Seeking to fill my children's time with more interesting things this summer than watching me fold laundry, I headed out to the park today to see what I thought was going to be a children's concert, complete with beach balls, hula hoops and other WMD.
Oops! There was a typo in the schedule and the band is playing next Thursday.
Instead, there was a mime.
Oh, sorry. I meant, "Instead, there was a MIME!"
Due respect to anyone that was there and loves mimes, and, by the way, for the record, my children had a ball (not a beach ball, though, that's not till next week), but a mime? Really? (Actually, I think it's pronounced, as Diane Chambers pointed out once on Cheers, "Mim.") Granted, his face was not painted white, but he did have the little black bowler hat and he walked against some wind. Please understand, I am all for my children seeing pretty much any kind of live performance. The more unique experiences they are exposed to at a young age, the better-rounded and more expressive they'll be later on. Especially if it involves any kind of play-acting, role-playing or any other hyphenated words that involve your imagination. This is all a good thing.
Or was, at least, until the mime scolded my son.
First of all, I thought mimes weren't supposed to talk?
And secondly, if you're used to performing in front of children, outside, in a park, shouldn't you expect a certain amount of squirming, talking and general little-kidness?
I am all about controlling my children in public, making sure they behave like good little citizens, and if they don't, we go home. I am not out to ruin anyone else's good time, because my good time has been ruined in the past. The best thing they can learn at an early age is to be quiet, respectful and patient, especially when they are watching a live performance. Having spent a little time on a stage myself in my younger years, I know how distracting it can be for there to be any kind of noise coming from the audience. That said, my son, and his friend, were being pretty well-behaved, enjoying the show, and I only had to speak to him once to settle down a bit.
A few times, the mime interrupted his performance to say, "Okay, everyone sit down now, criss-cross applesauce," (you can't say Indian-style anymore) and generally try to keep the kids in line. Towards the end, though, he spoke directly to my son and his friend, who was sitting on a soccer ball.
Looking up in the general direction of parents, who were sitting behind the 19 rows of kids in the front, he said, "Someone either needs to take this ball away or separate them."
Are you kidding me right now? It's not like they were jumping up and down and shouting profanities at this guy, which is what I felt like doing at that moment. Wanting to teach my son a number of lessons at that point, not the least of which was to have control over your emotions, I elected not to say anything. His friend's mom came over and removed him from the front row and my boy came back to sit with me, and enjoyed the rest of the show, not the least bit put off.
If only I had the power of forgiveness that little guy has.
And speaking of controlling your children, I thought those child leashes were outlawed? Believe me when I say there have been many occasions when I wished I had one of those, or four other arms, but it never seemed right to me. Don't get me wrong, we put our daughter in the dog's crate at night and when we go out, but only if we're going to be gone a short time.
Why do you need to put your kids on a leash? Couldn't you just hold their hand?
Oops. I'm being unfairly critical again. I'm sure the woman I saw had a perfectly good reason for having her small son on a leash.
Maybe it's to keep him from attacking the mime.