My dear Big D, provider for our extravagant living, has been working a lot of nights. True, it is because of his job. He is in the theatre business...well sort of. Anyway, during the preview performances this week, he wanted us (the family he leaves at home when he is usually working) to come and view the show. Tickets were free.
I had went the previous evening, taking with me a load of silly teenage girls. They were to be spiritually uplifted by the beautiful Christmas message portrayed by this show. It was a nice evening. Even nicer because, I had taken the kids to my mom's house, where they spent the night. So not only did I have a nice kid free evening, I also wasn't woken from my sleep numerous times by a belly pinching Chilly. The kids loved staying with Grandma, and she promises that she enjoyed it too. So maybe in a few weeks, I can drag her into it again.
But last evening, it wasn't so much fun. We had a six year old and a three year old. There is usually an age restriction for these shows, but since it was a preview, we decided what could go wrong taking the kids?
Harry, I must add, is not an issue. He is a perfect theatre attending child. We have taken in to many shows, including Evita done at an outside venue. He was 2 and loved it.
Chilly on the other hand, hasn't been to much theatre. He hasn't been to much of anything except church. Water and food is allowed at church. Noisy children are not looked down upon at church.
You see where I am going with this.
The evening started out with a tired mom (me) trying to wrestle my kids into the van. We were late leaving the house, mostly because the three year old lost his shoes. How do you loose shoes?? I don't know, and I still haven't found them. Anyway, I was a little sharp with them. Maybe a little loud. I mean, this is dad's work! WE need to be on time and looking our best. And in rushing out the door, I forgot certain things that helps to make a very pregnant woman look better. But there was no time to go back. The kids got quickly into the van, and slammed it into gear, and made the trek to the big city, to see the show. Explaining the reason for my frustrations to my two crying children while driving. Chilly passed out with exhaustion by the time we were on the freeway, so Harry and I just listened to music. We hit traffic. Bad traffic. We are so not going to make it on time. Frustrated I call big d and ask him if he'd rather us not show up. But we both are persistent, I mean, how bad can it get?
Eventually we make it to the theater, and by that time I had realized that not only had I forgotten my earrings, I had also forgotten to buckle my three year old into his car seat. Better yet, I had forgotten to actually re-install the car seats from when I had taken them out of the van to transport the teenage girls the previous evening.
Don't flame me for this one. I am probably the worst mother on the planet, and AM FEELING that way as I ask my the six year old why he didn't say anything. "well because mom, you were so mad already".
So my kids both sat un carseated for the journey there. Good thing the van comes with a pre-installed car seat, and big d has an extra in his car.
But I have to continue this tale of woe.
We get to the theater, we find big D. Chilly awakes and is confused. We find our seats. Almost the front row. They are down many stairs in the theater. Chilly needs me to carry him, because he is sleepy, and mean. I am pregnant, hugely pregnant, noticeably pregnant. Chilly asks for a drink before hand. I've got about two minutes before the show starts. Big D is being Mr. Producer and running around. I've got two kids. We trudge up the stairs to the drinking fountain, but the ushers don't let me out. Why, because I don't have my tickets on me to get back in. I send the 6 year old to find his dad. He does, but can't remember what ask him. I trudge back down the stairs to grab some tickets, up the stairs again, still carrying the 35 pound toddler.
To the drinking fountain they go, Harry gets his drink and runs off back to the theater, I suppose, because I didn't see him. Chilly is now mentioning that he has to go potty. Agh! Where is Harry. I pause and look around, when the usher shuffles me to the door. The show is starting, I need to be in my seat. I pray the chilly's mention of the potty is just his fascination with public restrooms (another blog for another day) and that he doesn't really need to go. I trudge back down the stairs, still holding a whiney chilly and make it to my seat, over some cute sister missionaries as the curtain goes up. Harry is sitting next to his dad, thankfully. I can sit and watch the show.
Not so much. A few scenes in, maybe ten minutes or so, chilly starts in that he needs another drink. I can't get up and leave. People are looking at us because...well...because he's three and probably shouldn't be there in the first place. I shush him and tell him "in a minute" hoping that the show will entertain him enough to get him through until intermission. He is amazed by the songs, but during the dialog he managed to utter his disappointment at the fact that I had no drinks on me, very loudly.
I have to say that the first act is probably almost an hour. Chilly starts getting more persistent at needing a drink, and becoming louder with each request. Finally it is too much for him and he starts to cry and say he wants to go home. This pushes me over the edge and I look at big d with a look of, "you did this you bastard, this is all your fault, this is your theatre, your show, you fix this". He takes Chilly for a minute and offers him a bribe of a water bottle at intermission. It worked, for maybe 10 minutes. After which the whines and cries became beyond bearing for me.
I would have walked out, but I didn't know what to do with Harry. I would have walked out, but the sister missionaries were blocking the aisle. I would have walked out, but I really wanted Chilly to see the angels singing to the shepherds. It is torture. I'm sure it didn't last an hour, but it felt as if it were days. Trying to keep a kid quiet isn't an easy task.
The curtain finally comes down, end of the first act, and Chilly is clapping like mad. He knows he is going to get a drink. I've had it. I pick him up and up the stairs we go. Harry needs to use the potty, and Chilly needs a drink. I am beyond that. Harry ends up staying with dad, to enjoy the rest of the show, and chilly gets strapped back into the van and home we go.
So I'm feeling a little guilty about the whole evening. Mostly because I really do know better. I know my kids, and what they can handle. I must start trusting myself and saying "no, I don't think taking a three year old to the theater would be a good idea, or any fun at all"
I guess I needed that wake up call. I hate to admit it publicly, but I really have some very weak moments as a mom. But I guess every mom does. Or at least should. I mean really, who could have predicted I would have had such a terrible time?