Really, the 4 yr old thinks Christmas came along pretty fast, just imagine what I think. You probably don't need to imagine, it seems like everyone agrees that Christmas sure happens fast these days.
Anyway, the preschool had their program the other night and it was an experience to remember! We sort of thought it might be since our daughter has more personality than the average bear. When our older girls were in elementary school, my husband and I loved going to their spring singing concert every year. The Christmas thing was chaos, but the spring show was great! The kids came out grade by grade and sang. The best, absolutely the very best part of the show every year was this kid named Chance.
Yeah, we always went to watch someone else's kid. He was super entertaining! Our girls were nice singers, walked in line, stood nice and still in their assigned position, did the correct actions to the song... sure, love that. But that little guy, Chance, he was so exuberant that he was hilarious! Chance's mother was always the most embarrassed woman in the crowd, but everyone else just loved the boy's antics on stage. He sang the loudest, waved, danced when everyone else stood still, you know the type. He was Chance!
Well, as it turns out, our sweet little Gracie is a lot like Chance. And we were very very afraid. We said to each other, "I think she's Chance" and "Oh no, the Chance of this school is our kid!". The Preschool Christmas Program was scheduled for a Wednesday night, the night my husband teaches a college class. This means I'm going alone. The lone parent of the new Chance. I took the video camera and the jealous two year old.
If you have been reading with me for a while, you might remember that Gracie is a ballet school dropout. She was dancing to her own music, and it was very energetic powerful music that took her out front and the other ballerinas were merely back-up dancers. We didn't even have her go to the recital, practice was bad enough! Although this is a singing concert, whose to say she won't be dancing? One just never knows!
I decided to wear a dress and brush my hair for once. I guess I was thinking that if my kid was going to be the show-hog and everyone was going to stare at me with that "is that your kid?" look, at least I was going to look presentable. Gracie looked fabulous! She got a really cute haircut, a miniature manicure, and a new red and black holiday dress with bright pink shoes. She was just adorable! Right down to the ankles, below that needed some work.
We left three hours early. I know, that seems excessive, but you see.... we also had Charlie. And Lexie. We dropped Lexie off at work and then drove to Charlie's dad's house and dropped off Charlie for an evening of fun rather than an evening of sitting still and being quiet. He's a baby. It wasn't gonna happen.
Then we went to Payless to buy some black or red shoes. Success! Also ended up getting Libby some shoes. After shoe shopping, we went to In-n-Out for burgers and fries and lots and lots of napkins. We took our dinner to the Preschool, and check-in time was only an hour away now. Then I got the kids out of their carseats and we all sat in the back of the van and had a picnic in our beautiful dresses. It was fun! My van still smells like french fries, but we had a good time and we were on time for the concert.
We had time to take Gracie to the potty and I reached in my bag for my travel toothbrush to get all the fast food out of my braces. Ewww. After a lot of rummaging around in my purse, sifting through diapers, lollipops, nail clippers, spare socks, toys, and coins... I remembered that I tossed my toothbrush in the dishwasher and that's where it is. Ugh. I had to pick and swish with water. Oh well.
It was almost 6pm now and Gracie was supposed to report to her classroom at six. I took her to her room then Libby and I went to the big room to find our seats. This place is a contemporary church, so they don't have pews, but chairs. The chairs are all set in rows, does this matter? Anyway....
I went straight to the front row. I want a good video for my husband since he has to miss this. There were very few people in the room and one lady was in the front pulling some papers out of her bag and placing them on every chair in the first two and three rows. I looked and the papers said "Reserved
Reserved seating started to fill in. Tallest guy in the audience sat right in the front row. Nice. The family right in front of me hit the cookie table pretty hard. Over and over and over again. In the 15 minutes that they sat there, they inhaled a dozen cookies at least. There were crumbs everywhere! Not sure why they couldn't eat them without scattering crumbs all over themselves, the chairs and the carpet, but they sure made a mess. And the cookies are for AFTER the show. Great, now Libby wants a cookie too.
The show started at 6:30 and by this time, Libby was fidgeting and fussing and wanted to run around and play. But she didn't want to leave me, she's clingy like that. Luckily, the program started and she was happy! Yay!
The kids were escorted from the back of the big room, up the middle aisle and onto the stage. People came from the back of the room and filled in along the sides of the audience for a better view of the little runts.
First the two-year olds sang. They were adorable! They didn't really sing, but they went on the stage and jingled their bells. Only one was crying.
Some people came up the sides of the room and ducked down and sat on the floor in front. And by some, I mean lots. Hmm. Well, that's different. Sitting on the floor.
Next the three-year old class came up. They were all dressed in green and they stood in the shape of a Christmas tree. Very cute! More of them sang then I expected. None were really trying to be the star of the show. I was really hoping there would be a few more kids like Chance on the stage. Just gonna be Gracie. Sigh.
There are two classes of 4 yr olds. I looked back to watch them come forward and, Whoa! What is this? A stampede? What the helk?!!!
Coming up the center aisle is a herd of crawling moms. All of them dressed nice and wielding cameras. They were crawling! CRAWLING! On hands and knees charging up to the front trying to beat each other in this race to the front for the best spot. I have never in my life seen an audience behave like this! I was in such shock that I had two cameras in my hands and didn't take a photo of the stampeding crawling moms. My jaw dropped to the floor and my eyes took in this incredible sight in shock. They filled up the floor in front of the stage and they all stooped in the aisle clogging it up completely.
The 4 yr olds couldn't get through. The teacher escort had to inch her way up to the front saying excuse me a hundred times. I wanted to will her to kick these crawling freaks out of the way, but she was too polite for that. That was naughty, I had visions of being mean to the floor huggers while I was sitting in a church! I'm gonna pay for that later.
Finally, a path was cleared and the kids came forward. The crawling paparazzi snapped away and took video of the processional. Gracie waved.
The other class was first and they did a little nativity play and then sang a song. Yeah, yeah, cute, lets move on. Libby can't take much more.
Gracie's class was next. They lined up on stage for their two songs. Turns out, my kid wasn't a complete show-hog! Yay! She stayed in her spot! Yippeee! She sang her little heart out and I could hear her above all others, but she sang great and knew all of the words! She wasn't too overly exuberant with her actions. A bit, but the stage is for drama isn't it? She was just GREAT! I was a wee bit disappointed that she wasn't more of a ham, guess I had myself all psyched up for it.
Libby was totally done now. Terrible two took over. She cried during the entire performance of Gracie's class, she kept trying to yank my dress off or up or something. She was crying for "boo-boo Now!" Oh, no, not here and certainly not in a dress! I really have to just quit nursing. She was tired and there's only so much sitting still a two year old can do. After seeing the grown-ups in this crowd act like a bunch of untrained monkeys, I really didn't worry about it and I let her fuss.
I video taped as best I could. I had to hold my arm way up in the air to get a good shot without tall-guy's head in the way. Gracie sang and sang! Loved it! But, it was the Sylvia-Show not the Gracie show. There was some relief in that. Sylvia had a microphone in front of her and the rest of the class were her back up singers. Hmmm. Must be the teacher's kid? Sylvia sang one song with Gracie and the rest of the kids doing the back up, and then Sylvia lead the rest of the class in song #2. Gracie did really well and sang as loud as Sylvia did. And Sylvia had a mic! Plus, Gracie stayed in her own spot and didn't dance around the stage like she did in ballet class. My girl is growing up!
After the grand finale of a rousing chorus of Jingle Bells, the show is over. YAY! What an experience! I sure learned a lot tonight, but I left very proud of my daughter. She's got a long way to go to be as entertaining as Chance, but she's off to a good start. In the end, it was the parents who left the biggest impression in my mind. This audience of crazed moms and dads and whoever else they brought with them was just insane. Scariest thing about them... they are raising the little people who are my daughter's peers. Her social interaction is with children whose parents crawl in public.
Maybe we should homeschool. Nah, my little Chance can hold her own and I'll just have to teach her that her friends are being raised by packs of wolves with cameras. Not far from the truth.