This weekend I was a bad mommy. An okay wife but a bad mommy.
This weekend was the husband's birthday. In celebration, Jacob and I got him assorted gifts that we knew he wanted (Jacob's very intuitive that way, of course), among them a pass to see a matinee performance of Iron Man on Saturday (the gifts were brought to him by the letter M and the number 30 because I'm all about the theme/narrative gifts).
So off we went to see Iron Man as a family yesterday. Now I had vague notions that I might have to leave with Jacob if he started to be disruptive, but really that was as far as my considerations about the consequences of his attendance went. Silly, silly mommy.
Things got off to a good start: I had brought him hungry so he contentedly sucked down a bottle during the early previews. But then the previews, this being an action flick, started to get more and more loud and violent and more and more frenetic (Speed Racer? I felt like I was going to have another stroke watching that one). And he started to get a little distracted. Then a lot distracted. Then sort of weirdly fixated. But, I thought, the previews are ending and he seems calm enough, and the movie stars Robert Downey Jr. for heaven's sake, so how much action can we really be talking?
And then the opening sequences involved an attack on a military caravan and torture images, so I was doing a lot of shielding of Jacob's eyes and feeling more and more uncomfortable about the whole thing.
And then Iron Man busts out of his cave prison in the prototype of his iron suit, shooting a huge machine gun on his way out. With every blast came bursts of light, as usual. And with every burst of light and sound, Jacob started laughing. Laughing. It was perfectly timed and very disturbing, so Mommy decided, too late already, it was time for us to go. I went outside and Jacob was wide awake but limply clinging to me, a sure sign of trauma. I did get him to sleep eventually and walked around outside for a while before going back in and watching the first part of Made of Honor with Patrick Dempsey, a perfectly acceptable if kind of boring but at least quiet and not violent chick-flick. Besides, by then he was asleep anyway. When he woke back up and started to get restless, we played games and chatted in the lobby until Iron Man was done. The pimply teen manager gave me an unsolicited refund because he felt sorry for me, so that was good, but all in all I just felt guilty about overstimulating my poor child and underestimating his capacity to be completely aware of what was going on around him, and not in a good way.
I mean really, laughing in time to machine gun fire? How pathetic can you get? I am such a bad mommy! But we have learned from our mistakes and will get a babysitter next time, though there won't be a next time for a while. I'm cut off, people!
PS I was really off my game today. We started watching the Kentucky Derby three minutes before it began and the husband asked me for my pick (we know nothing) so I considered the field and picked Eight Belles because she's a filly, of course! She came in second...and then was immediately euthanized after breaking both her front ankles during the cool down period. Sheesh!