I am proud to say that I have mastered the art of bringing kids
to the movies. While some moms take their children to things like
the arboretum and the zoo, I prefer my wee lads properly restrained
and rendered motionless. Being securely wedged between crowded
aisle seats is right up my alley.
The second bit of knowledge I have acquired over the years is
how to correctly order cinema snacks. You go for the
motherload: the huge vat of popcorn and accompanying barrel
of pop. You then ask for the courtesy bags and cups. Each child
receives his own unblemished bag of vittles and fighting is kept to
Confident in my motion picture child-trekking abilities, I
packed up five boys this past weekend to go see the new movie,
"Free Birds." The story involves two turkeys traveling through time
courtesy of a giant egg named "Steve." Their purpose? Redefining
the traditional Thanksgiving menu so as not to include our fine
It wasn't so long ago that I considered kiddie movies juvenile
and simple. Yet my decade-long adventure into motherhood has
changed all that. Jokes are often written solely for the parents,
and "Free Birds" is no exception. There are bows to "Braveheart,"
"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," and "Back to the Future." While no
kiddie flick will ever be "Citizen Kane," not wanting to tear my
hair out while some dumb-ass princess twirls around lamenting her
lost love is a big bonus. "Free Birds" has humor, adventure, and
not a single maiden in distress.
Thanks to the
Free Birds people for the great movie poster and hats! Not that
I've completely forgiven you guys for sending two hats when I have
three kids. Hell hath no fury like the child shorted free turkey
I don't want to spoil the ending, but there also is a Chuck E.
Cheese tie-in to the movie. Besides a theatre, Chuck E. Cheese is
the only other place I would also invite extra kids. The hand stamp
they press on you as you walk in ensures no escapees. Plus, who
doesn't love a good game of Street Hoops? I am the reigning
champion of Street Hoops, by the way. You can add that to my
gravestone. And if you visit Chuck E. Cheese this month, you'll
find a host of "Free Bird" goodies available there as well.
So if you're looking to get into the Thanksgiving spirit this
weekend, wrestle up some kids and enjoy "Free Birds." You'll
totally be off the hook for taking them to any overcrowded and
sensory-depleting holiday parade. Talk about the increased
likelihood of losing children. There are NO HAND STAMPS at
As a matter of full disclosure, I once worked for Chuck E.
Cheese where I regularly knocked over pitchers of pop with my
humongous Helen-the-Hen costumed boobs. It was ugly. There are
probably some folks out there still emotionally scarred. Sorry
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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