We can now add "The School Christmas Program" to the list of things I don't do well.
I'll tell you about it, but first I have to go pour myself a glass of wine. A BIG GLASS.
On the offchance I did not beat you over the head with the fact today - Phillip is out of town. This was disappointing - also stressful. (Also the subject of my post at Parenting tomorrow, should you be interested in my kvetching about all my first world problems.) Anyway, it just sounded like a logistical mess to me. Three kids, a baby who demands to eat at inopportune times, getting Jack to his classroom early, a seven pm start time aka BEDTIME.
I decided to solve this problem with in-laws. They arrived later than they said, but everything was going fine, if not exactly easily - I had all three dressed up and fed and I was attempting another Christmas card picture on OUR NEW COUCH which had been delivered mere hours beforehand.
Jack was supposed to be there twenty minutes early, and since we are only two blocks from the school I decided I would drop him off, then come back for everyone else. Emma needed to eat again and I thought this would buy me a few more minutes to ensure a happy baby at the concert.
But the parking lot, even twenty minutes early, was jam packed. It's a SMALL parking lot, but still. I realized that not everyone lives twenty minutes away, that most parents were probably dropping their kids at their classrooms and then heading over to the hall to find a seat. And I was going to have to book it back to the house and herd everyone outside to WALK, since 1) there would obviously be nowhere left to park by the time we came back and 2) WE WERE SOOO LATE!
But it was more like herding cats? And I mean, it's my own fault too. We had to gather hats, mittens, cameras, strollers, coats, I had to... well, you know, I should probably stop thinking and/or wishing that people could just read my mind because they're just NOT going to do what I want at the proper speed, ie: NOW NOW NOW LET'S GET OUT OF HERE.
And you guys, there was NOWHERE TO SIT. The first two rows were supposedly reserved for Pre-K and Kindergarten parents, but there was no space left. No space ANYWHERE. I felt horrible. My first kid's first concert and I can't even manage to find a SEAT. How would he even know I was there? We found an empty spot along the wall and I parked Emma and picked up Molly and tried to sort of sneak my way into the front where the Pre-K kids were sitting on the floor - no dice. Such a stickler, that Pre-K teacher! And seriously, any time I asked anyone about an extra seat, it was taken or not to be used or SOMETHING OMG I FELT SO STUPID.
So whatever. I just decided we would stand near the wall with my MIL and Emma (FIL was bouncing around looking for the best picture-taking angle.) We did that for the opening act (the beginning band and HOW I REMEMBER BEGINNING BAND) and then it was the little kids' turn to sing their two songs.
I did not expect to feel so proud, people. I mean, it's a CHRISTMAS PROGRAM. He's singing TWO SONGS. Two DUMB songs! But he was so cute. I swear he was the cutest kid on stage - DARE TO DISAGREE WITH ME, INTERNET. He looked so small and uncertain and ADORABLE and I just stood there willing him to see me where Molly and I had sneaked back into the front. We were off to the side, but he was on the same side (thank goodness) and he finally caught sight. His whole round little face lit up, it really did light up. He waved! I DIED! He was just the CUTEST THING. And then the singing - ugh, I am tearing up. COME ON, ME! Gah. But whatever, I was just SO proud of him and SO happy and relieved he knew I was there and knew where I was. I didn't take my eyes off him the entire time and I'm incredibly bummed out about not being in any position to take any type of picture whatsoever. I'm hoping FIL will come through on that!
But then the two songs were over and the kids filed off the stage. The little kids were supposed to find and sit with their parents. Except Jack's parent did not have a place for him to sit. I wasn't sure what to do. None of us really wanted to watch the rest of the show, but I also felt pretty conspicuous. There weren't too many people standing like us and NONE of them had kids. NONE. I asked Jack if he wanted to watch the other kids and he said, quite clearly, "I want to see one song and then I want to go home." Fine by me!
Getting out of there was SO awkward, though. Even though I'd told both MIL and FIL that we were leaving after the next song, it was like... WELL. AGAIN. I don't know why I go around expecting people to read my mind. PERSONAL PROBLEM. NOTED. Anyhow, our exit just wasn't as smooth as I would have liked. The kids want to go with me and not their grandfather, I'm not sure MIL is going to wheel Emma out or not, I'm not sure where the door is, I don't know if we're blocking the view, I'm trying to do this quietly but Molly is yammering on about something. I herded everyone out the nearest door and threw coats at the kids before FIL could burst into BUT THE CHILDREN WILL TURN INTO KIDSICLES! panic.
And then I almost cried on the way home. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. I felt bad for leaving early - remember, I have teacher parents and I hear a LOT about parent behavior and I've always wanted to be the parent that ENJOYS the school programs and claps and laughs in the right places. I felt bad for leaving early, even though I didn't know anyone else in the school! I felt bad that people SAW us leave, especially Jack's teacher, whose eyes I could feel the entire time I was maneuvering everyone out. I felt bad that I didn't get there on time, that I didn't realize it would be so crowded, that Jack didn't have anywhere to SIT and experience the rest of HIS concert. I feel STUPID.
I think I'm just tired. Emma's night wasn't so great, and she hardly slept at all today. (I blame my aunt, who visited right when everyone was sort of down for the afternoon. She did bring cookies, however, also pajamas she'd sewn herself AND thought Jack was a hoot when he was CLEARLY being a bratty show off, so I forgive her.)
All that said, my new couch is pretty awesome. It's got one of those chaise things and ooh, typing your blog post with your legs kicked out on the chaise end is a really great way to write a blog post.
Phillip comes home tomorrow! Also: does anyone have a good suggestion for something-edible-to-put-in-a-jar for Jack's teacher present? The only thing I can think of is granola (I know, my brain is about wiped out) and Mrs. Pre-K does not seem like the granola type...