A few catastrophic events in the public eye recently have reminded us all that life is never guaranteed. From Tameka Raymond's son Kile Glover, who died just a few weeks after was struck by a water vehicle while riding an inner tube, to the victims as young as 3-months-old injured in the horrific Dark Knight shooting in Colorado…it seems that the fragility of young life is more apparent than ever. Anything can happen as we're going along with your everyday plans with the ones you love and we never know what life has in store.
Amongst all the questions over the who/what/why behind the Colorado tragedy: why was a 3-month-old baby at the movie theater in the first place? Well, as a mother of four, I must say that it is not uncommon to take a young baby to the movies. New parents have limited options with public places; if you have a chance to catch a bit of serenity via a film and can break the routine of late night feedings by changing the scenery to a dark theatre, why not? The theatre can often provide the sleep environment for an infant to be undisturbed and entertainment for the parent at the same time, becoming a win, win scenario.
I am willing to go out on a limb and say that the majority of the people who criticized/judged this child's mom came from a place where they have never endured the sporadic schedule of a new baby. In other words, they don't have kids. Going to the movies is probably one of the few outings you can do with a new baby. It's not like this lady was at a bar, nursing while downing her 5th martini. As far as the time, yes, it was midnight…but if your baby is taking his/her 2-3 hour rest, and you live in a pretty safe area, again I say, 'why not?' People shouldn't be so quick to judge her.
We shouldn't be blaming the victims of this tragedy, old or young, for being present at that showing. Of course if anyone would have known there was going to be a shooting, then the show would have been empty. Don't let this unfortunate event prevent you from taking your bundle of joy out the house and do not let fear of random acts of inhumanity stop you from living.
Most pediatricians advise that you can take your newborn out in public when they are 6-8 weeks old. If you can't afford a sitter and/or your sitter is not available, but you still have the urge to romantically gaze into the eyes of your spouse like you did before the baby arrived, going to a kid-friendly restaurant is an option to consider. Just come prepared to enjoy your meal despite the random loud noises kids can make and know that there is a possibility other kids may peek into your dinner booth. Hey it's not the most romantic scenario, but it's a break from routine and it helps keeps the connection with your honey.
When going on your public outings with your new baby, pack accordingly. Whether it's to the movies, dinner or to the mall, you will not need the entire kitchen sink…but you will come close. There is always a need for extra with the little ones: extra baby wipes, extra diapers, extra food, extra pacifiers, extra clothes and an extra quiet toy. Emphasis on "quiet," since no one cares for loud noises while at the movies or dinner. Kids make enough noise on their own without any help. Remember the 'golden rule' of parenting: "It is always better to have and to not need then to need then to need and not have."
Lastly and most importantly, don't forget to cherish every moment, in the moment. Because no tomorrow is promised. Kids grow up quickly, so enjoy your family by appreciating and living in the now, which you can do at the movies if you so choose.