Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sugar + Dough = Playhouse Disney Live

Months and months ago I noticed an ad for Playhouse Disney Live. That's right, I let my daughter watch morning TV, and she's so into it that I figured she'd love to see her favorite characters in person. I knew she would. I knew I would love taking her. So I shelled out $90 for three second-row-center tix to a production in Saginaw, 2 1/2 hours away. I knew it'd be worth it. 

I have these memories of going to Sesame Street Live with my family when I was little. They're in the category marked "Perfect Memories of Childhood." They involve anticipation, cheap, blinky souvenirs and popcorn, cotton candy and soda. I have been waiting more than 2 1/2 years to create such a memory with my own children (I've made other good memories I hope -- I just mean this one was different and special). I - was - stoked.

And so was Berit, when I told her about it. Aha! Just the reaction I was hoping for. She was ready for it developmentally... finally! The awe was just around the corner! 

Nevermind that Marta's been miserable all week. On Tuesday, the doctor said it was a virus that was making her super cranky, sleepless and not hungry. I swore it was an ear infection combined with her new (first!) tooth popping through, but no infections were found. No sniffles, no coughs, just a mysterious virus that makes babies feverish and fussy. How lovely.

On Thursday her fever broke, and I looked ahead to brighter days. Friday rolled around -- the day of the event -- and we dropped the dog with a friend, loaded the car with snacks, just-in-case stuff and pjs for the ride home. I even took a carsick medication so I could entertain kids from the front seat, turned around, or, if the perfect day turned into the perfect drive, READ for the two-and-a-half-hour trip there and home. (Hello, gas prices $$$) 

Marta was not excited for this day. Still miserable, she shrieked the whole way there. We arrived an hour-and-a-half early, and walked around the small waiting area trying to entertain a very-excited B and a cranky baby. I spent $40 on two blinky souvenirs that the girls really loved, and I didn't care too much that Marta was fussy, because I was way too excited to see the look on Berit's face during the show. 

The time to enter came. Our seats were perfect. We bought cotton candy ($), roasted almonds ($), yogurt pretzels ($) and chocolate-covered raisins ($). Berit was in sugar heaven, let me tell you, and I didn't even try to stop her. Marta, on the other hand, was squirmy and unhappy. "As soon as the show starts, she'll be fine," I thought. We were front and center -- she'd be mesmerized by the action and the lights. Trev and I took turns walking her around the arena. With each lap, she got more fussy, more tired, more uncomfortable. 

But the show started, and Berit's face! She was so happy! Mickey was onstage, and there was singing and interaction and dancing and oh, what promise this show held for her, for me. But Marta couldn't have been less happy, and she was letting everyone around us know about it. I had no choice but to take her somewhere less crowded (though I did try to nurse her several times right in our front-and-center seat, so that even Mickey could see my belly and possibly my breasts as Marta refused them). I moved to the last row -- no dice. I moved to the bathroom, and did something I promised my sister long ago I'd never do -- I sat on a public toilet and nursed her. Still no happiness. I proceeded to march around and around the arena through the entire show with my fussy baby winding circles around and around in my arms, trying to get comfortable and finding it impossible. Trevor says Berit loved the show, and that as soon as it was over, said, "I want more," quietly, matter-of-factly, in true Berit fashion. I know it sounds ridiculous -- I have a happy, healthy family who can do fun things together -- but I was really sad that I didn't get to watch the show with my kiddo. 

On our way home Marta crashed. When she woke up nearly in pieces she was so upset, we stopped for dinner ($) -- which Trevor and Berit ate while I hung out in the car with Marta. She then proceeded to shriek the whole way home, and Berit had an anticipated and accepted sugar meltdown. 

During the night, Marta would only sleep if I was holding her, standing up. So you can guess how much sleep we both got. This morning I took her to the doctor's office (again. $), sure her virus had somehow led to an ear infection. When we unzipped her pjs to take her temp, we noticed that her whole body had a rash on it. And to be honest, I was relieved, because there was now physical evidence that something bad was happening with my baby, and the doctor would see it, tell me what it was and what he would do to make her better.

But he said everything was fine -- the rash was simply an indication that what she had was a virus, that she probably had a headache and body aches, and to take her home, give her some Tylenol and wait, because it'd start clearing up, he guessed, by Monday.

And by the way, keep her away from other kids (sorry, Playhouse Disney Live crowd), and were we taking our kids downtown for the downtown trick-or-treating starting in five minutes and lasting for the next hour-and-a-half? 

So Trevor took Berit dressed in her dragon costume trick-or-treating, without Marta and me, and he said she "had a blast." And I missed it.

And I know this post sounds like a lot of whining on my part. I think these past few days were a shining example of Mom sacrifice, like when you were a kid and you stayed in your jammas all Christmas Day playing with your new stuff while your mom, who had purchased, wrapped, set out and videotaped your enjoyment of said stuff cooked dinner for a dozen people and cleaned up your Christmas mess. And Dad took a nap. (Not saying for a second that Trevor hasn't been my hero through all of this -- at 3 a.m. last night he took Marta and read her books for a half-hour so I could get a little shut-eye. But you understand.)

And I don't mean to sound like "Oh, moms have to sacrifice so much just so that their kids have a lovely life." Even if that were the case, I'm happy to do so. I don't know what I'm trying to say. I just wanted to see Berit happy and enjoy these things, because they're brand spanking new to her, and I wanted to see the first time she realized them, the first time they entered her consciousness. 

Side note: When I asked Trevor if he had taken any pictures of Playhouse Disney Live, he said he had. I was so excited to look at them... but they were all of Mickey Mouse. 

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