for the rest of the gang to finish the movie b/c he was afraid of the dark as soon as they lowered the light. But he got his money back though.

And I was thinking about the same thing regarding drive-in. That would be so awesome for us parents with kids, and maybe necking teenagers too. YUCK!

And an iPhone for a kid? That just wrong!

dadinprogress said...

i'm so jealous of your iPhone. i totally want one more than anything, but it doesn't work with microsoft outlook email, so it's useless to me for work, and i don't have a personal mobile phone. hope you're having fun with it!

Ryan said...

I don't know anything about iPhones. Good luck with that. One iPhone = 200 lattes at Starbucks. :)

creative-type dad said...

Ryan - that interesting. The way I look at it "1 iPhone = Playstation 3". I went for the iPhone.

dadinprogress - I use outlook for work. Apparently my job is expecting some update for it in a few months and will support it.

wayabetty - $600 will buy about 10,000 newborn diapers, and about 50 stage 3 ones.

aimee / greeblemonkey - Cool! I'll have to remember that 6-second thing.

MommasWorld - Sweeeet!! Thanks!

(un)relaxeddad said...

I think I may have to make do with the knitted iPhone I just saw over at, though I'm as overcome by Mac-lust as the next bloke.

Dudelet's current cinema record is 1hr 20 minutes but we're very proud that he only lasted 5 minutes of the Clifford the Big Red Dog movie. Which is indeed a Big Red Dog of a film.

creative-type dad said...

(un)relaxeddad - I saw that knit phone. I bet the battery life on that one it pretty good.