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Published March 01, 2011, 01:47 AM

Family trip to the moving picture show

TOWNER, N.D. — I think I could count on one hand the number of times we’ve taken our kids to the movie theater to see something up on the big screen. That’s how we keep things special. Severe limitation.

By: Ryan Taylor, Special to Agweek

TOWNER, N.D. — I think I could count on one hand the number of times we’ve taken our kids to the movie theater to see something up on the big screen. That’s how we keep things special. Severe limitation.

However few their movie outings have been, it’s probably more than my wife and I have gone on alone since we started raising a family. We’re lucky if we have the time to sit down and watch one on the television or on a DVD these days. I guess that’s why you’re supposed to do those kinds of things in courtship, because you won’t get to do them later.

Last week, we took the whole doggone family to the cinema. Even baby girl was invited along for her very first movie at the ripe old age of 2½.

The movie was animated, of course, and so was the level of excitement among the short people in our entourage. The movie was only 2-D so we didn’t need to buy the special glasses, but our family was full on 3-D and pretty excited as we entered the theater.

Calling in reinforcements

My brother came along so we’d have a one-on-one ratio with the kids in case they didn’t mind their manners. It was matinee time. Baby sister got in free, but I still plunked down $34 for the rest of us. My brother assured me that was a bargain compared with big-city California. Guess that makes me glad to be small-town North Dakota.

I bought a bushel of popcorn and a barrel of pop at the extortion snack counter for us all to share. Another $15, but they assured me I’d get free refills. We ate the corn like a pen of feeder steers and drank pop like we’d been trekking the Mojave Desert just so I could exercise the free-refill clause of our refreshments contract.

Like I said, we don’t go to a lot of movies, and when we do, we wait longer than most folks before we break down and finally go.

It soon was obvious we had waited long enough to see this one, “Tangled,” Disney’s take on the old fairy tale of Rapunzel, her tower and her hair-climbing hero. We walked into the theater just as it began, and, to our surprise and relief, we had the whole place to ourselves.

Now we could stretch out and give the tykes some free rein on our cinematic adventure. We had our pick of the seats, extra chairs to throw our coats on and didn’t have to worry about giving our kids the Shhh! for bothering any fellow movie-goers.

Of course, once the popcorn and pop made its way around and the movie started, you hardly heard a peep from them as they stared with wide-eyed amazement at the big screen of Disneyfied musical characters.

Even the adults enjoyed the movie. It was a cute show, but I got just as much entertainment looking over at the little popcorn munchers sitting on the edge of their seat, giggling and providing some 6-, 4- and 2-year-old commentary on the hairy plot as it unwound.

Of course, it had a happy ending. And after sharing the 55-gallon drum of pop amongst us, we were all happy when the credits started rolling and we made a dash for the restroom.

We may not wait quite so long to see our next movie — or to head to the restroom.

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