the toil of a middday movie

It is not customary for us to indulge in a midday movie, but it was the last day of vacation and following a rather busy family weekend, we finally had some time to enjoy something we wanted to watch. 

The goal was to finish the movie in its entirety in the allotted run time of 2 hours and 6 minutes. What followed was a reminder of why we don’t normally carve out time for extravagances such as this. This is our story:

2:32 p.m. SHIPT grocery order was placed, the last load of laundry was in the dryer (which naturally means we can just take out pieces at a time all week), and the kids were busy playing in their room. It was a Monday, but the Monday of mid-winter break so cracking a beer and indulging in a mid-day movie was acceptable. We snuck downstairs to the lower family room, because, well, out of sight, out of mind. 

2:35 p.m. Apple TV requires a log-in. First attempt, unsuccessful…what is our password? Login attempt again. This time it works, but it’s in an endless frozen loop. Frustration is mounting. Buttons are squeezed with acute force as the circle on the screen continues to loop, as if it’s mocking us.

2:42 p.m. Following a reset, the movie begins. Based on true events; it’s important to pay attention to the story set-up.


2:45 p.m. A scampering of feet from above. We froze and inhaled to hold it. Don’t breathe. Our eyes focused on the ceiling overhead.

2:46 p.m. The door slams. “GET OUT OF MY ROOM!”

2:47 p.m. Paused the movie. Actually, rewind a bit and then pause.

2:48 p.m. We look at each other – that look that says “rock, paper, scissors…shoot.”

2:49 p.m. My husband sighed and shifted until he removed himself from the cradle his bottom has made in the couch. My eyes are fixed on the ceiling as I take a long sip of my beer.

2:50 p.m. Footsteps on the stairs. “They’re good.”

2:51 p.m. I pull a blanket over my lap and take another sip of my drink. My husband resets himself in his nook on the couch and we both sigh a sigh of relaxation. He pressed play.

2:56 p.m. “DAAAADDDD!”

2:57 p.m. Loud and determined footsteps start down the stairs to the living room. My husband paused the movie. Again.

“He won’t stay out of my room!” yelled our daughter, pointing to the stairs.

This time, it was my turn. I forcefully removed the blanket from over my lap and signaled for her to walk up the stairs in front of me. Upstairs, my son is back in his room playing. 

“What’s going on?” I asked him.

“She won’t stop yelling at me and SHE won’t let me come in her room to play.”

“Why can’t he play with you?” I asked my daughter.

“Mom, no! I just spent the last four days with him and I’m playing Roblox with my friends!” 

They both look at me with different expectations. I’m powerless here.

“Work it out. Dad and I are watching a movie and we would like to finish it.”

I head back downstairs. I pick up my beer and throw the blanket back over my lap. There isn’t much beer left and what is left of it is warm.

3:02 p.m. “MOOOOMMMMM!”

My husband paused the movie again and picked up his phone. 

3:04 p.m. “The Internet is off,” he said, calmly setting his phone down. He picked up the remote and pressed play.

Muffles and footsteps again from above, from my daughter’s room to my son’s.

3:10 p.m. “Dad! The internet isn’t working!”

“I know!” he said, eyes on the TV.

“What’s wrong with it?”

Our daughter was now at the top of the stairs.

“I turned it off,” he said.


“Until you learn to get along with your brother, you don’t need to be on the computer.”

UGGGHHH!!! She stomps back upstairs. 

3:40 p.m. A half hour of uninterrupted viewing.

3:41 p.m. My phone lights up.

Text Message: Hi, this is Scott, your SHIPT shopper. I’m about to begin shopping. Please let me know if you need anything else.

I responded “thank you.”

3:50 p.m. “Mom, can we play with slime?” yelled my daughter.

“Not right now!” I yelled back.

3:52 p.m. My phone lights up.

Text Message: The store does not have the requested product Navel Oranges 4 lb. bag. Would you like the 5 lb. bag?

I responded “yes, thank you.”

4:10 p.m. “Mom, we’re hungry,” said my son as he peeked down the stairs to where we were sitting.

“Grab a snack from the pantry.”

“There’s nothing in here!”

“I have groceries on the way! It will be dinner time soon, too!” I said.

4:25 p.m. My phone lights up.

Text Message: The store does not have the requested product MorningStar Farms Buffalo Chik Patties, available. They have buffalo wings, veggie grillers or Boca has spicy chicken patties.

“Can you pause the movie?” I ask my husband.

“Who keeps texting you?” 

“It’s our shopper from Shipt.”

4:40 p.m. “Mom, when are you going to make dinner? We’re hungry!”

They were both standing at the top of the stairs this time. 

“Can we have popsicles while we wait?”

“No!” I yell as I type another substitute solution to my Shipt shopper. 

“The groceries will be here soon!”

They walk away as we attempt to finish the last of the movie.

5:15 p.m. My phone lights up.

Text Message: I’ve completed your order and I’m on my way with your groceries.

“The Shipt shopper will be here soon.”

My husband’s phone rings. It’s a work call. He paused the movie and stood up to take the call. I sit quietly and wait.

5:30 p.m. The dogs start barking upstairs to alert me that our Shipt order has arrived.

I go up to collect the groceries from the front porch and pile the bags on the floor near the island to unpack them. My husband is still on his call.

5:42 p.m. Groceries are unpacked.

My daughter walks in the kitchen and opens the fridge to inspect the groceries.

“There isn’t anything in here. When is dinner?”

“Give me a minute, we’re almost done with our movie.”

I walked back downstairs. My husband is off the phone. 

“The kids are hungry,” I said. 

He held up the remote to see the run time left on the movie. 

“Twenty-four minutes,” he said.

We quickly moved to the couch and pressed play. We watched the clock as eagerly as we watched the remaining time of the movie. When it ended, we looked at each other with that “meh” look, like perhaps our time would have been better spent doing something else. 

“MOOOOOOMMMM!!! When is dinner?”

6:02 p.m. I picked up my phone and ordered a pizza.