As promised in my last post, what follows is the result of goals above and beyond what a toddler can actually do:
My daughter was about 2 years and three months.Â Verbally precocious and experienced in theatre (both her parents are theatre professionals), I took her to a holiday musical revue performed by the local children’s theatre.Â I assumed, since it was kids, the show would be pretty upbeat so it would keep her attention.Â With the added bonus of a few scenes by a local ballet troupe and her own babysitter in the choir, I gambled on taking her to a 7:30pm show.Â That’s her bedtime.
We took a nap that afternoon, ate a good dinner, and arrived with enough time to explore the lobby and run around before taking our seats.
I found a seat all the way on the side, with plenty of empty seats next to us for an occasional climb through the aisle as needed.
The show started…very very slowly.
They began with a compilation of the slowest ballads ever, performed by high school student soloist.Â Avi could have cared less.Â The ballerinas showed up eventually, but by then Avi was busy trying to climb all the seats and run down the aisles.Â Her babysitter appeared on stage, but because of the angle of the stage, we couldn’t even see her.
By then, it was about a half hour into the show and Avi was beyond not interested.Â I moved over to the empty seats and let her climb back and forth between a few, occasionally attempting to point out things on stage to her.Â She was being very quiet, so I figured it was okay.Â Until she fell.
Of course, she fell!Â It was dark, her foot slipped, she got scared.
This meant hauling her out of the theatre while she screamed.
We calmed down, ran around the lobby for a few minutes, and then she decided she’d like to go back in, so in we went.Â Only to have her start crying that she wanted to leave 30 seconds later.Â This decision involved not only leaving with a crying toddler, again, but hauling out our winter coats and diaper bag as well. If the show had stopped and they’d all pointed and yelled at us, it couldn’t have been more embarrassing.
Out in the lobby, she re-entered her element.Â She relaxed, explored the decorations, and we discovered a ballerina warming up to go on stage.Â In her tutu she pirouetted and pranced, and Avi fell in love.Â She did her own spins and twirls beside the young dancer.Â Our babysitter appeared within a few minutes and they talked and hung out together until she had to go back on stage.
And then we went home.
As you can see, I expected too much from a very small child.
But we made up for a possibly disastrous evening by taking our time in the lobby and enjoying our own personal ballet performance.