No-one puts baby in the corner
I remember seeing ‘Watch With Baby’ at the cinema advertised a while back and thinking to myself how great it must be being a mum; just spending your days doing lovely, fun things whilst being off work and having all the free time in the world. Since having the brutal reality check of my own baby, I now realise that the beauty of ‘Watch With Baby’ is, in fact, simply an opportunity to sit in a darkened room for a couple of hours. I’m realising rapidly that, for the most part, motherhood means putting yourself close to the bottom of the priority list in order to get through the day, so there is sweet relief to be found in doing something for a short period that is primarily for your own enjoyment. Depressing (and yes, fulfilling) but true.
A few weeks ago, a friend invited me along to one of these screenings for the first time. I was slightly nervous, to say the least; my main fear being that the little lady would bellow insatiably throughout and make it an altogether horrendous experience for every other mother in the room. I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it’s not quite the same as going to the pictures with friends or a hot date, but with the lights out everything just seems a little calmer. No one in the queue seems aware of which film they are about to see because no one cares. It’s not about that. It’s about having a coffee and a seat for two whole consecutive hours. Look around the room and there are at least one or two mums unashamedly taking the opportunity for a nap. Probably the best £6 they’ve spent all week.
The babies don’t seem to be particularly phased by it either – they snooze or gawp at the screen which to them is just a huge, bright and wonderful light. There’s nothing like a booming orchestral soundtrack or fifty foot image of Keira Knightley’s face to shut them up for an hour or so. I guess there’s always a baby crying somewhere in the room so you don’t feel bothered if it’s yours and the noise seems to gradually become less and less significant until you don’t notice the wails at all. Try not to feel alarmed, it’s not quite as neglectful as it sounds. As someone with a baby who seems to be appalled, if not horrified, at the thought of their selfish mother actually requiring to take a seat for more than 15 seconds at a time between energentic sessions of bouncing/pacing the room, it really was a surprisingly peaceful experience. Ask me anything about the film I saw and I might struggle to give you an accurate answer, but I let it all wash happily over me and left feeling refreshed and ready to fight the afternoon.
Job’s a good’un. Sign me up on a weekly basis.
Most large cinema chains offer ‘Watch With Baby’ screenings so check out your local. In Glasgow, the Grosvenor Cinema on Ashton Lane in the west end has Watch With Baby on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30am for £6 entry which includes a free hot drink (which is well deserved for even making it out of the house unscathed by 10.30).