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Going to the cinema sounds like a relaxing plan for a rainy Monday late afternoon when you are trying to balance work and having fun with the kids and turning your schedule inside out. That means lunch breaks can come at any time between, say, three and six in the afternoon and the working day can go on till around 2am and begin again just a few hours later. Anything is possible for a short period and in order to carve out more time with the kids in the absence of any feasible holiday scheme that caters for all ages, doesn’t cost a bomb and covers the core work hours. Oh, and that they actually want to go to.
You can take it from this that my mum – my back-up childcare plan and my back-up back-up childcare plan – has had the temerity to go on holiday. Someone said to me the other day that their mum had told them: “I’ve brought you up. I’m not bringing up your kids” and refused to do any childcare. I have told my kids that I am on hand, if still alive, to do childcare as and when they need it if the current situation does not improve. I would like to give a rousing cheer to all those grandparents out there who are doing a sterling job this summer, including my own mum, who has put in solid hours in the early stages of the holidays. We salute you.
Anyway, we decided to go to see something called Inside Out on Monday. Daughter three had investigated it in great detail and shown me the trailer which looked kind of fun for a cartoon. I am not a big fan of the cartoon genre so I have made great efforts over time to get my kids to like films like ET and musicals. Lots of musicals. But not Frozen. Oh no.
We went to Sainsbury’s to stock up on provisions first, but the queue to check out was immense and we were, inevitably, running late. We decided to abandon all caution and go for self-checking out. Only son was bouncing precariously near the bagging area, looking very much like an unidentified object. It came to weighing the sweets. “There’s no button here for sweets,” said daughter two. We searched under confectionary and all sorts, but nothing. We tried to create a bagging incident to attract the Sainsbury’s man’s attention, but he was preoccupied with about four other people who had encountered unidentified items in the bagging area. Eventually he came and also could not find where to weigh the sweets. “There used to be a button,” he said and signalled that we would have to queue for a till. It was very late by this time so we abandoned the sweets and headed to the cinema.
Everyone was very excited, but slightly worried about the lack of sweets even though we had popcorn. I said we could possibly get a few sweets in the cinema at twice the price. People starting picking up scoops and getting slightly overenthusiastic about small blue balls and something called bubblegum cola bottles. Everyone had a different favourite sweet, but we managed to keep it down to around quarter of a bag or less.
Daughter three got only son a booster seat. He sunk back in it and took his shoes off. Why? Half the sweets had gone before the film started, Only son was on a sugar high. It was not looking promising. Inside Out is a Pixar film about how you react to emotions. It wasn’t too bad and there were some funny moments, but I fear only son was not really following the plot at all. “It’s a bit long. I’m bored,” he said after the first half hour and started jigging up and down and noisily opening the popcorn. Fortunately, there was quite a lot of popcorn so he managed to entertain himself for the next 40 minutes or so by just eating. He thought the islands of personality traits [I think] – family, friends, hockey and something called goofiness, all very Disney, especially being Goofy – which fell into a pit were good. He was slightly interested in the imaginary friend in Imagination Land, but the bit about core memories left him cold. He’s too busy forming his own and quite a few of them will feature popcorn and bubblegum cola bottles.
We emerged at the end, perhaps not very enlightened about memory and emotions except that we all liked sadness the best which was possibly not the message the film was seeking.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk. Picture credit: “Kettle Corn” by msgohan – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.