Who knew that “Sofia the First” would be our first? Ah. Our first movie. On behalf of the Academy of New-Moms Everywhere (totally made that up), I’d like to thank the fabulous Disney Junior.
Not only have they hit it out of the park with their adorable new animated musical tale “Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess” (premiering on Disney Channel Sunday, November 18 at 7pm… watch it!), they inspired me to majorly mom-up by giving my own little toddler LadyP and I tickets to the movie’s premiere event and storybook launch last weekend. Upon getting the invitation, the entertainment reporter in me was elated… but the new-mom in me was hesitant about taking my newly-minted 2-year old to her very first movie (ever!) among the movie’s stars and executives. Would she sit in her chair for a whole hour? Would she jibber-jabber through the whole thing? Would she throw a fit if I didn’t let her have the popcorn they’d be serving (I may put up a fab front, but I’m a big chicken about choking hazards without my husband around). I took my chances. We went. I’m a sucker for a movie premiere.
And just as Princess Sofia receives ‘royal training’ in the movie, I gave my own little princess a bit of ‘movie training’ beforehand. You know me: I’m a longtime advocate of brainwashing. So here are my top 3 quick tips for successfully taking a 2-year old to the movies… with the stars… and the executives… and some of your old television colleagues… and coming out happy and unembarrassed:
DRESS UP. We like to dress up around here anyways, but I find more and more that if LadyP is in a dress, she somehow gets that we’re going somewhere out of the ordinary and at least modifies her behavior a bit. Maybe it’s her dress, or maybe it’s me telling her over and over again in the car (all the way to the theater) how “very special” movies are, how everyone is “quiet” when you watch a movie and how if we don’t act like a quiet little lady the movie theater people will “kick us out and never let us back in… ever.”
TAKE CHEERIOS THAT FIT IN THE CHAIRS’ CUP HOLDERS. This technique offsets the need and whining for the popcorn container that fits in the chairs’ cupholders. I also made sure that LadyP was good and full of food before we went. Funny thing about toddlers (I’m discovering): If they’re not truly hungry, they won’t eat.
PLAY WITH THE BIG RED CHAIRS BEFORE THE MOVIE STARTS. Sit in them, feel how soft they are, move the seat up and down… whatever floats your boat. This was by far the coolest new activity ever, and actually entertained her for the seemingly-endless 15 minutes we waited before Princess Sofia decided to actually show up on the big screen.
And just for good measure, we talked about the movie afterwards. I went first: I told her how much I loved the storyline, how impressed I was with how nice and sweet Sofia was, how I thought it was the most perfect little movie for 2-5 year old little girls (it was only an hour long! brilliant), how beautifully-uplifting the music was (not to mention endearing and catchy – shout to the composing team on this one!), how clever I thought it was for (spoiler alert!) Cinderella to have a cameo, and how I’d love to watch Princess Sofia again and again (really). I have a feeling I will. As for LadyP, here’s what she had to say… lookout Leonard Maltin. WATCH:
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR TAKING TODDLERS TO THE MOVIES?