Brad and I took Aiden and his friend, Bradley, to see "How to Train Your Dragon" in 3D this morning. What a cute movie! Although there were a few moments when the kiddos had to take their glasses off for a "reality check" (the movie had a couple of intense scenes), it was one of the better kids' movies I've seen in a while. It even brought tears to my eyes a couple of times, the overly-sentimental empath that I am.
Brad and I really enjoyed watching it--and watching the boys watch it. Their faces filled with amazement, the fits of giggles, and catching them leaning forward, their hands frozen mid-air and full of popcorn on the way to their open little mouths but completely forgotten in the moment--these made dropping the serious bucks for this film more than worth it.
After the movie, we took the two hyped-up boys to Brooklyn's for pizza. They refused to remove their 3D glasses the rest of the afternoon--they kept thinking they would make everything look different, and wouldn't believe Brad or I when we told them they didn't work outside of the theater. Walking to the restaurant, Bradley and Aiden each held one of my hands--and I think "big" Brad was a little jealous of my handsome dates. I told the boys that I was the luckiest girl in the universe to be on a date with the three best-looking guys on the planet--and the boys proceeded to make vomiting and gagging noises the rest of the way to the restaurant. The pizza was fabulous, the boys slathering their slices in ranch dressing and "snowy cheese." The owner came over and gave the boys quarters to use in the candy/toy machines they have lined up in the back of the store--but they could only have them if they ate their pizza. I've never seen 2 boys eat so quickly! If only I had discovered the secret to getting Aiden to eat a full meal sooner! I need to start stocking up on quarters....
Wouldn't you know it, there was a carnival in the parking lot of the shopping center today, so after some sweet talking, Brad and I caved and told the boys they could each pick one ride for the two of them to go on. We walked over to purchase tickets at the booth, and we're flabbergasted by the prices--$1 a ticket, and every ride is 3 or 4 tickets! OUCH! Prices have definitely gone up since my parking-lot-carnival days! So, 20 bucks later, we headed to find our rides. Aiden picked the roller coaster, and wouldn't you know it, a parent had to ride, too. (Cha-ching!) Bradley refused to ride, though, so Aiden and I jumped into the first car. The coaster was the most rickety, awful thing I have ever ridden in my life. Aiden was scared, and I'm sitting there yelling "Whee! This is fun! Nothing to be afraid of!" with a big, fake smile plastered on my face, while praying to the Lord above just to get us off the death trap we were rattling around on. I'm a dare-devil and normally love roller coasters, never met one I didn't like, but this felt like it was held together by duct tape, wire ties, and a prayer.
After surviving the tin can death trap, we headed over to ride Bradley's pick, the mini-four-wheelers that go around in a circle. Wise boy, this one held no promise of an early demise. Aiden and Bradley had a great time, honking the horns on the four-wheelers and riding with their hands in the air. They had so much fun, they decided to ride this one again. We had 4 tickets left, so we headed off to search for the ride that took 2 tickets per person. We searched. And looked. Every ride we looked at took 3 or 4 tickets though, despite the sign at the ticket booth that said "All rides take 2, 3 or 4 tickets." Finally, tired of searching, I went to the ticket booth to ask them which rides took 2 tickets, "Oh, none--we didn't bring those rides with us this trip." Can you say rip-off?? So, since Aiden had gotten to ride solo on the roller coaster, we told Bradley he could pick one last ride to go on. He picked a monster truck ride, while Aiden threw a giant tantrum since he didn't get to ride. It was an awful moment, but such a good learning opportunity for Aiden, and I'm glad it worked out the way it did.
About that time, we got a call from Bradley's parents, who were watching Aubrey, that she was headed for a meltdown, since it was nap time, so we loaded up and headed home. It was a great morning with the boys. I love seeing Aiden develop "big kid" friendships. At one point, I looked over at Aiden and Bradley, who were sitting a few seats down from us at the theater, and I realized just how big my little guy had gotten. I hate to say it, but I actually got a little misty-eyed. There he was, laughing and having a grand ol' time with his best buddy, and didn't really need me so much. That changed, of course, during the first scary scene of the movie, but it was still pretty cool to see my big five-year-old boy having a great time.