Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mom 101: Pas de Deux

In the process of raising our children, I have tried to help them lead well-rounded lives. I lean toward the arts and cultural refinement but I also took them fishing and and encouraged bug gathering and a healthy exploration of nature. Each child had the opportunity to play sports and learn a musical instrument. They had plenty of outdoor time and healthy doses of playing in the park. I signed them up for swimming lessons and hauled them to the library to encourage literacy. This wasn't easy with the whole entourage of baby, toddler, preschooler, pottier-in-training, teasing grade-schooler, moody pre-adolescent, smart-alec teen etc, etc. But I soldiered on.

So, from time to time, I tried to take a child for some one-on-one time. One child is a piece of cake when you are used to a whole army. An opportunity arose when my good friend, whose daughter trained in ballet with the Oregon Ballet, got me two tickets to the Nutcracker. Siara was about 5 years old. She liked to run around in a tutu (she wore it on her head--but that's another story)...so I thought she was ready for some culture and invited her for an afternoon at the ballet.

She was very excited and enjoyed the whole process of dressing up in a pretty dress and getting her hair done up in ribbons and curls. We drove to Portland and met my friend at her house there. She wasn't ready yet, so Siara and I went in and waited. We took off our shoes at the front door and visited for a minute while my friend finished getting ready. Somewhere in that minute, Siara ducked outside chasing their dog. She was running around their front yard with the dog without her shoes on. Well, where there's a dog, there's going to be you know what.

When we were ready to go, I picked up Siara's shoes and called to her to come and put them back on. She ran over and sat on the porch to put them on when I noticed the stench. She had stepped in dog doo-doo. She was wearing pretty white tights that looked so adorable with her ruffly yellow dress. First I tried to hose the tights off with water but the stuff wasn't budging. She was starting to get a little distressed and I didn't want to ruin the whole experience for her. I pulled off the poopy tights and threw them in the garbage. We put her shoes on her bare feet and off we went to the ballet.

You might think that's the end of this story. But you would be mistaken.
We got to the Keller Auditorium and made our way to our seats. They were fantastic: 1st Balcony, front row, center. Siara loved bouncing up from her seat and looking over the railing as people were coming in. She was so excited for the show and enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the theatre. I let her exuberance run free and enjoyed her joy in the moment.
Then, the lights dimmed and the orchestra began the overture.
Colored lights flashed across the stage curtains as the music played.
I told Siara she would have to stay in her seat now because it was starting.
She sat very nicely for a few minutes. But the curtains weren't opening. Where were the ballerinas? The lights were boring.
The minutes dragged on.
Suddenly, at a slightly quieter moment in the music,
Siara bounded out of her seat, leaned over the railing and yelled at the top of her lungs:
"Let's get this show on the road!!!"
Luckily it was dark enough that the little urchin with no manners and no tights couldn't be pinpointed and dragged from the premises.
And her Mom kept a tight grip on her for the rest of the show.

3 comments:

Mom101 said...

You popped up in my google alerts (now I know why) and I just wanted to say wow, 8 kids. I bow to your parenting prowess. And I love that story. When I took my girls to see a local production of the nutcracker, my then 18 mo yelled "more!" when the curtain closed between scenes. Good thing it was a family-friendly production.

Scott said...

I always imagined her saying "Let's get this show on the road!"

mamagale said...

Scott, I think you're right--but I second-guessed myself when I was writing this and thought she was too young to know that saying. But then again it was something we said all the time, so she probably did say it that way.