The Hobbit in 5 Installments

As you may know, the creators of the film, “The Hobbit” have decided to split the single, slim volume into multiple cinematic events. What you may not know is that it takes my family multiple sittings to finish even the first installment. Five sittings, to be exact.

The movie is about three hours long. And once you set aside the fact that the creators of the film stretched and added to the original story of the book, you’ll probably agree that it is a great film. But being as long as it is, people with small children/limited amounts of discretionary time/small bladders/etcetera find that the film is just too long to enjoy in one sitting. Fortunately, there are some great scene breaks, perfect for pausing for short periods to stopping to enjoy the next day.

This is one of the things that you need to consider when you are planning on having kids. I spoke the other day about the difficulty in planning/executing a get-together with another family, but you also need to consider how adding children will affect your consumption of media. In most cases, this means less feature-length films (at least, watching them in one sitting) and more books or short television episodes (Netflix is great while babies are nursing, as long as your baby doesn’t want to watch too). Another skill to hone when you become a parent is the ability to create mental bookmarks, so you’ll know where you left off in any kind of book/movie/episode and can pick it up again quickly.

Does is bother me to have to watch movies like this? Not really. With the Hobbit, the story is developed enough that I can pause it for hours and days without losing the thread, which cannot be said about movies that are wholly special-effects driven. Is it worth it to watch movies like this? Sure thing. Not only because it is a good movie, but because it gives┬áme an excuse to sit still and snuggle my wife. And I’ll take all the excuses that I can to do that.

I am thankful for understanding friends.

Until you’ve had children, you cannot hope to understand the amount of planning that goes into something as simple as joining friends for dinner. This past weekend, my family was invited over to my friend Bob Evenhouse’s home to share dinner and playtime for our kids.

lasagna-margherite-2Since they were hosting, my wife and I opted to bring dinner (homemade lasagna with store-bought garlic bread) and the Evenhouse clan made a delicious salad and dessert. Bob and his wife, Cindy, have two girls near the ages of our two girls, so we enjoy getting together and watching the chaos that is small children at play.

Dinner went wonderfully. Conversation went great. But then, when it was time to leave so we could all get our tots in bed, things went wonky. Now, you have to understand that we are working with our eldest, the two-year-old, on potty training. She is a pro when it comes to telling us that she has to go potty when we are out in public. For some reason, she really enjoys the sight of my wife or I kneeling in the most disgusting public restrooms available. At home, she is improving, but most of the time, we end up changing dirty diapers and pull-ups. At Bob and Cindy’s house, somewhere that was both home-like and foreign to her, our two-year-old went in her diaper, but then insisted that she go to the bathroom before we left. I mean, as we were getting our coats on to go home, that’s when she wanted to be changed.

In the background, our youngest, the cutest eight-month-old girl you’ve ever seen, is bawling her cute little head off since she has been placed in her car seat and made to wait even longer for her next feeding and chance to sleep in her crib. So DeAnne is in the bathroom with our oldest, our hosts are trying to entertain our youngest, and I am quickly packing the car with the various baby accessories and dinner equipment that we brought over.

Long story short, the exit could have gone better. But I am thankful for friends like the Evenhouses who have children of their own and understand that there are times when you cannot control the volume, smell, or appropriateness of your kids. Thanks Bob and Cindy for a great time together!