I tell my children regularly that I only had babies so they would grow up into people I could take to watch films. One high point of my parenting journey was the first time I found myself in a cinema at 10.30am, drinking coffee, and watching my two little angels staring up at the huge glowing screen.
Time was we could just go to a Kids AM £1.75 screening and it would be the perfect morning. (These screenings are the film equivalent of The Works - films that are a few months old and you might have already seen, or very slight animated films you never see anywhere else.) We didn't do it a lot, but it was always the Right Thing, and everyone would be happy. They're getting a bit older, now - we have to choose films a bit carefully. Films that work for younger children, but have characters and jokes that appeal to all ages. The Lego Movie. A Monster in Paris (fantastic film).
I got the chance to review two films at home this week - the first, The Snow Queen 2, was pitched to me as a film that ''all Frozen fans would love!" I don't quite know how they worked this out. The thing with Frozen is the princesses and the singing and the love story. The Snow Queen 2 is about a troll and his grandma. Also, no singing. Sean Bean is in it - miserably briefly - and he doesn't even die.
The film had Kids AM written all over it, in my head. The Lattes enjoyed it - though I thought you laboured under a distinct disadvantage if you hadn't seen The Snow Queen 1. Still, if you had children younger than mine and you wanted a couple of hours in the dark on a tired morning, I think The Snow Queen 2, a cup of coffee and a bag of Minstrels would do it.
We liked The Nut Job much better (it's coming out on DVD about now) The colours were lovely! If I was a purple squirrel, I'm telling you, I'd find myself a mint green rat friend because they go so well together. Really! And it has Brendan Fraser and Liam Neeson in it, and they're definitely worth having around. The Lattes loved this, especially Littlest. A definite favourite for an afternoon of cuddling under quilts.
Truth is, we're just getting too old. All good things come to an end, they say, and one day very soon we won't find ourselves at the Kids AM films at all. Those Little Lattes are growing too Big. Littlest is nearly 10; Eldest is 14. Choosing a film and pleasing everyone is getting much, much harder.
A while ago I lurked on the periphery of the madness that is organised Parent Blogging. I realised I had left it far behind this week when I went to a blog event - the first in at least two years - and was presented with a goody bag which contained a sippy cup and a cuddly toy. Trolls and sippy cups - they're just like Sean Bean in a way. A really gorgeous memory, but in truth, they just don't look the same any more.