But add a clingy toddler, fighting siblings, a little general screaming chaos into the mix and things get a lot more complicated. It is hard when you are trapped on the couch under a nursing baby. It is hard when you smell the cast iron skillet scorching because you left it for the more immediate cries of pain from another room.
I try to remind myself to love it, because when they are off at college or moms themselves and I'm staring at the phone, trying to decide if they'll be excited to pick up or roll their eyes, I'll miss it.
One of the things I know I'll miss but that exhausts me right now is "And then what happened?"
In my mind, watching a movie with my family will look like this:
Cuddling on the couch,
Popcorn in a bowl;
Heads heaped upon limbs,
A sigh breathing through my soul.
Some may sleep,
Some may cry;
Spouses glance over curls,
Exchange a squeezed thigh.
We'll all laugh,
Kids will thank you;
Kids will please.
And after movie's over we'll snuggle in peace.
The reality of watching a movie with a four year old and a two year old?
Two: I want you lap.
Four: No ME FIRST!
Mom: There's room for both of you.
Four: It's my turn to pick.
Two: It's my turn to pick.
Popcorn is out of the question because it will be found all over the house for the next month and no one will eat the dinner that is bubbling away in the crock pot, which mom will try to get the family to eat for the next four nights not-so-cleverly hidden in different presentations.
Two will run off to another room and create dreadful crashes which require investigation. Or she'll disappear and reappear naked and laughing, making mom wonder if there is a puddle somewhere and what happened to that diaper? Or worse yet, she'll silently slip away and mom will feel obligated to ensure she is still conscious.
And four. Dear, sweet, inquisitive four who has the attention span of puppy in the woods. She has been a constant stream of "And then what happened?" if you try to watch a movie with her. Sometimes even when you are not.
"And then what happened?" I don't know dear, I'm over here cooking dinner/making lunch/washing dishes.
"And then what happened?" You tell me, you were watching too?
"And then what happened?" I'm not even sure sweetheart. I've never seen this movie and I just walked in.
"And then what happened?" Really dear you have seen The Little Mermaid 1500 times. There are a multitude of context clues. She has legs, human legs! She isn't a mermaid anymore. What do you think happened?
Simply answering is a trap. Perhaps she will miss what happens while you were answering, but as soon as you finish telling her she will take a breath and ask;
"And then what happened?"