We tried to see a movie last night.

Actually, we tried to see it on Friday too, but it didn’t work out. On Friday, our anniversary, we were going to go our for dinner and a movie. Tammy and Chris came over to babysit for us around 7:30, and by ten past eight, we had the boy down in his crib and on the way to slumberland. We walked to Granville Street and hopped a bus downtown to find somewhere to eat. The plan was to find something near the new theatre near Robson and Burrard. There are lots of restaurants downtown, and Robson is one of the areas of concentration. However, every place we went had substantial line ups. Estimates of how long we had to wait varied, but were typically in the neighbourhood of 30 minutes. Now, I realize that this is partly our fault — reservations would have been a good idea — but with The Boy, we planned to expect the unexpected. At any rate, we didn’t have reservations, and I absolutely (perhaps pig-headedly) refuse to wait for any substantial amount of time outside a restaurant, basically *begging* to give them money. It doesn’t seem right.

So, we wandered up and down Robson. By quarter past nine, we decided it was unlikely that we were going to eat dinner and see the movie (which started around 10:30). However, we knew that it (Pirates of the Carribean II) and Cars were playing at the Aldergrove drive-in this weekend, so we decided that we’d go to the drive in on Saturday and just have dinner on Friday. Having given up on the movie, then, we headed down to Gastown where we had an OK, if expensive, dinner at Steamworks.

So, last night, we tried to see the movie, again.

The idea was sound. Pack up The Boy and all his accoutrements, clear out the trunk to make it babyproof, grab some fast-food dinner, and hit the drive-in. The Boy could crawl around the trunk (before you get too upset, recall that we have an SUV, so the “trunk” is open to the passenger cabin) to play, and sit in his car seat to see Cars if he wished. We brought along the play-pen pad to put down in the trunk, and put a sheet over it so that when he got tired, he could sleep back there. That, at least, was the idea.

The movie started at 9:30-ish. Aidan’s typical bed time is 8-ish, so we knew we were messing with the schedule, but for the prize of being able to see a movie (or two!), we were willing to do it. We arrived as planned, with all our gear and food, around 8:45 and pulled into a spot at the already reasonably full drive-in.

We released Aidan from his car seat, put the “40” in the 60/40 seatback down, and let him go. Actually, Gwen crawled back there to keep an eye on him, and to feed him a bit more supper since he had eaten quite sparsely before we left. Aidan thought this was great fun — he got to explore around the trunk, stand up and bang on the windows, and watch all the other cars and the ton of kids that were around. It was all quite new and very exciting.

Right. So, it got dark, and the movie started. We put Aidan into his car seat, and he sat, transfixed, while we watched the traditional short film that preludes all Pixar’s movies. This one was “One Man Band”, and I’d give it about 3 stars. The short ended and the feature started, and Aidan was still watching.

Sooner or later, he lost interest in Cars, and wanted out of his car seat. I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but what followed was an exercise in frustration. I mean, Aidan has historically been difficult to get to sleep. But, we figured that it was going to be late enough that he would collapse and we could leave him sleeping blissfully in the trunk while we settled into our Hollywood-induced escapism. We figured wrong.

For the duration of Cars, he alternately cried, screamed, played with his car seat, drank from a bottle, breastfed, cried and screamed somemore, and generally fought going to sleep with every gram of his little body. Gwen spent most of the movie in the back trying to convince him that sleep was a good thing.

The movie ended around quarter to midnight, and he was still going. Not one minute of sleep; he didn’t give any ground. We made the decision then to cede the loss, and packed up and left. I made the prediction that he’d be asleep by the time we hit the highway (about a 5 minute drive) and sure enough, he was. Strapped into a moving car is sleep inducing. Being loose (or strapped) in a parked car is not.

So, we didn’t see the movie again. We’ve used up our baby-sitting card for a few weeks, and the drive-in option doesn’t seem like much of an option. I guess we’re not meant to see this movie at this point in time.

The only saving grace is that he didn’t wake up during the thunderstorm last night, and it’s ten to ten right now and he’s still not awake. If he had woken at his usual time this morning — I might have been cranky.