Monday, February 25, 2008

Pinderella's Problem Solver

Sometimes I wait all weekend for the chance to get to my gilded receptionist desk and write. I usually have scraps of thoughts that have been tumbling around my brain as I go to sleep, take a shower, drive to church.

This past weekend was no different; I crafted while I cleaned, I mused while I drank my coffee. Every event of every day just seemed to add to the shimmering brilliance of my forthcoming blog.

Today I suffer not from writer's block as much as writer's indifference. Perhaps they are one and the same. But I just don't have the passion and wit for my intended subject that I felt yesterday.

I have perused my mental post-its of blog ideas, and they read like this: Too Boring, Too Sad, Just Don't Care, Don't Have It In Me.

So instead, today I thought I would share a story from my weekend, and hopefully will find some inspiration or at least wit along the way. And if not, at least I have written in the face of Writer's Indifference. If nothing else, that can be my contribution for today.

Our friend Uncle Tommy is one of the kindest people I have ever met. He is genuinely nice in the way that is unbelievable and refreshing, comforting and rare. He is an endangered species: he is not smothering or fake or irritating...he is just truly nice!

One of the nicest things about Tommy is that he really gets to know you, even the weird little things that other friends don't notice. If you collect Pez dispensers that were sold in Cincinnati in 1974, he will keep that in mind...and one day, out of the blue, Pez Bugs Bunny will be yours.

If you have breathed a word of an upcoming anniversary or scary doctor's appointment, Tommy will be there to celebrate or hold your hand. And if he can't, he always remembers to call.

Austin has been taking the girls to see Uncle Tommy on his day off. They eat lunch, play in the park, and tell Uncle Tommy about their week. He gives them his time, his hugs, and his attention. Tommy knows which Webkinz Moira has, and how much Sabra loves chocolate. He loves to be thoughtful, and this is where the story begins.

Uncle Tommy called last week and asked if we had Saturday plans. Our usual Saturday plans include cleaning the house, putting off cleaning the house, and then telling ourselves that we will clean the house another day. Sometimes we throw in playing the Wii and eating 4 bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or more accurately, Cinnamon Toaster Crunchers.

We answered in the negative, and Tommy told us that he had tickets for the Cagle family to see the play Cinderella. A girl from our church had the lead role, and of course Tommy wanted to support her. But he also wanted to delight my kids, because he asked them to show up for the performance wearing a princess costume.

Although I was glad to go and knew Moira would look forward to it, I had some major reservations about Sabra attending this show.

Sabra is a rambunctious, curious, loud, antsy almost 2 year old. She loves to wiggle and scream and make people laugh. Although this can be tiring, she is lots of fun and I enjoy her felicity. However, she can hardly sit through a meal. In fact, I don't think she has ever been still for more than 20 minutes and THAT was because of our good friend Benadryl.

However, Tommy insisted that this play welcomed children, so we packed her bag with cheerios and board books and toys that did not squeak and anything else that would hold her attention.

Moira dressed as you would imagine: pink sparkly dress, ballet shoes, nails painted and nail gems applied. She coerced me (although it didn't take much) into letting her wear glittery purple eyeshadow and other exciting cosmetics.

Sabra wanted nothing to do with the costume I had picked out. She has recently been interested in the whole princess idea, and even wore Moira's gaudy Disney Princess nightgown to school last week. She refused to take the nightgown off, and I didn't want to make her when she told me "Saba pitty, Saba a pincess".

She wore jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and the Elmo light-up shoes of her dreams. She WAS NOT going to wear a costume.

Moira descended the stairs, grinning madly at her Daddy Prince. Being the fabulous father that he is, he made a big deal out of her dress and told her how beautiful she was.

We made for the door.

Sabra sat on the stairs and wouldn't budge. Sabra now wanted to be a pitty pincess. I threw a too-big fairy costume over her head and off we went in our Dodge Stratus Coach.

On the way to the Play Palace, I told Sabra that we would see dancing and singing and we needed to be very very quiet. I made the 'shhhhh' sound for emphasis, and she followed suit.

Uncle Tommy was waiting for us at the door, and exclaimed at the beauty of the polyester blend tulle creations that the girls were wearing. He lead us inside.

Dismay does not cover what I felt when I saw our seats on THE FRONT ROW.

I could just picture Sabra wriggling free from my iron-like grip and running onstage to conduct her own performance. Equally alarmed, Austin and I coordinated our plan of escape for when Sabra inevitably erupted into toddler giggles and blushing observations.

The play started and Sabra was interested in the very close up dancing and singing. She pointed and smiled and was on uncharacteristically good behavior.

She loved Cinderella, although she thinks her name is Pinderella. When sweet lovely Pinderella sang, Sabra's eyes were wide and unblinking and her chubby little hands would clap.

The play moved along to the pivotal moment when Pinderella and the Prince fall in love while dancing, her dress almost glowing with sparkle.

The clock began to alert moonstruck Pinderella that her magical moments were quickly coming to a close. Away to the stairs she ran, pausing to look back at her Prince....and her glass slipper (plastic sandal with gems) fell from her foot.

Little voices throughout the audience whispered loudly that "the shoe is gone!" "she lost her shoe!" "look, she dropped it!"

Sabra's concentration now broken, she quickly sat up in my lap and stuck out her Elmo shoe, causing it to rapidly blink bright red in the thick black of the theatre.


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