Children Under Three Not Admitted!

iStock_000000250295XSmall.jpgI have to come clean about something on the Role Mommy front. Now that I am a mom with kids who are well behaved at restaurants, movies and libraries, I have to say that parents with little ones who erupt in places they shouldn’t be in the first place, really irk me.
Case in point: This afternoon, my husband and I took our nine year old son to see Kung Fu Panda 2, which incidentally, is just as funny as the first film and features even more enjoyable characters this time around. We’ll share our review in a separate post, but for now, let’s focus on the topic at hand – bringing toddlers and babies into an environment where they just don’t belong.
While laughing out loud during the film, we started to hear some whining noises coming from the front of the theater. As we tried to pay attention to Po and Master Shifu, the whining began to turn into full fledged crying. Now if this were a four or five year old who was acting out during the film, I totally would have given the parent a pass. But this minor, who was throwing a tantrum during one of the funniest animated films of the summer, had to have been under two years old. In fact, I’d be surprised if she was more than a year.
Now parents, I know you want to keep your older kids entertained, but bringing a baby into a movie theater when you know full well they are like ticking time bombs who can explode at a moment’s notice? I’ve even seen adults bring their toddlers along to late night movies – figuring they’d fall asleep while their mom and dad caught the latest R rated action film to hit theaters. Big mistake.
Here’s the deal parents of babies and toddlers: If you can’t get someone to watch your child while you take their brother or sister to see an animated film, then wait until it comes out on DVD or order it on pay per view. Trust me, when they finally do reach the age where they can sit still in a movie theater, you too will be annoyed like everyone else when you see a parent bring a baby into the movie that you paid good money to watch without any interruptions from the audience.
Personally, I feel that movie theaters should not allow parents to bring children under the age of three years old into a film even if it’s rated G. Movies cost a boat load of money and when you bring your little one into a theater and they spontaneously combust, you’ve just ruined the experience not only for yourself, but everyone else. In fact, we were tempted to hunt that woman with the baby down and ask her to give us our money back. By the time the film had ended, she was nowhere to be found.
As for restaurants my advice is simple – stay away from romantic restaurants until your child is at an age where they won’t throw their food or scream every time you attempt to have a conversation with your spouse. Better yet, find a sitter and go out without them. They’ll be happy because they’re not confined to a high chair and you’ll be psyched because you’ll actually have some time to yourselves. If you can’t find someone to watch your child, then head to a kid friendly restaurant with decent food (our personal fave is California Pizza Kitchen), give them crayons and a placemat and have them go to town.
Trust me, the movie and restaurant experience gets better as your kids get older. The only thing that gets worse is having to decide whether a film is appropriate for your child – but that’s a can of worms we’ll tackle another day.
Now it’s your turn. Do you mind when people bring babies into movie theaters or quiet restaurants?

Fun Games to Keep Your Kids Occupied on Rainy Days

iStock_000016016075XSmall.jpgConnect with Your Teens editor Jennifer Wagner offers some great options for your kids when rainy summer days keep them inside…
Ages 5-7 and up
Zhu Zhu Princess: Carriages and Castles
– A new game in the Zhu Zhu line in which players help Princess Snowcup find Prince Dashington’s castle. All the other hamster friends, such as Patches and NumNums, are along for the ride.
Mario Kart, Wii – Great racing fun for the entire family, up to 12 players can play together online. Now here’s the best part if you haven’t yet invested in a Wii…buy a Wii gaming system for $149 and it comes complete with this game and a Wii steering wheel!
Strange and Wonderful World of Ants, iPad app – Quirky science app with an adjustable reading level making it usable to a wide range of kids. Great illustrations.
Math Bingo, iPhone and iPad app – Ranked as one of the top educational apps for elementary school age kids.
Ages 8 and up
Plants Vs. Zombies
– Windows, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, DS, iPhone, iPad, Android, Web – Fun comic graphics in which players protect their homes from zombies using various types of plants. Winner of numerous awards. Loved by all ages.
Cut the Rope, iPhone and iPad app – 8 Fun strategy game from the makers of Angry Birds. This game also involves physics.
Pokemon Black Version and Pokemon White Version, DS and DSi – Interesting plot involving animal liberation, fun and easy to play, online component.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
 – Fast paced adventure game with classic Nintendo characters. Two players can enjoy it together in cooperative mode. Great family game.

Related links:
Wii Summer Games Review

Wii Summer Games Review

Connect with Your Teens editor Jennifer Wagner visited Nintendo and got the inside scoop on the games coming your way this season…
I recently had the opportunity to attend a fun event at the NYC offices of Nintendo where I met many Nintendo employees, enjoyed great food and drinks and tried out two new Nintendo games that are brand new this summer.
Wii Play: Motion and Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident are both fun games for all ages and the guests were lining up to play them.

Wii-Play-Motion-1.jpgWii Play: Motion introduces 12 unique minigames that use motion-control. The games can each be played alone or with up to 4 players. A Wii Remote Plus controller comes in each box.

The children at the event loved adding scoops to ice cream cones in the Cone Zone minigame.
Some of the other fun games that I tried or viewed were Flutter Fly, in which you must guide balloons through an obstacle course, Grappling Ghosts, where you find and catch ghosts and Wind Runner in which you use the controller like an umbrella and ride the wind through a race course.

malgraveisland.PNGIf you enjoy finding hidden objects then you will love Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident. Players act as detectives and hunt for hidden objects and solve puzzles on Malgrave Island. You can play alone or up to four people can play together.

This is the first time that a Mystery Case Files game has been made for the Wii. I love the film Noir look of the game, which is like an old-time mystery.
mysterycasefiles1.jpgWith multi-layered hidden objects and brain-teasing obstacles, Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident can keep the whole family involved and having fun for hours. There is even an interesting and mysterious storyline to add to the excitement of the game.

If you were worried that Nintendo was going to focus all of its efforts on the 3DS this summer, then you can stop worrying. With games like Will Play: Motion and Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident, your kids and your entire family can have a great time on the Will all summer long.
To check out all these titles and order them today, visit the Nintendo store today. And if you haven’t bought a Wii gaming system for your family, what are you waiting for? The price has been drastically reduced to $149 and it even includes Mario Kart Wii (which we love) and a Wii Wheel!
Related Links:
How to Keep Your Kids Occupied on Rainy Summer Days