“Who wants to watch a movie?” Dad asked.
“Me!” Paul and Peter and Lisa said together.
“Not me,” Mom said. “I have an appointment. I hope you all have a lot of fun while I’m gone.”
“I’m sure we will,” Dad said. “You’re missing out.”
“I know,” Mom said. “We’ll just have to have another movie night tomorrow.” The children cheered.
“I have no problem with that,” Dad said. “Be safe.”
“Of course,” Mom said. Then she left to get ready.
“As soon as everyone is done eating, we can pick a movie,” Dad said.
“That will take forever,” Peter said. “Paul eats one noodle at a time.”
“I do not,” Paul said.
“He doesn’t,” Lisa said. “He tries to fit a noodle on each prong of his fork before he eats a bite. So he eats four noodles at a time.”
Peter groaned. “That’s no way to eat macaroni and cheese. Pretend you’re a dinosaur, Paul, and eat big bites.”
“I don’t want to,” Paul said.
Mom came back into the kitchen. She was wearing a sweater and her purse was looped over her arm. “I need to give everyone hugs before I go,” she said.
She hugged Dad and Lisa and Peter. “Wait,” she said to Paul. “You have orange cheese sauce on your fingers. I don’t want that on my shirt.” She handed him a paper towel. He wiped his fingers. Mom hugged him. “There, that’s everyone. I’m off!”
She left. Peter pretended to be a dinosaur and growled and ate big bites of pasta. Lisa rolled her eyes. Paul looked at his plate. He ate a normal-sized bite of noodles. Everyone continued to eat. Paul was the last to finish.
“Time to pick a movie,” Dad said. “What is everyone in the mood for?”
“Dinosaurs and Aliens,” Peter said.
“That movie about the arctic explorers who all die tragic deaths,” Lisa said.
“The one about the silly robots,” Paul said.
“It sounds like no one agrees. I guess that means I pick,” Dad said. The children all groaned. “I pick that movie about the spies and the pirates.” The children groaned again.
“Wait,” Paul said. “I think I like that one. Yay!”
Lisa rolled her eyes. “I’ll get the popcorn ready.”
Soon, everyone was snuggled up together on the couch. The movie started. The spy strolled across the town square, checking his watch.
“I need a blanket,” Paul said.
“Run and get it,” Dad said.
“Won’t you stop the movie?” Paul asked.
“Nope,” Dad said. “Hurry.”
Paul hurried away. Several minutes later he was back. He settled on the couch and tucked the blanket around himself. The spy was climbing the outside of a building. “Why’s he doing that?” Paul asked.
“Shh,” Lisa said. “Just watch. You’ll see.”
Paul frowned and settled back in his blanket. He leaned back and shifted to the right and left. “I want a pillow,” he said.
“Then go get one,” Dad said.
Paul left again. He returned and glanced at the screen. The spy was jumping from a plane high above a pirate ship in the middle of the ocean. “That looks cool,” Paul said. “Is he friends with the pirates?”
“Just sit and watch,” Peter said. “You’ll figure it out.”
Paul walked to the couch and frowned. “I want my rocket ship,” he said.
“Where is it?” Dad asked.
“In my room,” Paul said.
“Hurry back,” Dad said.
After a long while, Paul returned with his toy rocket ship and several toy cars. “What did I miss?” he asked. He looked at the screen. “Wow, a swordfight. Is that the pirates?”
“Just sit down,” Lisa said. “Stop getting up and leaving and you’ll know what’s going on.
Paul sat down and tucked his blanket around himself. He arranged the toys on his lap and leaned back into the pillow. He looked up at the swordfight. “I’m hungry,” he said. “Where’s the popcorn?”
“All gone,” Peter said.
“No one saved me any?” Paul asked.
“You can pop some more,” Dad said. “Do you need any help?”
“No,” Paul said. “But you guys should have saved me some.”
He grabbed the bowl and left. After a while he returned with a full bowl. “I popped three bags. We won’t run out now. And I’m nice and will share with everyone,” he said.
He handed the bowl to Dad and tucked himself in with his toys. He grabbed a handful of popcorn and started eating it. “Who’s the girl? Is she a pirate too? It’s silly to wear shoes like that to climb all those stairs. She should take them off so she can run faster,” he said.
“She needs the shoes for later,” Lisa said. “She probably should take them off and carry them. Quiet, I want to see the next part.”
Paul took another handful of popcorn. “This is salty. I’m going to get a drink.”
He left for a while. He returned and tucked himself in once again. “Is that a palm tree? Where are they?”
“Paul, we can’t explain everything you missed. The movie’s almost over,” Dad said.
“Can we start it at the beginning again?” Paul asked. “I think I’m ready now.”
“Maybe we’ll watch it again later,” Dad said.
“Probably not,” Dad said.
“Can we watch the robot movie tomorrow?” Paul asked.
“I think tomorrow we’ll let Mom pick,” Dad said.