Heading back from a friends house last week, we spotted another friend coming out of our local pub, and stopped to say hello..
The evening was gorgeous and balmy.. She invited us in… sipping cocktails al fresco on a warm Summer evening looked really appealing.. for about a second, before remembering that a) I might sleep through Baby Gray’s feeds b) you have no idea what kind of day babies will have – hangovers, even by accident, are not an option.
‘That’ll be us in a few years time..’ offered Mr G.
‘A few years?’ (I actually laughed out loud) ‘Erm no, it won’t be that long and could be us now if I give her a bottle and a baby sitter, but I don’t want to just yet..’
Out of all the things I’ve missed over the last six week, going for drinks is definitely not one of them. Once I knew I was pregnant, I probably drank the equivalent of two small glasses of wine, over the 9 months. Eating out, getting out lots and seeing friends; we’ve continued to do so I don’t even miss that- but the one thing that has sparked a real interest, and that caused me to twitch a little with envy, was seeing the Jurassic World trailer on TV a few weeks ago, knowing I would probably have to wait for the DVD or for the film to become available on itunes.
I LOVE the Jurassic Park franchise, for me it’s filled with nostalgia. I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait very long to see it, and had already seen the various dinosaur exhibitions around Waterloo, in celebration of it’s release.
I watched the last Twilight movie in the cinema, reeling as a pair of ‘irresponsible’ parents took their newborn to watch a late night showing of the film, forgetting that the volume alone was enough to scare the little one. My complaint+five free cinema tickets later = that experience was forgotten; but I’ll never forget the verbal abuse thrown between team ‘Eff off it’s a free world, we’ll bring our baby if we want to’ and team ‘I didn’t pay good money (extortionate money really) to watch a film with your rotten baby crying..’ : at one point the group I was with were all watching the fight and not the film..
Even though prices are ridiculous, and the snacks have some of the biggest mark ups in product history, I still love the whole cinematic experience, but was over the moon to find out yesterday that just because I have a baby, my love affair with the big screen doesn’t have to end.
After seeing the Jurassic world trailer, I thought it might be worth seeing if there was a super early or late showing; I always preferred time when the theatre tends to be quiet and thought maybe just maybe I could manage a viewing between feeds/naps, but after randomly checking the ‘Special screenings’ section I discovered Odeon Newbies.
Result! Baby friendly screening specifically for under two’s – complete with slightly brighter lighting, and softer volume, for delicate eardrums. So we trotted off to the viewing not knowing what to expect, but left more than pleasantly surprised! Another world I had no idea existed!
You need to check each week to see what films are showing; my local Odeon is open to suggestions (though limited by the BBFC to 12A ratings) and after chatting to staff found out that they regularly get feedback from the mums who attend, to make sure it really is providing a service that really does work for mums.
Firstly the price per adult is slighter cheaper than a normal ticket (£9 – Under 2’s are free), with plans across some Odeons to reduce the price further, secondly the screening was busier than I expected, obviously it probably changes week to week and depends on the films, but about 20 mums and babes were there; no seat allocations meant you could sit wherever you want, though I noticed the breast feeders sat nearer the back, where they weren’t part of the show and could feed discreetly. Though dads are welcome too, one poor guy guy, a lone cinema goer, discovered pretty quickly he was in the wrong screening when he was greeted with a flurry of mums, muslins and mammaries!
There were babies of all ages, and far from the screaming mess I thought it might be, the atmosphere was the perfect, non judgmental, calming setting to watch a film with your bundle of joy! The lighting is not so bright as to detract from the experience, more like a very soft night light, and the volume was more than audible. Yes there was the odd cry, but they were always pacified quickly, mostly the odd gurgle or coo- and plenty of moments of silence. Best of all, there were no death stares, no tuts or shaking of heads. I believe knowing your baby could be next to kick up a fuss at anytime, left you slow to cast the first stone. Baby Gray (proud mum smile) was as good as gold.. she fed, she ‘watched’ about 10 mins of the film, watched me eating pop corn mixed with m&m’s (hello mum tum) and the slept on my lap or in her chair for the duration. I didn’t feel like she distracted me from the film, with one of her aunties in tow, it felt like a girls day out, so whilst she is young and still easy to pacify, I fully intend to make this more of a regular outing.