BYOBaby at the Madstone
Good news! Every Tuesday, and the second Saturday of each month, Madstone Theaters offers moms, dads, and caregivers of babies under two a matinee-priced film and some much-deserved respect. The babies not only get in for free but are welcomed and even pampered. The theater staff lower the sound, raise the lights a bit, offer ample space for strollers, and get this erect a changing table in the back, complete with supplies.
When I went to check out this too-good-to-be-true phenomenon, a handful of adults were camped out in the main aisle with blankets and toys, coddling, crooning to, and dangling enticing objects in front of a plethora of babies. The whole place was full of babies: nursing babies, gurgling babies, squealing babies, fat bright-eyed babies. A mom (or dad) leaving the theater with a screaming baby was met with half smiles instead of dagger eyes. It was a beautiful thing.
After the movie (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind go see it) I spoke with two nannies who'd been coming since it started. "They need to do this in more places," said Kelly Kleine, a full-time nanny who meets up with her buddy and fellow nanny Lilly Sacks every Tuesday. Lilly brings the twin ten-month-old girls in her care, and together they make a day of it at the mall with the babies. They see a flick, eat lunch, and then hang out at the new Briarwood play area.