Cara's first time on a big kid swing...she loved it until she fell off...
B is so sweet to her little cousin. I think she likes having an entourage.
You know how it is trying to get all three children to look at the camera at the same time...
MeMa took the girls (plus their parents; MeMa is not insane) to see the Cinderella ballet, complete with a ballerina princess tea party afterward. I know this sounds like a lot for a not-quite-two-year-old to handle, but I had good reason to think that Cara would be okay. This was a version of the Cinderella ballet meant for children, and there were tons of little girls dressed up in frilly princess dresses and tiaras; at least mine wouldn't be the only one talking during the dancing. And this was not Cara's first performance. We took her to see a children's performance of the Nutcracker right before Christmas, and she did incredibly well considering her age. Yes, I did have to stand near the door with her for a little while and she needed to run around the lobby a little, but I think that the earlier she learns how to behave in public (hahaha....I am laughing at myself right now...), the better.
We talked all the way to the theater about how Cara had to sit in Mommy's lap and be quiet during the ballet. Cara caught on to this pretty quickly; she kept saying "ssshhhh" and whispering "quiet," so I know she got the idea. And everything started out really well. MeMa got Cinderella books for all the girls, and we read her book while we waited for the ballet to start.
And, seriously, for at least the first 45 minutes to an hour, Cara, E, and B were totally enthralled. It was adorable. There were gasps when Cinderella appeared in her princess gown and oooos and aaaahhhhs for the impressive dancing and many claps at the appropriate times. E bounced her little leg in time with the classical music. The children are so cultured.
But, the ballet was an hour and a half long, quite a long time for me to sit still, much less a not-quite-two-year-old, an official-two-year-old, and a five-year-old. PJ (bless his heart at a princess ballet) took Cara into the lobby, and MeMa ended up with E in the lobby while B squirmed her way through the last 30 minutes or so.
And then things went south for poor Cara. My child does not have a timid bone in her body, and she has no problem running away from Mommy and Daddy in a crowd. In fact, I think she likes to wait until she's in a dangerous parking lot or a huge crowd of people until she insists on walking and then runs away. So this princess tea party was in a crowded, small court yard on the side of the theater, and Cara refused to be held.
*Commence toddler battle*
Needless to say, we left early.
As I was walking out of the gate with a screaming, writhing child in my arms, I locked eyes for a moment with a girl that I vaguely recognized, maybe from high school (that always happens when I go back to my hometown). She gave me this incredibly sympathetic look as her own docile girls ate their cake in their pink smocked bishop dresses, and I realized that she had probably been in my shoes a few years before. We've all been there, that moment when our children have had too much and they let us know. I am usually embarrassed by this moment, and at the time I was, but now that I think about it, I am glad. My child is fiercely independent, curious, and fearless. I love that about her, and I would never change it. It simply wouldn't work for PJ and me to end up with a shy firstborn; that's not us.
I counted the ballet as an overall success. Cara did as well as any almost-two-year-old could possibly do. Even when she yelled out something, she always followed it by "sshhh" and a whispered "quiet."
Really, any trip to MeMa's is a success in one way or another. This time, Cara inherited some adorable rain boots from B:
and I went fabric shopping in the garage:
Don't be jealous.