b Papa Dog's Blog: Back to the Baby Brigade

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Monday, February 07, 2005

Back to the Baby Brigade

So, our trip to the Parkway for Baby Brigade night was admittedly a little less magical this time. We got together a largish contingent – five adults, three babies – to see Being Julia which, wouldn’t you know, turned out to be less diverting for Baby Dog than Ray was. Part of it’s content, I’m sure – Ray Charles seems more her kind of thing than Cole Porter and Noël Coward, though I’m sure she’ll grow an appreciation for rhymes such as “Good authors too who once knew better words/Now only use four letter words” when she gets a little older. Say, ten months. In addition to the snappy tunes that unfailingly caught Baby Dog’s attention, Ray also featured bright and arresting visuals. Being Julia, by contrast, was a witty adaptation of a Somerset Maugham story set in tweedy prewar England.* If you were seven months old, which do you think would catch your fancy more? Moreover, we saw Ray in the downstairs room at the Parkway, in the front couch with the screen practically on top of us. Tonight we were in the upstairs room. We still managed to get a prime front couch, but in the upstairs room there’s a long obnoxious stage with a riser interposed between the couch and the screen. The images were a lot farther away. She watched a bit of it but didn’t seem too impressed.

The movie started at 7 and Baby Dog’s bedtime these days is generally around 8, so she was at maximum crankiness about 45 minutes to an hour into the movie. Mama Dog nursed and I tried shushing her on my lap, but she just got fussier and fussier and seemed to us like she was the loudest baby in the room. That may just be because she was crying into our ears, but it’s an uncomfortable feeling even so. I picked her up and walked her around by the side exits. After a bit she’d calm down, and I’d return to the seat. The minute my arse hit the cushion, she’d start crying again. After about four up-and-down crying episodes, I finally realised what was needed and had Mama Dog wheel the stroller over to me by the exit. We laid Baby Dog in the stroller and I pushed her back and forth. She stopped crying and started playing with the dangling edge of the hood. After a few minutes she stopped doing that, and I was so caught up watching the movie that I kept pushing the stroller back and forth for a good five minutes without realising she was asleep. I wheeled her back to our couch and she stayed zonked out for the remainder of the movie.

So, not the ideal viewing situation for us – but Baby Dog had fun before she got cranky. We think she likes to go out and see new people. Much more social than her old man. And I got to carve one more notch on my Oscar ballot.
*Apparently filmed at least party in Hungary. I somehow don’t think that helps make it zippier.


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