Ok, now that the potty training mental marathon is over, I can talk about other things.
Remember the Hansel & Gretel show? And how I was all worried that Owen couldn’t sit quietly, but he was so darn excited that we were going to give it a shot?
Well, as usual, he completely surprised me with how well he handled the situation.
Even though it was pretty cold on Saturday, we walked all the way to the theater. No stroller, just walked. Together. I have been trying to do this more and more recently 1) to get him used to walking (short, manageable) distances since we’re not getting a double stroller when the baby comes (I will likely use a carrier for the early days, and then we’re going to get a ride-along board for our current stroller so he can walk or ride) and 2) to tire him out since it’s too cold to spend hours on the playground. He loves walking “like a big boy” and it has proven to be a good opportunity to discuss things like traffic and rules like staying on the sidewalk. It takes about a million years to walk anywhere, but he has so! much! fun! just walking and asking questions every step. This particular walk was really useful because I knew it would help get a little energy out before sitting for a long time at the show.
When we arrived he was giddy. “Why do we have to pick up tickets?” “Where is the show gonna be?” “Where da witch?” “Can we sit in dat seat, or dat seat, or dat seat?” “Can I eat my snack during the show?” “Can I hold my ticket?”… and on and on. I prepped him that once the lights got dim, we’d have to stop talking and just listen to the show. He seemed to get it, but I wasn’t convinced.
But when the lights went down, his questions stopped, his eyes got wide, and his jaw dropped to the ground. He silently moved from his chair, climbed into my lap to get a better view and did not move a muscle for the first 25 minutes of the show. It was astonishing. Our seats were pretty close to the stage, and the marionettes were really quite cool. The puppets + backdrop + music + lights + recorded voiceover = a very engaging show.
About halfway through, when the witch was luring Hansel & Gretel to her house in the woods, and the thunder was crashing and the music got ominous, I thought I had made a terrible mistake. This was SCARY. Like, scary. Especially if he actually grasped the storyline that the witch was going to EAT the kids. He looked back at me for encouragement a few times, and I whispered things in his ear like, “Isn’t that witch so silly? She talks in a funny voice” and “She’s pretending…”. He seemed ok, but visions of nightmares for days flashed before my eyes.
Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about. He had a zillion questions for me after the show about the hows and whys and remember whens, but he didn’t seem bothered by the witch part once we talked about how she was kind of pretending and was so silly. Phew. We stayed after to look at the stage and one of the puppeteers came out and showed Owen how the puppets worked and let him touch some of the props. Very, very cool.
Moral of the story: Owen can totally sit for longer periods of time than I thought (this show turned out to be 50 minutes long!), provided he is exercised and fed He adored the show and I see many more of these in our future.