Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Feeding the Devil Within

Back in August mom, Lily, and I went to go see The Little Mermaid on Broadway. Please note - I did not want to go to this show. It took Lily months to watch the movie without running out of the room whenever Ursula was in a scene. And now my mom thought it would be a good idea to take her to a live performance of Ursula?!??! How does that even seem logical? I foresaw me spending the entire production in the foyer calming down a very upset little mermaid.

But mom didn't want to go to NYC by herself with Lily and no one else was available. So I went. Out of love for my daughter and my mother. In the end it proved how much I loved them because the show was horrible for anyone over the age of 12. I can't believe it's actually on Broadway. It falls somewhere in between a high school musical and a community theater production - but with larger sets since Disney is backing them.

So we took the train down early one Saturday, saw the show, and took the train back home.

(at this point I'll refrain from writing a paragraph on how we missed the first train because my mother left the show tickets at home)

Unsurprisingly, Lily watched The Little Mermaid the whole way down and the whole way up. She didn't care when I pointed out the boats and barges on the Hudson. She was trying to figure out all of the Ariel's sisters names in time for the matinee.

We stopped by the zoo in Central Park to burn some time before the show. I thought it would be nice to show Lily the polar bears. The viewing platform for the exhibit is actually above their habitat so you look down into their den through plexiglass. As we approached the platform I heard the guide say, "As you can gather, it's mating season for the polar bear." And by that time it was too late for us to turn around. "oh, their just playing" was the chant that all of us stunned mothers kept repeating to our very curious toddlers.

Eventually the girl polar bear got mad and backed herself against the wall. Mayhem ensued as the boy polar bear was not happy about that move. Lots of growling, which I thought was pretty neat to hear in uptown Manhattan. So here's a picture of Lily watching the boy polar bear growl at the girl polar bear. You can barely see the girl bear's head right below Lily's head.

It's tough to see the sea lion in this picture but I just think it's neat that this little viewing area is in the middle of Central Park. The sea lion, by the way, is underwater on the very right of the picture.

And then we caught a cab to the show. Since Lily is incredibly Ariel-obsessed, mom and I thought that it would be even more special if Lily dressed up as Ariel. I really didn't want to encourage this addiction of hers, but I couldn't help myself.

This is Lily's "princess pose." I HATE it. I DESPISE it. She hasn't taken a normal picture in months because of this weird idea of hers. Mom and I try to tell her that no princess has ever posed like that in any movie, so we don't know where she is getting it from. AND THEN. THEN! at the end of the musical - guess what the Little Mermaid does? JUST GUESS!! YES - as she is accepting the audience applause - she poses just like Lily's "princess pose." What are the chances that would actually happen and how did Lily know?

Waiting in line to enter the show...

This was my sixth attempt at a picture of me and Lily. I was just done with trying to get her to smile normally by that point and this is the best I could do.

Luckily, I was proven wrong. Lily loved the show. She sang out loud (along with half the audience of little girls). At one point she was dancing in the aisle with her light-up mermaid high heels. It was beautiful to see her so enraptured. When Ariel came on stage Lily actually gasped and whispered - there she is mama.

Unfortunately I had to tell her the truth about Ariel in the middle of the show. I'll explain - to make the sea creatures appear to be swimming, they are on roller skates. Their tails or fins or aquatic limb-things swing behind them and their legs are somewhat covered by their costume (scroll up and see first picture for a good example.
Very soon into the show Lily whispered loudly into my ear - "She has legs!" I quietly explained that "this actually is not the real Ariel. Just like the Santa's in the mall are actually Santa's helpers and not the real Santa, this is not the real Ariel. She was just pretending to be Ariel just like you do everyday." of every week. of the past 6 months.
"What's her name then?"
for crying out loud...fumble with purse to find program, spill tic tacs on floor, cell phone slides down rows of seats, and finally find program....
"Her name is Sierra"
"What is his name?" She points in the general direction of the stage during performance of Under the Sea. Do you know how many fishes and other sea-types are on the stage during that song?
"which one?"
"What about that one?"
"Lily, we're not doing this now. I'll go through them during the intermission."
And, to make it all wonderful, she thanked us for taking her. (granted, days later, but whatever) Oh, thank you Grrrrmam, thank you mama.
And then we ate at my mother's favorite New York City restaurant - the Olive Garden. I was able to choke it down since she was paying.
Hopefully we created a nice childhood memory for her. Now if only Jamie would become obsessed with something so we could have some variety in our lives...


Cary/Ashley said...

Girl....you should totally send in your writings to a magazine (Parenting, Parents...something like that)

I read so many bland articles about being a parent......I think your humor and style would work!!

And you wouldn't have to use a Pen Name...Katie Whitt would be very appropriate!!

I am completely serious!:)

Kristen said...

Do you think in the picture of the show that King Triton and Arial are fighting because she just found out that he isnt her dad because he is obviously black and she is obviously albino white?

Brian and Katie Whitt said...

that was a little distracting but some of her sisters were black also and one was Asian. so obviously mermaid genetics are not similar to human genetics. DUH.

reagan said...

i'm freaked out by Ariel's tail.

Nate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reagan said...

also, i'm mad at lila for going to NYC to eat at the most awful of all italian chains: the freakin' olive garden.

p.s. i was signed in as nate, wrote the 5th comment, deleted it, and then re-wrote it under my name.

Miss G said...

Katie, found your blog through Ashley's. Love this post! Cracks me up! Hang in there. I used to sing "Part of Your World" in the shower all the time growing up and now I can't even tell you the last time I thought about the Little Mermaid! Kelly

p.s. I also feel your pain on the Olive Garden. I once had to eat at Subway in NYC under duress (yes, I knew it was raining and that we were starving and we just needed something quick before our next activity but . . . )