Eddie is six weeks old today, so as a special treat (well, really a treat for Mummy) we went to our local cinema which was screening The Help as part of their 'Box Office Babies' season.
This ingenious arrangements means that you can bring your baby along to the cinema for a day-time film for not very much money, safe in the knowledge that you can all scream along to the soundtrack together and nobody will mind very much.
I was a little bit late and was ushered in to the darkened studio just as the film was beginning. About fifteen other mums were already settled with their babies, strategically positioned around the room. Etiquette seeemed to demand at least eight spaces between each new mum, so I duly joined the fray. A constant background baby gurgle reached a cacophany of newborn cries at times, (usually at quiet and crucial moments of the film) but babies could be quickly settled by a discreet breastfeed or bottle. There was also constant movement...patting, soothing, sucking, standing and swaying in the aisles, even some singing as we all attempted to keep our babies under some degree of control. And then there was the changing bag relay. It seemed as though somebody was away from the film changing their babies at all times. And we gravitated towards the door towards the end of the film, as babies became increasingly fractious after two hours and twenty six minutes of being 'shushed'.
Two hours and twenty six minutes is significant, because I had only fed the carpark machine enough to cover two hours, but was having such a jolly old time watching the film (and the surreal sight of all these other mums) that I forgot to keep an eye on the time and came back to a parking ticket courtesy of Horsham District Council. So my treat for 'not very much money' suddenly turned in to a horribly expensive morning.
Still, the film was magnificent and the company hilarious. Quite the thing for a wet and windy Tuesday morning of maternity leave. I thoroughly recommend it, assuming that you choose your parking arrangements carefully.