Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dora Live at Radio City Music Hall

No one enjoyed the show more than we did. From the moment we stepped out of the taxi and become part of the sea of moms with strollers and bouncing pre-schoolers hugging their Dora balloons, Liana and I were both absorbed into the magic.

Even the men who have been standing on the same corner since my own youth identified us immediately, making good eye contact and asking with feigned concern, “need tickets? Liana, who had gotten cranky during the cab ride and insisted that she wanted to go home by the time we hit Third Ave., immediately got into the spirit of the event, and as I navigated her stroller through the chaos, she bounced excitedly. When she saw the Dora balloons the vendors were selling on the street, her eyes opened wide, and her mouth formed the biggest circle you could imagine on such a little kid. As she pointed purposefully towards the balloons, her body became frozen with anticipation. I shelled out the $10 for the balloon, with no regrets. Her joy was unbridled.

Ticketing was ridiculously easy. We went to the will-call line, and were shuffled to the ticket window in less than a minute. We than had lots of time to kill, so we went for a walk to look at the flags at Rockefeller Center. We ultimately got to our seats with almost a half hour before the show. A walk to the bathroom took a few minutes, but there was a beacon on our seats pulling Liana back. Once we had settled in back in, she knew exactly where we were, and there was no pulling her away. When I suggested we go for a little walk, she said “No, I just want to sit here and watch Dora, ok?” So we sat and watched the seats fill up around us.

As the show started, Boots and other minor characters came on stage, and they were all looking for Dora and asking where she was. Liana was literally on the edge of her seat. “Mommy? Where Dora? Mommy! They no can find Dora!.” And finally, with great concern, “Mommy. Maybe Dora no coming.” At last, when Dora burst through the letter “O’ in her name, the excitement was beyond description. At the end of each song, Liana would turn to me pleadingly and ask if we could see “One more? Please!!!!!!” While older kids (3 and 4 year olds) had reached the limit of their attention spans, and were climbing on chairs and playing with toys and torturing parents who wished the whole thing would just end, Liana followed the plot intensely. When Dora and Boots arrived at a river, and didn’t know how to cross, Liana asked me how they would find a boat. I said I didn’t know. A boat magically appeared, and the joy of the moment replaced the very rational concern of “how” they would find the boat they needed.

The crowd up on the Second Mezzanine was an interesting bunch. I would say about 1/3 black, about 1/3 latino, a sprinkling of Asians, and whites in the minority. Mostly little girls, ages 3-5 being the largest group, and Liana being one of the younger in the crowd. A few babies with their big sisters. A few big girls, 8 or 9, looking dreadfully embarrassed to be dragged to such an event with their younger siblings. Lots of mom/daughter groups. Some large families. The mom next to me talked on her cell phone almost the entire show. Everyone seemed to be making illegal videos of the event with their cameras or cell phones. There was always the sound of a child having a tantrum somewhere off in the distance. I f eared that the tantruming child would be Liana when the show was over. She recognized the finale, and begged, begged, begged for more. But the peer pressure won over, and as the lights went on, and everyone was putting on her coats, she sighed a deep sigh, and said in a melancholy sing song voice “time to go home.” I struggled with the stroller unfolding at the stroller check, rolling around with the miserable thing on the floor as passing children tried to grab at Liana’s precious Dora balloon and I tried to keep track the balloon, my child and my purse.

We left beautiful Radio City with the crowds, and headed home… so happy with our first theatrical production together. My sweet Liana, there will be so many more. I promise.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Things I’ve Learned in the Past 24 Hours

The beautiful parquet floors in my gracious pre-war apartment slope.

Eggs placed on sloping floors roll.

All little things that roll on the floor belong really to my cat, who likes to swat them with one paw, and then the other until they are very very far away from where they started out.

All of the above stated conditions have resulted in Liana’s ability to find 11 of the 12 hardboiled eggs that I hid last night. The last egg may never be found.

There is absolutely no way to “save” chocolate bunnies and chocolate lollypops for later.

Sugar buzzes lead to sugar crashes. Liana is very very calm right now.

NEVER NEVER NEVER go to the Museum of Natural History on a rainy day during spring break.

We are getting ready to go to Liana’s first live theater: Dora City of Lost Toys at Radio City Music Hall. I suspect that my learning for the day has not ended.