Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Lovely Evening of Song. (Ha.)

So, evening functions at the elementary school: yay or nay?

It would make me feel like way less of a terrible parent if you all agreed with me that things such as, oh, let's say a holiday concert featuring first, third, and fifth graders, are some sort of torture inflicted on us by teachers who are tired of taking care of our kids day after day and are looking for payback.

I mean, sure, they're cute and all, and hooray for their pride in participating, and of course I would like to see Sam sing Rodgers and Hammerstein ("My Favorite Things"). But ooooohhhh mmmmyyyyyy lllllooooorrrrrdddd!

First, the cute:

I always choose the wrong side of the auditorium on which to sit.

To get to that cute, I first had to last through the first graders (of which I have none), while managing both Quinn and Jack in the audience. Alex, who arrived late, didn't find a seat in the room full of probably 200 parents and 100 chairs.

The lucky bastard got to stand in the hall by himself.

I was going to insist that my children pay attention to the concert and not play on the iPhone until I realized three things in rapid succession.

1. Sam had to be at the school at 6:30 to prepare (and by "prepare," I mean "line up"), but the concert didn't start until 7. Then, Sam wasn't even on stage until 7:20 or so.

2. Both of my children had already sat through the concert once today, when it was performed as an assembly at school. And come to think of it, I got a note that Jack was squirmy and misbehaved then.

3. When I realized how annoyed, uncomfortable, and hot I was, I folded like a bad hand in poker and gave Jack my iPhone.

He did this for the next hour.

That left Quinn. The three of us were squished together into two tiny folding chairs. If you do your math, you will figure out that Quinn was probably on my lap. And if you know your history, you could probably guess that he did not sit still.

His props today were a stuffed mouse and a Santa Claus hat that I bought for $2.99 at 7-11 and which left red and white lint in the hair of anyone who wore it. Quinn futzed around and fidgeted all over. I worked really hard to keep him from falling off of me onto the lady sitting one inch to my left or clobbering Jack a half inch to my right.

He spent part of the evening hanging out on the ground.

Honestly, it was the best place for him.

Then, Quinn's buddy, who is a lot like him, showed up (after the first-grade parents left and the third-grade parents found seats). Quinn's behavior only improved.

If anything, that kid was even more animated than the sketch makes him seem.

At this point, Quinn had his own seat right next to me. Unfortunately, he stood up for a split second and some lady swooped in and sat down.

This would have been fine and all, but for the fact that, (a) by this time, there were plenty of seats not right next to me, (b) she was sitting on a third of my chair in addition to hers, and (c) she smelled like a distillery.

Now I'm not saying that any member of Team Stimey smelled all that much better or that we are above boozing it up to soften the blow of a school concert, but I'd just about reached my limit.

After the third graders, I stuck around to take some photos for my friends with a fifth grader. By this time, Alex had found a seat near us. Then I murdered Quinn.

Okay. No. But I wanted to.

At least we're done with concerts until May, when Quinn and Jack will be forced to perform. I look forward to another perfect storm of sensory overload, crowds, and noise then as well. Would it be bad form for me to take my own DSi to block out the world at that one?

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