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Redditor Loses It After Fellow Moviegoer Refuses To Take Her Screaming Baby Out Of The Theater

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When we go out to an important event, like an art exhibition or a movie we’ve been waiting to premiere, it’s fair to say we’d like to be able to attend without distractions.

But not everyone can agree about what qualifies as a distraction, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Kinkaypandaz was furious when a mother in the movie theater stayed in her seat, even though her young baby repeatedly cried and interrupted the movie.

But when they were criticized for speaking up, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they should have been more patient.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for yelling in a movie theater?”

The OP was excited to see the latest ‘Spiderman’ film.

“I went to see the new ‘Spiderman’ movie and decided to do an earlier showing at 4pm since I work early the next morning (but I won’t be doing that again due to today’s crowd).”

“Most of the first half of the movie was punctuated with some younger kids talking a little above a whisper.”

“I can ignore them, they are disruptive, but they are young kids probably enjoying their favorite superhero movie and are really excited.”

“A man in their row continually asked the kids to be quiet (make a note: he had kids their age who were being silent), and every time he asked, they would get quiet for a good amount of time.”

But there was another section that upset the OP.

“Queue the mother and her infant child who cried loudly every 5 minutes for about 10 minutes straight each time.”

“It got to the point where a few movie go-ers raised issue and loudly stated to quiet the crying baby.”

“The mother in question didn’t do much, not even take them out of the theater for a bit.”

“It got so bad, I eventually told the woman very audibly, ‘Take the godd**n baby out of the loud theater, it’s clearly annoyed, and you can’t ignore it. Cause I certainly can’t!'”

“She told me to shut up; she paid to be here.”

“A few other patrons yelled, ‘So did I, and I didn’t want to hear a crying baby.'”

“I don’t blame the baby, it isn’t their fault, but I can’t fathom people who subject their infants to what must be extremely loud environments.”

“Am I the a**hole for telling the mother to deal with her child?”

The OP also added a few clarifications.

“To clarify, I was on one side of a very large auditorium and they were on the opposite, so yelling seemed like the best option, as I am a quiet individual usually.”

“I don’t excuse my swearing, I just got frustrated.”

“As for going to talk to staff, they showed up before I could even say something, so someone said something or they were already aware. Regardless, the woman came back later with the baby near the end and the baby cried through the ending as well. She left it at the point since the movie had 20 mins left.”

“I am of the opinion that infants don’t belong in loud movies because it can be frightening and possibly damaging for them. I don’t want to be someone who shames new parents out of doing social events. However, infants don’t feel the same about being at the same event.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some parents spoke up about the mother’s actions.

“Nobody wants their anything ruined by a crabby or fussy baby or toddler.”

“The week before I had our first, we went out for dinner as a last hurrah. It was nine o’clock at night and there was a probably-eighteen-month-old who was just over it.”

“It was clearly past bedtime. But the parents kept sort of halfway shushing him and trying to placate him and carried on with their friends.”

“I turned to my husband and said, ‘We are never going to be those parents.'”

“And with the exception of the times my mother-in-law has insisted that we bring our kids along (which is its own AITA post), we haven’t.”

“We occasionally took our young babies out; our one-week-old slept through the entire night of our anniversary dinner, though we sat outside so I could feel comfortable nursing if she woke up. If we take them to a restaurant, it’s early in the night, and we leave if they’re getting squirrelly or fussy.”

“There are some restaurants I wouldn’t dream of taking them to until they’re in their teens. And my kids haven’t been taken to a movie until they’re at least five because they personally don’t have a long enough attention span.”

“I’ve observed kids who were capable of more, and I’m thrilled for their parents. But those aren’t my children. I feel like it’s just as insensitive to the child to put them in that situation as it is to everyone else.” – justmightbemaggie

“For many, many parents, infants are often perfect movie patrons. My infants slept through everything from ‘Lord of the Rings: Return of the King’ to ‘Runaway Jury’ without making a peep.”

“The issue in this situation is not the presence of the baby but rather the mother not removing the baby after it started to cry.”

“Perhaps she felt she couldn’t leave the other children in the theatre alone (though it doesn’t sound like she was parenting them much, either).”

“This is a parent issue (not removing or soothing a disruptive child in a quiet environment) rather than a babies-shouldn’t-exist-in-public issue.” – HoundstoothReader

“NTA – A theater is NO PLACE to take the baby, and act like her infant crying shouldn’t matter, makes that mother an AH.”

“If she wanted to see the movie so badly, she should have paid for a sitter as well as her ticket.” – EvocativeEnigma

Others agreed and said everyone else paid to be there, too.

“I’ve heard others, friends of mine actually, use this crazy-ass logic before. So, ‘paying to be here’ means you can disrupt everyone else’s experience? I disagree, and I bet most of the people in that theater did too.”

“Ironically, these are the very same people who go apes**t over someone else’s kid crying because, you guessed it, they ‘paid to be here.'”

“I don’t know if what you did makes you an AH, but the baby lady was.” – Total-Being-4271

“NTA. How ridiculous. Movie theaters are not for babies and everybody paid to be there just for it to be ruined.”

“Next time maybe try talking to an employee first to ask if they can be removed or you can be reimbursed, but it’s not your fault that she was letting her baby be a nuisance.” – gingers-naps

“NTA. When I had my first child we tried to go to the movies a couple of times. Anytime she would fuss, my husband or I would go out to the hallway and calm her.”

“Neither of us enjoyed the movie, so we never took another child to the movies, because we didn’t get to see the majority of it and it’s not fair to anyone. Us, the baby, or the patrons.”

“I get wanting to go out and do something normal, but a movie with an infant is not a proper option.” – Dist0rt3dDr3am

Though some could understand why the yelling was offensive, the subReddit otherwise understood why the OP felt the need to speak up. A baby may be precious, but their cries are still a disruption; not to mention the fact that the sounds from the movie theater were likely far too much for such young ears.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.