Monday, March 12, 2007

The Show Must Go On...

The trouble with having four children is that just as you are concentrating on one of them (viz no 1 has taken up rather a lot of my time in the last week for obvious reasons), another one pops up demanding attention. So it was that, last week no 4 had a major asthma attack just when I'd taken my eye off the ball, and no 3 has been wailing piteously about the show she was going to be in this weekend. For once, no 2, my drama queen, had nothing to make a fuss about, so she was the only one not competing for my time.

I may have mentioned how much I loathe and detest the Fame School before, but never more so when they're putting on their blasted show. It is all they think about. What care do they have for people like me with more then one child, and a whole lot of other life to live that doesn't funnily enough, revolve around the Fame School?

We have spent weeks rehearsing for this wretched show, and no 3's contribution was probably less then two minutes, but it still required her being at rehearsals for several hours on Saturday afternoons, and for a final dress rehearsal on Friday evening.

Life never running smoothly, this also coincided with no 1 having a weekend away with the guides. I had briefly looked at the directions and seen the dreaded words A3 and Guildford, and concluded that I had a long drive ahead of me on Friday night, at rush hour. I had to get no 3 to her rehearsal for 4.30, no 1 to the camp by 5.30 and be back to pick no3 up by 6.30. Somehow I didn't think I was going to make it.

Rather inconveniently, because they have so many kids to get into the show and they put on six performances which is rather a lot for the younger ones, the children are divided into two groups, and all my mates who might be available for lift sharing were in the other group. Spouse had muttered something about being around to pick her up, but I couldn't really rely on it.

So it was with great relief that I read the instructions properly on my way out to pick the kids up and realised, that in fact the guide camp was just off the A3 near Cobham, not too far away at all.

I dispatched no 3 at her rehearsal, complete with books and food supplies as most of her time was likely to be spent sitting around doing nothing. Over the previous few weeks she had been getting increasingly nervous and we had had tears at several points along the way, but as luck would have it the excitement of being in a proper theatre was enough to overcome her fears.

Then it was off to Cobham, with instructions that seemed rather unclear. Someway after the junction, I was apparently to see a sign with the name of the camp on it. If I missed it, I had to go on to the M25 roundabout go back and try again. I felt sure I had got something wrong, but the instructions proved correct. I had to practically do an emergency stop to get into the turning, but we found it with no great problem. (Getting out again straight onto the A3 wasn't a lot of fun though).

No 1 was determined to get shot of me as soon as she could, so I headed back with the other two to have Mcdonalds while we waited for no 3 to finish.

On Saturday she had two performances, so I took her straight to the theatre after no 1's ballet lesson, again leaving her with plenty of supplies. It was a lovely day and we should have gone in the garden, but instead watched Lara Croft, much to no 2's delight as it fulfils all her girl power fantasies (and mine, it has to be said). No 2 then chose this moment to have her turn at a wobbly as she has been invited to take part in a gym competition, which unfortunately clashed with a family day out I've arranged to see Mary Poppins. After calming her down and frantically trying to work out if I could swap the tickets (it was hard enough to get them in the first place) I looked at the dates again and realised I had made a mistake. We're seeing MP on the Saturday and her gymshow is on the Sunday. It does clash with a triathlon I had wanted to take part in, but hey... so long as she's happy...

We set off at 3.15 to the theatre, as we were taking mil with us and needed to find a disabled parking space. This we managed to do, but having never taken her to our local theatre before, I hadn't thought to specify seats with disabled access, and it transpired we were upstairs. Never mind, I said, we'll take the lift. Er. Wrong... there is no lift.

I managed to beg a couple of tickets downstairs off the duty manager, phew, and left Spouse and mil together, while nos 2 &4 came upstairs with me.

The show itself was very slick and well presented, as befits a dance school that sends most of its alumni onto the West End, but I have to fess up here and say its not my cup of tea.

No 3's bit was part of a Beatrix Potter routine, so we went through rabbits, squirrels, mice etc, before getting to No 3's two minutes of being a fish with Jeremy Fisher. I have to say it was two minutes to which she gave her all, but jeez, the tedium of having to sit through the rest of it. For some reason they had a loose theme of dances in time, so we started off with some jazzy numbers and moved on through to the fifties and rock n roll, the sixties and the Beatles etc. In the main it was quite fluffy and light, but clearly someone at the FS is dying to say something more serious, as there was a wierd darkly gothic interlude, which presumably was about the second world war. It was quite an arresting piece, but seemed rather out of keeping with the rest of it.

No 3 came and joined us after the interval, by which time No 4 was getting terminally bored (and can't say I blame her either) and kept asking in a loud voice if was going to be over soon. It did eventually end, but not soon, and then we were able to escape, safe in the knowledge that no 3 only had one more show to do. Phew...

Sunday dawned bright and fair, so Spouse spent most of the morning mending the shed roof, as you do, I spent it cooking, no 2 joined Spouse on the shed roof (and miraculously didn't fall of it) no 3 pottered in the garden and no 4 moaned that no one was playing with her. They were all by now very keen to see their big sister, though she didn't reciprocate this emotion when I went to fetch her. I don't want to go home to see my little sisters she moaned. What about me and dad? I asked. I suppose I don't mind seeing you, was the grudging reply. It's sooo nice to be missed...

As it happens, after a flurry of insults they did all settle down quite happily again, though sadly I couldn't, as I had to dash out with no 3 at 6pm for her final performance. I picked her up again at 7.30pm and sent them all packing to bed.

The show's over, real life continues. Thank god for that...

Real life being what it is, the repercussions of our busy weekend were self evident this morning. No one wanted to get up much (me included). I couldn't find any uniform, and no 1 was still eating breakfast at 8.20am.

Still, the show must go on....

2 comments:

Nic said...

When No.4 finally goes off to college (assuming No.s 1 & 2 aren't back with huge debts by then), you'll REALLY miss this kind of weekend...

Well, maybe not...

h&b said...

Are you mad ?

All this and a triathlon too ?!?!?

Sheer madness, I say.

P.S. - I only recently learned that Mary Poppins was written by an Australian. It doesn't seem right, based on my impressions from the Disney movie.

How bizarre !