I Didn't Buy A Ticket To An R-Rated Movie So I Could Entertain Your Toddler

Baby-sitters must be hard to come by these days. That’s the only possible explanation for why Kelly found herself entertaining the small child next to her during a showing of the R-rated movie “Ted.” The encounter raised all kinds of questions. For example: why was this child sitting in a stroller that was positioned to block Kelly’s seat? Why didn’t Regal Cinemas staff do anything about the stroller? Why didn’t the child’s mother notice or care that the kid was yapping to Kelly? Then, of course, there’s the key question on which this entire problem hinges: why bring a toddler with you to an R-rated movie?

Kelly explains the whole wacky tale.

My brother and I went to see the movie Ted in [redacted], NY a couple of weeks ago, the late showing that started around 10pm. We walk into the theater just as the previews were about to start, look around and don’t see two seats together except in the middle of the 3rd row, next to a woman that had hauled a stroller in with her. We walk down and go to the seats and the seat that the stroller was blocking had a 3 or 4 year old kid sitting in it. First I’m thinking what the hell, what is this woman thinking hauling her kids to this R rated movie? Then for the next 20 minutes the toddler proceeded to talk to me, tap me on the arm, point to the screen, ask me to hold his popcorn, tap me on the arm some more. I’m sitting here in disbelief of this mother, who looked to be about 18 years old and is oblivious to the entire episode. Plus I’m doing a slow burn because the damn stroller is partially blocking my seat too.

Then her boyfriend/husband appears out of nowhere and sits next to her, she gets up and leaves. Toddler continues to talk to me and now I’m trying to act like his mother and quiet him down, reassure him that she will be back in a minute and so on. I look at the boyfriend – he’s sleeping. Mother comes back about 20 minutes later and now we’re about halfway through the movie. Kid is still jibber jabbering and apparently no one gives a flip about it. Suddenly mother stands up, starts to move the stroller, looks at me and says, “We’re leaving, I need to get by you”…right during one of the more important scenes of the movie, the scene where the plot changes. At this point I want to smack this woman and her boyfriend upside the heads as she drags the crew out, making 8 of us vacate our seats so they can leave.

Now I know that no one forced us to sit next to this couple but there weren’t 2 seats together anywhere, just single seats. I suppose we should have gotten one of the employees to either have people shove in the row and sit next to each other so we could sit together or sit in separate seats. My brother was ticked off enough to call the movie theater the next day and leave a couple of messages about the episode.

I know we have no recourse at this point but no one from the theater called my brother back to discuss the details. You would think they would want to instruct their employees on how to manage this type of situation. Shouldn’t Regal employees help people to seats when the theater is mostly full by asking other people to move in? Shouldn’t the employees not let someone drag a stroller to the middle of a row, in essence blocking two additional seats? I’ve sent an email to their corporate offices but have not gotten a response back yet.

Come on, parents, you’re supposed to fall asleep during boring kids’ movies. (Mine napped through most of Disney’s ’80s output.)

Yes, Kelly could have grabbed the mother’s attention and asked what she thought was going on, but we’ve all been in situations like this. Someone acts in a way that’s so far outside the boundaries of normal and rational human behavior that you don’t know what to say. What do you say?