As I’ve mentioned before, Annabel has been a champ at going to the movies. She stays in her seat, happily munches on popcorn, and keeps noise to a minimum. She’s been so great, in fact, that I went ahead and made a list of all of the upcoming kid movies that we could go see on future daddy/daughter dates. I was pretty excited.

And then, uh, this weekend happened.

It all started on Sunday when I surprised Annie by telling her we were going to go to the movies. Her eyes got wide as saucers.

“Go see movie? On the biiiiiiggggggg screen?”

I nodded and she jumped up and down, cheering. Soon we were in the car where I told Annie the movie was about a fish named Nemo.

“A fishie movie?”


“And we eat popcorns?”



So far so great.

At the theater we got in line to buy tickets, and as we waited I pointed out the “Finding Nemo” poster.

“Look, Annie! That’s the movie we’re seeing!”

Annie stared at the poster, stone-faced, as I bought the tickets. We then went inside, acquired our “popcorns,” and strolled toward the theater. Suddenly, Annie freaked out and sprinted in the opposite direction.


After getting over my initial “What the…?” reaction, I caught up to Annie here:

Freedom lies beyond this glass…

“Outside?” she begged. “Outside?”

“What about the movie?”


I was very confused. What happened to my happy little movie goer? I decided to wait for her to calm down, but when she did and I tried to lead her back to the theater, she lost it again.


It was pretty clear this wasn’t going to work, so I took Annie outside and went to the ticket window. They made me fill out a form to get my money back, and under the question, “Reason For Leaving,” I wrote: “Child lost mind.”

Instead of ending our daddy/daughter date on such a bum note though, I decided to take her to get ice cream next door. Annie approved.

Happy Kid, Happy Dad

I, meanwhile, was left to chomp on this gigantic bag of popcorn.

I have three payments left.

Upon finishing we returned to the car where Annie burst into tears as I strapped her into her car seat.

“What’s wrong?”

“Wanna see movie!”

“Too late, sweetie,” I said before closing the door.

I felt bad as I drove home, and only felt worse when I looked into the rear view mirror and saw her sniffling all sad and pathetic.

“Wanna see fishie movie,” she said quietly. “On the biiiiiiiiigggg screen.”

At that point I happened to be passing our town’s OTHER movie theater, so I pulled in and checked the screening times. Sure enough, “Nemo” started in five minutes. I deliberated, then, against my best instincts, said, “You really want to see the movie?”

Annie stopped crying and nodded, excited. We went inside, got our tickets, then made our way to the theater when:


I groaned, then picked Annie up and slumped over to the counter to get my money back. This time, under “Reason for Leaving,” I wrote: “Because I am a moron.”

Annie immediately fell asleep upon getting home (I think she was traumatized by the whole thing), but later I asked her, “‘Remember when we tried to go to the movies?”


“Did you not want to see the fishie movie?”

Annie shook her head.

“You wanted to see the fishie movie?”

Annie nodded.

“Then why did you cry?”

Annie leaned toward me carefully and whispered, “Shark scary.”

And then I remembered the poster I pointed out to her:

That is a pretty freaking scary shark. Whoops.