Forty-five minutes. Forty! Five! MINUTES!!!!
That’s how long a trip to the movies with nine month old Bean lasted. Here I go calling myself enjoying a nice day out with my mom and aunt; thinking “long as I have snacks & boobs everything will be alright.” Chileeeeeee PLEASE!! Miss Bean showed her little black butt in that theater! All I wanted to do was watch Fast 9. I spent the opening credits walking up and down the theater hall, looking over my shoulder to try to catch glimpses of the movie. I ultimately gave up on trying to soothe her and push through my sensory overload- have movies always been that loud?!- and called my grandma to come and get us. When I say I was FRUSTRATED y’all! I felt defeated and like a failure; like that mom. Y’all know, the mom who “lets” her baby cry and scream and crawl all over the place when it’s “inappropriate”. WTF even is “appropriate” public behavior?!
Seriously though, it’s my fault. I knew better than to take her to the movies and I should’ve skewed my expectations and been realistic about my child’s personality and development. I often forget that, although Bean is pretty “advanced” for her age she is still only 9 months old. I often equate her frequent displays of intelligence to actual intelligence and I really need to stop. I’m putting high expectations on this sweet, smart infant and then becoming disappointed when such expectations are not met. That’s the thing about this whole conscious/gentle/positive parenting thing; it’s always forcing me to take a deep breath and be real with myself. There’s no way I really expected my little busy bee to sit through an entire movie, in a theater, with an array of people around. Hell, she doesn’t even sit through 5 minutes worth of Youtube videos. Except, I did. I did expect her to nurse to sleep and let me enjoy the movie and that was something I needed to do for ME! I needed that reality check and that reminder that sometimes, just sometimes, I’m going to have the be The Hot Young Mom from the house. And that’s a gut punch in and of itself but it’s the truth, and it’s the raw truth, and it is MY truth; and I’m okay with that.
If motherhood in a pandemic has taught me nothing else it has taught me how to be okay with being in the house and the “oddball out”. (I’m looking at all of you who judge me for not going out, btw!) The eighteen months have reminded me how resilient I am and have given me soooo much patience! I could’ve sat in that theater and somehow forced Bean to be quiet, probably by popping her excessively or some other archaic and abusive behavior, but I didn’t. I sent a heavily frustrated voice note to my closest friends and then I smiled at my Bean and put her on the concrete and we walked and laughed until my grandma came. And we were okay! The movies will always be there for me to watch, these sweet moments with my baby girl won’t so I’m going to switch my mindset to “Fast & Favored 9” and I’ll try the movie thing again when she’s about 5… years old LMAO!