Before we became parents, my husband and I spent most Saturday evenings cuddled up in a movie theater enjoying the newest release.
As each of our three children was born, our movie dates became less frequent. Thanks to cable and our DVR, we can still count on a movie to take us out of our parenting roles, if only for a few hours.
Whether it be a drama, comedy, action flick, current picture, or classic, movies have always provided us with something to talk about in our 24 years of marriage, 18 of them as parents.
Recently some of our friends and family have joined the parenting ranks and have welcomed their first babies into the world. This has opened up a floodgate of memories for Joe and me. We cracked ourselves up as we came up with movie titles that recall the early years of parenting.
The Longest Day best describes the 23 hours of labor I endured waiting for our first child, Tom, to make his way into the world
Three hours into it, all I wanted to do was crawl into a cocoon at home with my husband, count my contractions, and think about the baby that was only hours away.
Nine hours of hard labor later had me telling Joe just what I thought he could do with the tennis balls that we bought at the suggestion of our labor coach.
After I had been in labor for 20 hours, I finally decided I had enough of this nonsense and told Joe we should just forget about it for today and go home. At that point I was so crazy with pain and fatigue that going home really seemed like a plausible idea.
Then they handed us a gorgeous bundle and expected us to leave the hospital with him a few days later.
High Anxiety sums up our first year as parents dealing with breast feeding, sleepless nights, teething, and two trips to the emergency room before our son had his first birthday.
It also perfectly describes one beautiful July day when Tom was about six months old.
Joe decided to play the fly-to-mommy game. To this day I can still hear the sound of my precious son’s head hitting the ceiling fan that before that fateful day seemed like such a good idea to have in his nursery.
“Kathy look at the baby’s head.”
I screamed, “Joe, I’m not looking if he has no head left.”
Yes. High Anxiety nails that whole year. Heck, I will even include his first three years since we had two ER visits and discovered his serious allergy to peanuts. A month after Tom turned three, we welcomed our daughter, Lizzy, into our family.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind encompasses not only the first few diapers we ever changed, but it best describes the diaper I changed a few hours after I gave Tom Blues Clues applesauce when he was 18 months old.
There should be a warning about what blue food coloring will do to a baby’s digestion. I honestly would have been less scared if aliens had landed in my backyard.
The Year of Living Dangerously: Two words, Potty Training.
Mission Impossible: Getting a curious, excited toddler to go to bed once they have graduated from the crib to a “big boy bed.”
Mission Impossible 2: Waking up that same child once he becomes a teenager.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: Considering that our youngest child is 12, we are still in the throes of Joe and Kathy’s Excellent Adventure. Thankfully we are out of the The Land of the Lost of the baby years, but we are far from The End. Honestly if we can get out of the teen years without flying over the cuckoo’s nest, I will consider our little production a success.
This piece was first published on the Dishwasher on July 6, 2014, under the title Mom and Dad Go to the Movies. It has been slightly edited.