Today, I took Margo to see matinee of The Wizard of Oz, put on by the high school where I was teaching at. We talked about about it, I explained to her there would be people dressed up like Dorothy, a scarecrow, a tin man and a lion. The lion part concerned her a bit, then, I mentioned Toto the dog and the monkeys. On the drive there, she asked me about a hundred times, ‘Where are we going?’, ‘Will there be lions and tigers there?’. I could see where this was all going. However, I really wanted to give it a go. I thought she might actually be able to sit through at least 15 or 20 minutes of it (that was all I was hoping for). The only type of show I have taken Margo to was the circus (not an animal circus!) one with acrobats, etc. She was 17 months old and barely made it through, but still enjoyed it and talked about it for months! She’s never been to the movies, she doesn’t watch tv, etc… but I thought maybe a play would be all right.
I’ll tell you how long it lasted: Exactly 5 seconds! We arrived a bit late, the ushers took us in during this quiet part of the show, it was pitch black inside, the usher, who was a nice kid I taught last year, who is at least 10 feet tall, took the tickets out of Margo’s hand (unknowing to him that taking ANYTHING out of 2 year old’s hand is asking for it), then upon handing them back, dropped the tickets (big drama for a 2 year old, again), then Margo saw the stage all lit up and that was it! ‘Mommy!!! I want to go HOME!!!’. Everyone in the proximity whipped their heads in our direction. Ugh, bad timing I thought, I gave about two seconds to desperately try to ease her mind, but it was all over but the crying. We never even made it to the seats! By the time we got back to the car, she was asking to go back, I said, ‘Sorry, we have to go home now.’ That made her even more upset.
I was really grumpy afterwards, and she knew it! We drove towards home and went to the beach where I knew that Art was surfing. Margo sat on that beach with me for an hour and a half watching Art surf! No toys, nothing, just sat there watching the waves, playing in the sand, and yapping to me about everything. Completely content. I asked her if she wanted to go home because it was getting cold, she said, ‘No, I want to wait until daddy comes out of the water.’ So, we sat and waited.
I know that most 2 year olds would be scared of a play, but I also know that Margo is a sensitive little soul. She doesn’t need to have extra stimulation for her to be interested in anything. Entertainment doesn’t interest her, in fact, most forms of entertainment scare the crap out of her! Even not-so-loud live music can scares her, unless she’s very familiar with the scenario. I can understand, I think I was a bit like that when I was a kid. I get frustrated sometimes because she’s just that sensitive, but then I think about it and actually feel grateful that she is the way she is. Test the waters first, Margo. She will try anything once, but with caution. Dealing with her sensitivity also teaches me some big virtues: patience and acceptance!
P.S. I went back to the evening show and Art stayed home with Margo, it was well worth the extra trip back to the theatre!