I didn’t expect to be writing this just before Christmas. I mean, who would right? I had a crafty little craft activity ready to go for all those parents who are after a good-enough Christmas, but then this happened. I yelled. I yelled at a complete stranger in the middle of a Christmas show. Me. The person who wouldn’t even dream of rustling a sweetie bag once a show has started.
Out of character? Yes. But here’s what happened and why I am now adamant that children’s shows should be just that, for children and their families only.
With a bit of luck on our side I managed to bag us tickets for an ice show. It’s so popular that as soon as the tickets go on sale, if you give it more than a week, you won’t be able to get your hands on a seat for love nor money. No, it’s not the wowtastic Disney on ice show at the O2, but something much smaller. A tiddlers crimbo panto on ice. One that features the rink’s young ice dance academy stars in the making. I like to think of it as a little bit of magic that doesn’t cost the earth and where no one would tell anyone off for dropped ice creams or having wriggly bums.
I couldn’t help but catch Little Buttons infectious enthusiasm as we made our way to the stands to our seats yesterday. The Zamboni had just finished cutting the ice, and had left it all sparkly. Little ones ooed and ahhed and the last few late comers were toddling in to find their seats.
Given that the seats had been sold out for well over a month, I couldn’t help wonder why a load of them right next to us and also a row down were all empty. Surely a mistake? But then I saw. We all saw, actually. A big gaggle of loud ladies staggering over, beers in hand and an unmissable birthday badge. Oh.
They made their way to their seats next to us and the row down without a problem, and the show started. Along with the ice show itself.
For about 10 minutes we had a running commentary from them. Clearly drunk as skunks, they spent most of their time laughing at the performers… who… wait for it… were children! Luckily Little Button was enthralled with the skating and her funny light up spinner toy, so she didn’t seem to notice.
A little skater, barely more than 10 did a snazzy move, only to have one of them shrieking at her ‘OMG she has a fat arse’. Great.
Well, I don’t know whether it was one too many snarky comments, but all of a sudden it kicked off. Parents versus drunken ladies. Well that was a mistake. Of course no one should ever confront an ice rink full of parents. There was shouting, wailing and drunken howling from the ladies, when at last, a sensible one decided that enough was enough, and the whole group started to make a hasty retreat. Bar one. The wailer… who, I might add, would give a terrible two tantrumer a run for their money.
Wailing as she staggered her way past the seats, she got to us, and then changed her mind. Why the hell should she have to leave the kiddies panto, the one that she was really enjoying (?). She waivered, tottered and suddenly was drifting backwards towards my little one, who was eagerly trying to look through the gaps of the drunken posse to catch the show.
Well, before I knew it I was taking her weight on one protective arm encircling Little Button as she tried to sit down on her. With all my might I yelled at the top of my voice ‘you’re going to sit on my daughter!!!!’ I even gave myself a fright. I mean, me, in a show, and everyone heard. It should have been a ground swallow-me-up moment. But it wasn’t.
To my relief, I had the support of the parents (thank you!). A good few even chipped in. The drunken lot left and I found out later than a dad had gone to have a chat to security to make sure they didn’t make an appearance again. Well, what was that all about!?
I am still completely baffled as to why a bunch of drunk twenty-somethings would be out partying at a children’s Christmas panto. Was it a dare? Were they simply just stupid? Who knows.
But my point? It’s not just the parenting bloggers that have your back, it’s parents in general. Never underestimate parent power. We are a force to be reckoned with, even if we don’t expect it from ourselves.
I hope with all my might that the little girl with the normal sized rear did not hear what was said about her. And, yes, I absolutely think that grownups without children should think twice about going along to a Children’s show. Dare to bring a drink in with you, and well, we’ll let the parent police deal with you shall we.