Monday, September 01, 2008

Over Exposed

As a general rule, I try not to take my children out in public. I also try to limit the number of visitors I have to my home. This greatly reduces the chances of the Charmin display catching fire at the end of Aisle 7, or the Mary Kay rep being asked to hold a poisonous snake since mommy is busy trying on smelly creams. By diligently adhering to this “less is more” philosophy I have saved the planet from disaster at least 26 times. Al Gore should be calling to thank me any minute.

Of course, children need a little something called “exposure” so they can develop beyond the constitution of your garden-variety asparagus. And since I am not a very good gardener, I decide it is time to venture forth into the world with my three boys in tow, and a pad of sticky notes for impromptu “I’m sorry my child broke your priceless Henry Moore sculpture; My college art professor said his work is overrated anyway.”

The outing is a visit to our local children’s theater – a charming, outdoor stage company that presents classic fairytales. Today they are presenting Hansel & Gretel. By intermission, I have given the boys five time-outs, picked bubblegum out of the pigtails of the little girl in front of us, and responded to the very rude man behind me, “Well it’s a little late for birth control now, don’t you think?”

Halfway through the second act, exasperated and suffering an asthma attack from saying, “That’s one, that’s two…!” I decide the woodcutter’s wife was on to something. I grab the kids by their collars, stomp on stage, and throw them into the old witch’s oven with a sticky note that reads, “Sorry to interrupt your delightful interpretation of H&G. I hope you enjoy the children. The middle child can be tough. Use extra salt.”

But the stage manager confronts me before I could leave the theater because, and I should have known this, you can’t place children inside a pretend oven on a stage during a performance unless the kids are cast members.

So we return home to our sanctuary where explosions can be contained to a fifty-foot radius, and visitors are limited to the mailman, who was relieved to learn Tarantula bites are not fatal, and my mother, who loves her grandchildren unconditionally as long as their hands and feet remain in view at all times.

1 comment:

The Mother said...

You have just succinctly described every outing I have ever had with my children.

Except you left out the part where, halfway through "Little Shop of Horrors," the nine year old yells out, "Mommy, what are the handcuffs for?"