Admit it. You plant your kids in front of a movie, press play, and head to your bedroom for Shag Uninterrupted.
Liz Gumbinner at Mom-101 calls it Elmo Sex, referring the movie that will enrapture her wee ones long enough for Liz to be, well, enraptured.
At Shine, we call it a Push Play Date.
If it makes you feel any better, Angelina Jolie has publicly admitted to a Push Play Date where she and Brad get their ever-growing brood "occupied with a movie and popcorn and try to run off and lock the door for a bit."
But here's the million dollar question: What the ideal kid's video to keep your children occupied for a reasonable amount of time, keep them away from your (locked) bedroom and mask any, errr, noises from around the house?
Jason Avant of DadCentric has these tips to offer:
- Length: it does, in this case, matter. Your average four year old may or may not sit still for 90 minutes - my son found "Surf's Up", "Ratatouille", and "Charlotte's Web" tedious at about the 30 minute mark, which might pose a problem. A 90-minute kid's flick has to keep the kid's attention for the duration; you want the moth-to-flame effect.
- Volume: The movie needs to be loud, to drown out the grunts and shrieks coming out of the boudoir.
- Repitition: The flick must hold up to repeated viewings as the kids grow. "Barney's Great Adventure"? No.
Author and blogger Rebecca Wolf of (This) Girls Gone Child says "Cars" is a big, ahem, hit in her house. It's the only movie her son will sit through these days, "which is fabulous because it's nice and looooong." Rebecca adds, "For a quickie, there's always Little Einstiens which we TIVO and save for special occasions. Winky-winky."
Another pick for a long movie comes from Kelly Mills of Fitness Fixation. Her vote is for Narnia: "It's really long, and the battle scenes with all the shrieking and yelling provide cover noise for any, um, sounds you happen to make." Kelly also digs Shrek..no scary scenes. A key factor if you don't want to hear that knock on the door mid-act, "Mama, can you fast forward this part? I'm scared!" Good point, Kelly.
Need more Push Play Date ideas? We've got 'em:
- Mike Adamick of Cry It Out: Adventures of a Stay-at-Home Dad: "Nothing does the trick like 'The Sound of Music' -- Julie Andrews buys the precious few minutes we need."
- Catherine Conners of Her Bad Mother: "'Sesame Street Old School'" with episodes set to run back-to-back. That, or Monster's Inc (the only actual movie that she'll watch from beginning to end)."
- Heather Gibbs Flett of Rookie Moms: "Truth is that we're lucky to get him to sit through an episode of 'Wonder Pets' (12 minutes) or he's in the right mood, 'Signing Time' (about 30 minutes) but if we wanted to go wild for longer, I have heard that Peter Pan is the best for the 3 and almost-3 year old set. Not very violent, but magical and fun."