A lot of families we know have family movie night from time to time. Usually it’s on the weekend so the children can stay up later. We’ve done this in the past. I remember watching Frozen with the children a little over two years ago. But then we had to stop. It’s hard to have family movie night when one of the members of the family won’t enjoy it because they can’t see it.
That’s not to say we don’t do things as a family, but there are a lot of things that aren’t challenging when you can’t see. Board games are out. Card games, same thing. Craft or experiment activities are fun but they have to be of the kind that don’t require “seeing” what the result is. For instance, we did an acid test experiment a while back with litmus paper. My son loved it. My daughter didn’t hate it, quite the contrary, she had a good time helping come up with things to test, but it wasn’t that engaging to her and when we were done she wanted to know what we could do with her now.
That’s not to say our situation is unique; there are families with children who are significantly different in age who might not enjoy the same movie together. But it was something we had once and lost. It’s something people with children commonly do that we can’t. Or can we?
Before my daughter had her cataract removed and the subsequent hematoma and additional retina detachment, she could look at her iPad and watch movies. We tried her with the iPad and us with the movie on the television simultaneously streamed, but she wasn’t interested and switched to playing games a few minutes in.
Now there’s been a change though—she listens to things. She didn’t like doing this before because she wanted to use the residual vision any time she could, so trying to see something on the television above the fireplace or in a chair right up against the screen in the bonus room was okay, but frustrating because she couldn’t get in the whole picture. It was frustrating for everyone else too because her body was in front of the screen and we couldn’t see.
We tried to get her to just listen but she resisted. Only now she doesn’t have a choice and she’s starting to get used to it. She will lie down, commonly in the fetal position, and very quietly listen to what’s on. So I asked tonight when we were having dinner if anyone wanted to have family movie night tonight. My daughter was the first to say yes, followed by my son. As I was about to ask my husband what movie we might consider suggesting my son yelled out, “Big Hero 6” followed by my daughter replying with an enthusiastic, “yes!”
So that was settled. My children are now watching (and listening) to the movie. I know, I know, it’s not family movie night if I’m down here typing away on the computer, but I’ll get there before the movie is over.
The Big Boy Update: The children went to the pool with our sitter today. I asked my son if he had fun at the pool while we were eating dinner. He stopped, pulled up his shirt and pointed and said, “this nipple stings. It still stings.” Then he went back to his meal as though that explained everything.
The Tiny Girl Chronicles: It was time to get my daughter’s hair cut. She didn’t want to but her bangs were interfering with her line of questionable sight and so it had to be done. I decided to distract her so she would sit still for the hair cut. I gave her bubble gum. On the way in I popped my gum, knowing she wanted to know how to do it. When we got to the salon she asked me how to blow a bubble and I gave her some instructions. For the entire haircut she was working on making a bubble. She hasn’t succeeded yet but knowing her, she’ll keep on trying until she does.