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Tuesday, December 05, 2006  

Concertgoing…Going…Gone.

On Sunday, the Minnesota Orchestra had a free family concert. Tickets were first come, first served, but I called in weeks ago, the minute they became available. They offered me what they thought were the best seats available, twelfth row center. They only thought those were the best seats because they haven't met M. Small, and didn't realize that trying to get him to behave while trapped in the middle of one of those long, long rows (Orchestra Hall's main floor has no center aisle) is a recipe for a lawsuit. So I asked for aisle seats, and ended up in the sixth row. Score! Historically, M. Small is better behaved in such settings when he's close enough to observe the proceedings from right up front. Otherwise he gets bored in a hurry, and everyone in the room hears about it, right up until we get him outside. And then a bit longer after that, until we get him a block or two away.

We had a choice between a 2:00 performance and a 4:00 performance. I picked the former, because I figured that he could take his nap early, whereas if his usual dinnertime came and went while we were still at the concert, his protests would easily drown out a 70-plus-piece orchestra.

So anyway. We were looking forward to the concert. And we knew M. Small would love it too. Recently, he's been having a great time at home sitting on the living room floor with us while we all bang away on his toy drums and sing his current favorites, "Santa Claus Coming Town" and "Frosty Snowman" and "Jingle Jingle All WAY!" Live Christmas music on this scale would blow him away. And if not, it was a family concert, so we wouldn't have the only noisy toddler there. Right?

We had the logistics all planned out. I had his folding stroller in the back of my car, which I would park at my workplace ramp, which happens to be just two blocks from Orchestra Hall (a little longer by Skyway, which we'd be taking because it was cold). Trash collected a bag of snacks and a sippy-cup of water for him to take along. We equipped him with a couple of his smallest, quietest toys to keep him entertained. We got him all dressed up in his sweater and cords, and on the way there he heard all about the proper way to behave at a concert, how you don’t yell and cry and squirm and run up to the percussion section hollering, "I drum too! Mine! MINE!"

Actually it was more like halfway there, because that was the point where he fell asleep. He'd passed up his nap earlier, instead electing to spend a half-hour of "quiet time" in his crib enacting his particularly anarchic version of "clean-up time" instead. I wanted to keep going and hope that the stroller ride from the car to the concert hall once we got downtown would be enough to revive him, but Trash correctly pointed out that sticking him in a crowded concert hall after interrupting his nap ten minutes in would be tantamount to bringing in a bomb. Maybe we could bring him back at intermission, we thought. So we turned around and went home.

We were disappointed, but at least M. Small got a nice long nap that was barely interrupted by the transfer from car to crib at home, which hardly ever happens any more. At about 2:30, I told Trash, "Let's bring him if he wakes up in the next…thirty seconds." He didn't.

When he woke up a half hour after the second performance started, I was tempted to ask him, "What did you think of the concert?" But I refrained, because one of my earliest Christmas memories is of wanting to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV when I was three or four, and being told that I'd slept through it. And some of you may be too young to realize this, but if you miss a Christmas special in 1973, you're shit out of luck until 1974. And then it's all Watergate hearings anyway. Never mind that watching Rudolph these days reveals that the North Pole is populated almost completely by conformity-pushing assholes; if he was anywhere near as disappointed as I was by missing a holiday event, I didn't want to mock his pain. Okay, actually I did want to, a little, but I refrained.

And now we have the 2007 Holiday Concert to look forward to. After all the talking up we'd done, I hope he dreamt of strings and woodwinds. And pounding the everloving shit out of a timpani.

posted by M. Giant 8:52 PM 1 comments

1 Comments:

I found you on the Adopitve Family Forums. I love your stories about adoption and m. small. Thank you for sharing and letting us see into your adoption world. It gives me hope.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 18, 2006 at 8:15 PM  

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