Monday, December 5, 2011

Silence is Golden

Our daughter has the most exquisite timing.

Over the weekend, Adelaide and I drove down to Kansas City to attend a performance of The Nutcracker with my mom and two sisters.  After a hearty lunch, the five of us headed to the Kauffman Center to find our seats and await the performance.  Luckily for me, Adelaide insisted on sitting in between her grandma and two aunts, which put me down at the end of the row, three seats away from her.  This means I got to spend the whole first half focusing on the ballet itself, although I did frequently steal glances down the row to see how she was doing.  Every time I checked, she was sitting up straight on the edge of her seat, eyes glued to the stage.  So far, so good.

Intermission arrived.  After a bathroom break, where I forced Adelaide to use the facilities (because I'm a mean, mean Mommy, and also didn't want to have to get up during the performance), we found our seats again, but Adelaide wanted to sit by me now, and started asking Whhhyyyy is this ballet sooo looooong?  I ever so patiently explained that the second half was more exciting; more styles of dancing, costume changes, characters, etc.

The house lights came down, the curtain once again was raised, and the second half began.  Adelaide was very quiet and attentive while the little angels were dancing and during the dance of Mother Ginger and her Polichinelles.

While all the other kinds of food representatives (chocolate, coffee, tea, ribbon candy, and marzipan) were dancing, and during the Waltz of the Flowers, she asked all kind of questions in a distracting stage whisper.  So basically DURING MY FAVORITE PARTS she wouldn't stop talking.

Chocolate (Spanish):  "How do they get the curtain to go up and down like that?  Why is it purple?"

Coffee (Arabian):  "Doesn't it hurt her to do that?  Why isn't he wearing a shirt?  Is he cold?  Doesn't he know it's winter?"

Tea (Chinese):  "How do those girls push that box around when the man is in it?  Isn't it really heavy?"

Ribbon Candy (Russian):  "I'm hungry.  Can we go back to the hotel?"

Marzipan-the Dance of the Reed Pipes:  "They look like candy canes!  When can I eat the candy canes I got from Santa the other day?"

The Waltz of the Flowers:  "Why doesn't she have a big tutu?  How do they not run into each other?  Why is this so long?"

I did my best to maintain my composure and answer her questions quietly (if a bit curtly), reminding her that she could ask all the questions she wanted when it was over.

Then, during the Grand Pas de Deux by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, she whispered, "I have the use the bathroom again!"

I reminded myself that Derek doesn't smother her when she won't stop talking during his Vikings games, although I have seen him gripping those throw pillows pretty tightly.  I tried not to think about the fact that the Vikings play about a million weekends out of the year (or it just feels like it), whereas I get to go to the ballet once every few years.

After having this little talk with myself-during which time she twice repeated to me that she really had to go- I hissed, "This is almost over, and we are almost done.  I will take you to the bathroom the minute it is over, but until then, we are going to sit quietly, listen to the lovely music, watch the beautiful dancing, and STOP TALKING TO EACH OTHER."

Then we sat quietly, listened to the lovely music, watched the beautiful dancing, and stopped talking to each other.

It was the best ten minutes of the entire ballet.

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