Raise your hand if this day did not turn out as you had expected. Yeah, me too.
Every summer, Willow Bend Mall puts on free shows for kids on Thursdays. They bring in all sorts of entertainment and Gram was very excited to take Sam this summer. The first one they went to by themselves and saw Emmy Award Winner "David Chicken". (Yes, Gram. You read that right. He actually won an Emmy.) David Chicken sings, dances and plays a guitar while donning a chicken hat and cape. Sam had a fabulous time dancing, won lots of prizes and is still talking about it today.
The following Thursday Sam and Gram invited me to go with them to see a band called "Vocal Trash" - think "STOMP" for kids with a reduce-reuse-recycle message. Gram did a great job of getting us to the mall, feeding us, and finding the perfect spot for the best view of the band. This was not an easy feat. It took lots of checking on the gathering crowd, assessing when we needed to make our move from the food court to the stage area, and keeping Sam from having a meltdown due to the long wait. The whole operation is kept very well organized by these sweet college-age girls who were hired for the unfortunate job of crowd control. There are even signs everywhere that say this:
We thought that these signs were awesome, as they ensure all kids will be able to see. And yet one family - the family right in front of us - had a little trouble dealing with this minor restriction. During the pre-show this family did a lot of up-and-down, had constant squeezing-in of additional family members, filling the bench with oodles of kids and moms when it can only hold about four, and were just rowdy in general. Gram and I just kept looking at each other and rolling our eyes, thinking surely they would calm down when Vocal Trash started banging on their trash-can drums because, you know,
there were these signs and everything
. WRONG. Along comes a new family member - The Dad - a very tall, very large man, who proceeds to plant his standing-self right in front of Sam. And as you can imagine, Gram was having NONE of that. Nobody stands in front of her Sam. She approached him politely but firmly, and using her calm yet direct teacher voice, asked him to sit down because her three year old grandson was right behind him. Long story short, he was rude and illogical, yelled at her, called her names and wouldn't budge. Then he looked at his wife and used the universal sign for "crazy" while pointing back at Gram. I witnessed it all, though only through the corner of one eye as I was wincing out of fear of what this might escalate to.
At the request of moms on either side of us, Gram very calmly tattled on him to the show organizers and the situation resolved itself in time for the show. We were relieved - crisis was averted, Sam had a great view, and we were ready for some fun.
And as much as Sam loves dancing and banging on drums, which at home consists of coffee cans and crochet hooks, we thought he would totally dig this performance for sure. WRONG AGAIN. He was a little freaked out by the noise and the banging on metal trashcans, Culligan-sized water jugs, and washboards. Gram and I enjoyed it because they did a wide range of covers, from current dance songs all the way back to The Beatles. They even did Footloose, which made the whole debacle worth it to Gram. All the while Sam was whining, crying, and on the verge of total meltdown. After all of Gram's work, all he wanted to do was go home to Gram's house. We made him stick it out and then headed home, all of us with a cotton-in-our-ears feeling, me looking behind us every few steps to make sure Mean Dad didn't follow us to the parking lot.
There were a few bright spots, though. I got something special at Janie and Jack for Baby Girl Straka to wear next summer - more on that later. And, we got some photos of each of us with Sam, so that we never forget this
keeping Sam entertained while waiting
Sam and Gram, post-show
And *TWO* photos of Sam, Mommy, and The Bump
photos courtesy of Gram (her first time using the Mark-Daddy)
I'm including both because I like how we're both making the same face in each picture,
making us look alike even more.
Last, but not least, some Vocal Trash!