Tuesday, April 20, 2010

They haven't been to a circus, either.

This last weekend, the show "Walking with the Dinosaurs" (life-size dino puppets with a human narrator/host) came to town. And it seemed that everyone was going...especially if their kids love dinos. I felt like a negligent parent by refusing to take mine.

Truthfully, there were a lot of other events in town scheduled for the same weekend, but since I knew I'd be busy with the dinner theater production (which I was directing), I pretty much ignored anything that conflicted with those dates. I felt guilty for not making more of an effort to get Leah and Ben there, even though they went to the dinner theater at our church with me both Friday & Saturday AND Leah went to a birthday party Saturday afternoon. Clearly they weren't sitting around bored.

ALSO, tickets were $25 or so at the cheapest.

IN ADDITION, my kids are wusses. Ben will beg and BEG to watch Aaron play Mario on Wii, or Guitar Hero, and then spend half the time hiding around the corner, watching from the other room. (In his defense, the Wii is set up on the projector screen, so the characters are practically bigger than he is.) Leah gets really emotionally involved and will cry out of sympathy for the characters, as she did when we watched Wall-E.

When the ad played in between PBS show, Ben asked about it. I said we weren't going because we were going to the dinner theater, and all he said was, "Oh." Easy enough! Leah said she'd like to see the show, "but only if our seats are way in the back!"

Knowing this about my kids, was I willing to gamble $75 on tickets? No. Because even if I DID have the time/opportunity, and they WEREN'T freaked, what are the chances that they wouldn't have nightmares?

Slim to none, my friends.

But that didn't stop the guilt. Inadvertently, from my dad, who called to say that, "Some friends of mine took their kids and they really enjoyed it." I was kindof bratty on the phone to him (sorry, Dad!) but at the time, the sarcastic voice in my head said,"Yep. I'm just trying to keep them from enjoyment. They will be scrubbing the floor while all other kids in town are busy being happy." But instead I pointed out how I was busy both evenings and Aaron was working. Dad volunteered to take them, and then I proceeded with my previous argument about $$$ and nightmares. I won.

And then Friday night the local news had a little feature piece about the show, and reported from online commenters how awesome it was. The anchor said something like, "One viewer said she took her three year old, and that they weren't a bit scared."

Well, great for you, lady. But for me, this is not a blanket issue. This is PURELY a case of knowing your kids well enough to judge what is best for THEM, not other people's kids.

Part of me wishes we had been able to go, or maybe that I had tried a bit harder to be able to get them there.

But then I saw that one of the opening scenes involved a newly-hatched baby being "eaten" by another adult dino...and that it ends with all the dinos dying...and I think Leah would be a little upset by that.

And maybe I'm okay with my decision. Isn't that one of the tougher things about being a parent? Saying NO to something you think your kid might enjoy in favor of their greater good?

Any help here, folks? Like, know of a little kid who WAS scared of the dinosaur show? Back me up here.

Have you ever nixed something fun (circus, fair, etc) because it just wasn't right for your family, although it MIGHT have been okay?


Aaron said...

Technology will only advance. I'm sure by the time that Leah is 10 or so they will have an even more amazing dino show, and then you can take them worry-free.

BlueCastle said...

$25/ticket would've stopped any thoughts of going immediately for us. :) Mean or not, that's just too much money and we have more than enough "fun" at home or the park. No need for guilt, in my book.