We're wrapping up a wonderful weekend. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to prove it. I did pack my camera, but was too busy to remember to snap any shots.
We made a trip up to see my parents, Cookie & Grandaddy, as well as a few of my siblings and their kiddos. I love going home. And so do my kids. They are totally catered to from the time we walk in the door until we leave. This spoiling process, which is a grandparent's prerogative, usually takes a solid week to "undo." Bert and I can be heard saying, "Uh, no. We're not at Grandaddy & Cookie's anymore.... Welcome back to the real world..." etc. My Mother transformed our basement, which was good enough for us to use as a playroom growing up, even though it was dark, damp and unfinished, into the wildest, most magical playroom a child could ask for. Well, unless your names are Prince, Paris and Blanket. In that case, "Cookie's Corner" as it has been renamed, doesn't exactly compare to Michael Jackson's Neverland. My Mother has more toys in the new playroom than we had collectively growing up. Ridiculous. But, the grands love it and stay busy most of the time we are there.
Cookie & Grandaddy thought a field trip out of the playroom might be nice for us this visit. They treated us to a performance of Peter Pan performed by the Children's Theatre Workshop at their Community Center. I wasn't sure what to expect, I'll be honest. I love the theatre. Live performances beat the big screen any day. But, like I said, this was being put on by children, ages 7-16, and was directed by a local. Too, I was a skeptic of my own children's' behavior. Would they sit still and watch a 2 hour play? Bert and I have taken Her Highness and Thunder to see several shows, but usually ended up letting one or the other "stretch their legs" a bit. I couldn't have been more surprised by both. The play was wonderful. The children were wonderful. ALL of them. Even Hail, who is only 21 months old, stood the entire time in my lap, in awe of what was before him. I tried to have him sit or stand in the chair next to me, but he would say in a whisper, "I tant see dat piwort! I tant see!" Translation: I can't see that pirate! The junior actors and actresses belted out the songs from the original play, and never missed a note. Her Highness was literally on the edge of her seat during the sword fights. And when Tinkerbell nearly died she clapped so hard I thought she might have blisters on her hands.
Thunder and Lightning were huge fans as well. Unfortunately, Thunder inherited the inability to whisper from his Father, who thinks if you lower your voice, you are whispering. I learned of Bert's incapability to hush when we were dating in college. Towards the end of church service he would lean over and say, in a deep voice, but not a quiet one, "Where do you wanna eat lunch?"
All of our seats were together, but we were spilt, four and four. This worked out well so we could let the little ones stand on the row in front and not block anyone but ourselves. The moment Peter Pan made "his" grand entrance, Thunder, as well as the entire audience, realized Peter was being played by a female. A tiny waif, who had cut her hair just for the part, did a great job playing the boy who never wanted to grow up. Thunder felt slighted, cheated by his nemesis, a female. Or as he said it, over and over again to Bert, who was on the row behind him, "Daddy! DADDY!! Peter Pan is a GIRL!" Bert, shaking his head tried to assure him that all was okay and to just watch... shut up, and watch. "DADDY! BUT SHE'S A GIRL!!! WHY??? A GIRL!!!" By Act II he got over it but continued to commentate for all who were seated near us.
Captain Hook accidentally shot several of his crew mates when trying to shoot an apple off Smee's head. Thunder was quite concerned, for gun safety is taught in the Hudson Household. Turning to Bert, "DADDY! DADDY! That's not a REAL GUN is it?? They're just joking. Right? Okay." Then turning back to his band of brothers, "NO! It's not a REAL GUN! Captain Hook is just joking."
As the Lost Boys chased the Indians during a game of hide-and-seek, Thunder noticed the attire worn by the Indians. "DADDY! Why do those Indians have on shoes?! Indians don't wear shoes!"
During every scene change, Lightning would ask, repeatedly, "Is it over? I don't wanna go! Oh, it's comin' back? Are you sure?" And Hail would simply ask Peter Pan, himself, to "Tum back! TUM BACK Putur Pan! Tinka-bewl! TUM BACK!"
It was very much a fun experience, and one we will try again with the Hudson Storm.
The next day, the kids were spoiled some more as they were taken back to school shopping and to a movie. We met up later at a local park. I just happened to look over at Lightning just in time to see him struggling, fortunately, with the button on his shorts. I knew this meant only one thing, he was about to drop his drawers in front of 30+ people and take a leak. "Bert! Grab him and take him potty!" I love how our language has spiraled to a toddler's level, even when speaking to other grown ups. As Bert was carrying Lightning into the public restroom, a 10 year old boy was exiting and overheard Bert's conversation. Lightning was questioning why he had to use a potty instead of a bush, like we do in our backyard. Bert was responding with, "Because we're at a park and there are lots of people here and you can't just pull your pants down and go... blah, blah, blah..." The 10 year old says, "Yeah, there was this little boy in a bright green shirt who just did that right there on the grass! You can't do that." Oh, and just to let you know, Thunder was wearing a bright green t-shirt that day. But, surely a bunch of other boys were too. Rrriiight.
We enjoyed a picnic supper of chicken nuggets and potato chips, then headed back to Cookie's Corner. I told you, it's all about the kids with these people. We had a great time, as we always do. But, each time I watch my parents with my children, I'm left to wonder, "Who are these people???" Certainly not the same Steve & Robin I knew growing up.