Saturday, November 10, 2007

Good and Bad

Today, Saturday, I spent the entire day chaperoning Singing in Wisconsin, a wonderful event designed to teach and inspire choir students from across the state. The Girl and 170 middle school comrades dedicated seven hours (minus a 45-minute lunch and one 15-minute break) to polishing their performance in a warm, crowded choir room, preparing for a terrific concert that ended the day. As one of three chaperones in the room, I had a ball. (Just kidding; but that’s for another blog called, “The Joys of Chaperoning Middle Schoolers.”)

The concert itself was beautiful. There is nothing like the sound of children’s voices to choke me right up and inspire me once again to join a choir (I haven’t, but I hope to, one day.) I was incredibly impressed by the hard work the kids put in, being mostly on their feet all day; a beautiful fall Saturday that they could have spent doing any number of other things. Their dedication paid off; the concert was outstanding. I was proud of all of the kids.

What wasn’t terrific, however, was my encounter, once again, with ARP! Okay, never mind those annoying ARPs who apparently don’t have flipping ZOOM buttons on their cameras and have to walk directly up to the stage mid-performance to snap a photo. (And no, ARP, it doesn’t make it better when you hunch your shoulders up and tiptoe, as if to hide what you’re doing—WE CAN STILL SEE YOU THERE, and it’s still distracting! And honestly, when there are more than 100 kids on the stage on risers, is it really worth it to "sneak" up there for a shot of your kid's head in a sea of other heads? Does that one really end up in the scrapbook?)
Anyway, today I’m talking about a different ARP. You know the type. She’s the one who thinks her toddler is so darned cute, she should pretend to not notice the fact that the rug rat has gotten loose and is hurdling herself toward the stage, mid-performance (about 400 times). There were five steps leading up to the stage from the isle, almost dead-center, and your little darling, ARP, was not cute climbing up and down them and running up and down the isle during the concert, taunting you to get up off your butt and catch her. The pathetic part was that a 2-year old she knew she belonged in a park, and not in a theater, but you did not. You sat on your can, three rows back, while the rest of us held our breath, waiting for her to climb directly onto the stage (Is that the cute act you were trying to “accidentally” orchestrate, sitting there, with only a few half-hearted attempts to control your child?)

What? You wanted to hear the choir, so you couldn’t just grab her by the Pampers and take her out, screaming or not? Guess what, ARP?! Your desire to listen did not trump the 600 other people behind you, who also wanted to enjoy the hard work of their kids today. How hard is it to find a babysitter for one hour on a Saturday afternoon? Seriously, if you really think she’s that cute, you should have taken her to a baby contest at the mall, not to a concert. That way, you could get your personal need to be in the limelight taken care of, along with the other stage moms. Today's stage was not for you, ARP. Luckily, the talent on the risers trumped your lack of consideration. Next time, please leave your littlest "Star" at home.


  1. I totally agree with you that the sound of children singing is one of the best ever!

  2. From Michelle:
    Loved the blog! It was written so well it annoyed me - I wanted to tell that lady to go control her child! Now you got ME worked up!


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