And by “crazy lady,” I mean me!
What was I thinking, you might ask. Well we had free tickets to opening night and no sitter, so we decided to take her along. We decided ahead of time that if she was too much of a distraction, then we would just leave early…since we wouldn’t be out any money. I’ve seen other young kids at the symphony in the past, so I knew I wouldn’t be alone.
Another reason we decided to be brave is because my daughter LOVES music. We have her enrolled in a music class, and she looks forward to going every week. She’s had basic exposure to several instruments, so we thought this experience could really add to that.
And now what you really are wondering about…how did she behave? I have to say she was REALLY good considering she’s only 2 and a half. There were no embarrassing outbursts, and I don’t think anyone around was annoyed by her.
What was the secret to our success? We talked a lot beforehand about how we have to be quiet and whisper when we’re watching and listening to the music. (She has recently learned to whisper, so this was perfect practice.) I packed goldfish, her sippie cup, the pacifier, and a coloring book and stickers. These all kept her quietly occupied. Plus we asked for seats in the back close to the exit.
Did she get anything out of it? Even though she’s too young to really benefit from this experience, I think it was still good for her in a few ways. She has now had practice with audience etiquette. She got to see live instruments in action. (She was fascinated whenever they did a close-up of the timpani on the big screen.) She could truly feel the music. (The allegro portions really made her sit up and take notice. At one point she started conducting with her hand.)
Will we take her again while she’s still a toddler? Definitely, maybe!
The theater will soon have a performance of “Peter and the Wolf” (intended for kids), so I will be sure to take her to that. Also, we’re traveling to Boston soon and would really like to go to one of the performances there, but we won’t have a babysitter on the trip. We’re currently debating whether we test our luck again.
All in all, it was a good experience, and I’m glad we didn’t skip it because we were worried about upsetting others. Obviously, her own temperament and personality probably had a lot more to do with the success of our evening than my advance planning. My advice to other parents would be, “You know your own child best, trust your instincts.”
Have you taken your little one to any performances or the like? If so, how did it go?