First smile, first burp, first bowel movement, first giggle, first word, oh the joys of fatherhood. How 'bout first place kicked out of?
"Oh what a beautiful mooorning..." Day started with a birthday party at work. The mom who's daughter's birthday was being celebrated was one of those rare treats who was so controlling and such an order freak that she had been requesting meetings and showing up unnannounced at work to ask really stupid questions pretending to be smart. She was, after all, an event planner, and she clearly knew better how to host a birthday party at our studio that she's never been in because she sends her nanny with her daughter. I finally had to tell her fairly straightfowardly that through the painting part of the celebration we would do things my way, then she could direct as she wished after that. I know this is wrong but the painting went great, and the party descended into utter chaos once "event planner" mom took over, and I was happy. Wrong, I know.
"Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry..." Then on to the main event, an evening with the family at Discoverylands production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!". Discoveryland is an outdoor ampitheater that is acknowledged by Rodgers and Hammerstein's foundation as the official home of this musical. When I was in elementary and junior high and even a few years in high school we use to go to see the musical there every summer as a family, and occasionally a second time with a youth group. I always loved it. We performed "Oklahoma!" my senior year in high school, I was a dancing cowboy (Stop laughing. I mean it.) That was twenty years ago, and I had not been to Discoveryland since then. (Seriously, stop laughing.) This was a big event. Started great. We pulled up to the entrance, and a cowgirl was sitting on her horse waving and smiling as we pulled in. We knew one of my nephews had a summer job there, but we didn't know if we'd see him. Lo and behold, he guides us into our parking space. We went inside to eat, and Caedmon gets his first pony ride. He thought it was awesome. Walking beside him holding him in the saddle and watching him laugh and grin was a priceless moment. Dinner was a steak sandwich, kind of like you get at the Fair. Man, what a night. Off to the ampitheater to watch a group sing some cowboy songs (yeehah) and watch an Indian dancer ( awesome).
"Poor Jud is dead, poor Jud Fry is dead" The cowboy, or cowboy impersonator, that was introducing the show had a funny little quip, went something like this: "We'd ask that you turn your cell phones off or to the silent operation, and if you have young kids we'd ask you do the same". Once the show started, my son lasted approximately half of the opening song and he was bored, but, he was quiet. He got obsessed with the bald guy sitting in front of me, I mean, that dude's head had to be waxed. Caedmon kept reaching out to touch it, shoot, I kind of wanted to touch it too. Finally, he started complaining. Being dutifully courteous parents, my wife and I took him first to the top rows, where he still was a little noisy, then up to the top of the ampitheater by the snacks. We could still see, and he was no longer down with the paying patrons. BOOM! Shotgun goes off. Scared the crap out of me, and Caedmon kind of started whimpering. Not crying, just a little startled by a shotgun blast. (It was part of the play, and we were warned before hand, but, dude, it was loud!)
"And that's about as fer as he could go" I saw her coming. Little Discoveryland worker patrolling the area. With a fake smile and faux friendliness, she blurts "Sorry, you'll need to take him out there" pointing to the quiet abyss completely outside of the ampitheater. You would have to know my son to know the smile he shot at her. You would have to know me to know what I shot at her. He had officially been kicked out of Discoveryland. My wife and my sister were duly offended. I think my mom has potentially contacted special forces to storm the place. After a brief indignant moment, I began to feel proud. Downright giddy by this morning. Blogging about it tonight.
Okay, so if you're going to call yourself "family entertainment", maybe you ought to give a little more room for family. Look, we stepped out of where we were disturbing people, I get respecting that some folks spent $17 on a ticket to see a show that featured performers with half the talent that the theater was once known for. I think there were plenty of adults whimpering after that shotgun blast, I wasn't, I was mostly concerned about the status of my underwear. ( You're laughing again.) The noise of kids is a special thing. I know there are times when kids need to be quiet and respectful, and that is hard work for parents to do. I also think there are times when the laughter of children creates a beautiful backdrop. Ah, what do I know. I do know I'd like to go back to Discoveryland with about 50 or so kids three and under, and another 10 or so kids 8-12 years old to stir up the 50. I know, that plan is probably not from Jesus. So, the parenting adventure continues. I was proud to be pointed the door with my son, felt like a moment.