Before becoming a parent, nothing scared me more than the "activities." Not diapers, not sleepless nights, not Upromise accounts...nothing. Kids in crowds, chaotically running and screaming like spring breakers at Senor Frog's have as much appeal to me as sawing a linoleum knife between my toes. I swore I would do everything in my power to avoid such events.
Two and a half years in and I have much the same opinion. But that didn't stop us from buying Sesame Street Live tickets.
What the hell else were we gonna do on a cold Sunday morning?
Cheeky's love affair with Ernie and Elmo ain't what it used to be, but since I'd rather walk through the gates of hell than see Dora live Sesame Street seemed like a relatively benign way to kill a couple hours.
Madison Square Garden--thrilled to be hosting anything but a Knicks game--was the venue. We took our seats in a surprisingly empty section (a temporary thing, as dozens of harried parents arrived soon after it started) and I sipped my $4.50 Diet Coke (price gouging: alive and well). As the lights dimmed Bert and Ernie took the stage to begin the sort of witty banter that appeals to six year olds and the mentally challenged. I knew it was going to be a long couple hours.
Mind you, the whole thing wasn't bad. The kids were relatively well-behaved, and the story, which revolved around Super Grover's lack of sleep and personal hygiene, did an admirable job of keeping Baby Bear off the stage. But I couldn't help think that the cast would be frantically calling their agents after the show. ("I said Susan Stroman, not Susan & Gordon!") The music sounded like it came from a cheap boombox behind the curtains, and the periodic appearance of a random woman named Kay (you know, 'cause 'K' was the letter of the day) was an odd, undersized counterpoint to the rainbow of monsters on stage. By intermission (!!!) my mind had slipped into a fugue in which the characters had blurred into psychedelic fractal screensaver.
If Cheeky weren't jumping up and down on my legs I'd have slept for an hour.
We walked away a little spent, carrying one of 75,000 Elmo balloons and a heart-warming message about ....um...what was it? Friendship? Getting enough exercise? Talking cheese? I can't remember. Cheeky had a good time, and although we felt like we'd lost an hour of our lives it was a small price to pay to see her happy. Besides, it could have been much, much worse.