Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Great "Faery" Hunt

Okay, it was blisteringly hot today, and wild fires were raging.

Nevertheless, it was the summer's last scheduled show in Griffith Park of A FAERY HUNT (before it moves to venues a bit farther afield), so I drove clear across L.A. and up through Koreatown, into Los Feliz, and finally to Fern Dell, to take Thing 1 and Thing 2 to look for fairies.

Thing 2 insisted on going in costume, but that was no problem, thanks to a hand-me-down fairy outfit (thank you, Julia -- a going-into-third-grade, big girl friend who keeps Thing 2 in wonderful outfits). Thing 2 kept telling her brother the faery hunt was for girls, despite my continual attempts to dispel this notion. (Sure enough, there were boys in attendance, though Thing 2 later pointed out, "it was MOSTLY girls").

The "hunt" was really an interactive play with several stops along the way, guided by actors and actresses and even kid actors, in fairy and troll attire, and a couple of fairy "guides." The play had a plot of sorts, just enough for my kids to kinda/sorta follow (they were so busy looking at the costumes and face paint on the actors, they missed a few plot beats). And the actors were sufficiently convincing to the kids that Thing 2 asked me if the fairies lived in the park, though later she asked, "Were they real fairies, or dress-up fairies?"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ain't No Cure For The (Workin' Mom) Summertime Blues ...Till Next Week, Anyway

Here's the deal: Thing 1 and Thing 2 are free all week. Camp is over. School doesn't start for two and a half weeks. And they wanna play.

I don't wanna work. I just wanna ... no, not bang on the drum all day. But play with my kids, for sure.

Mama don't have that much vacation time, though. So here's what I did. I paid the nanny to play with my kids all day.

Somehow this is not what I had in mind ... not when I planned on a career in the movie business. Not when I had kids. But I want both -- and, in fact, need both -- can't afford not to have the career, and sure do love having kiddies. So this is my lot, and I gotta make it work.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Date Night Pizza In The Theater Lobby: A Tale Of Two Desperate Parents

Once a month, the kids' preschool, which is part of a temple, hosts an event called "Parents' Night Out." For a reasonable fee, a bit less than it would cost you for a regular night of babysitting, you drop your wee ones at school in their PJs with their sleeping bags, and they're entertained with arts and crafts, toys, pizza, and a couple of movies. We usually persuade our kids to do this by calling it "Kids' Night Out," an idea I shamefully stole from another preschool mom (thank you, Christine).

So while you're kids are getting settled in for an exciting evening outside the confines of your home, you and your spouse escape into the fresh night air, grab some dinner, and if the movie theater gods align with your schedule, catch a movie. But the movie theater gods really do have to align, because unless your timing is well-nigh perfect, you won't have time to dine and watch -- remember, this isn't an open-ended evening, and you don't have the option of telling the sitter to come early or stay late.

Still, it's a chance to eat something out that isn't kid food, and look at your spouse and perhaps focus on what they're saying rather than getting your kids to eat what you've put in front of them without fighting or getting side-tracked into making up an entire song about dinosaur tushies. (Yes, that really happened, though in the car, rather than at dinner, but you get the idea. I bet you never thought about dinosaurs having tushies).