Do You Wanna Have Some Ear-Plugs?

Today was a most arduous and long-dreaded day… today I faced my biggest fear and survived… today I went into battle with my 2 youngest daughters against the war-machine that is Disney… Today I took Midi and Mini Minx to a Frozen Singalong.

It was just what it sounds like: a cinema showing of Disney’s Frozen that includes on-screen lyrics and an encouragement to singalong. We were in a town hall, seated on small, uncomfortable chairs for 2 hours, surrounded by hundreds of small girls and grown women dressed in a uniform sea of pale blue glittery lace, in the preschooler’s equivalent of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

They got a bit excited and loud. Very, very loud. I was so relieved that The Boss had sent me into the combat zone armed with some decongestants, the last Strepsil in the house, a messenger bag-full of tissues and that pearl beyond price: a pair of ear-plugs. Bliss!

Now, I have to come clean at this point: it was actually good fun and everyone looked like they had a wonderful time. I had a much better experience than I’d feared thanks to the edge being taken off the unrelenting volume by the ear-plugs. It helped having a friend there with an identical sense of humour: we both sniggered dirtily when Anna demanded “Take me up the North Mountain”. I even managed a few croaky lines to the less-popular songs (Fixer Upper and Reindeers Are Better Than People). Though I now have a stiff, sore neck from constantly looking round to check on the minxes, and then having one or both hanging from it for a bit, before their entire row of nursery Elsas shuffled around to sit on their respective mummies’ laps and I moved to snuggle in between my 2 horrors. The people running the show had made a brilliant effort to make it fun for the girls (the audience had boys and men, but it was 95% female, of whom 90% were dressed as Elsa): they had 2 free raffles for goodie bags drawing seat ticket numbers. Then they encouraged the children to parade around the room in their costumes a couple of times to the film theme tune, before the projectionist chose 2 lucky winners of the best costumes. Because the point was to sing along, the showing had a lovely, relaxed atmosphere – no-one cared if your phone went off, or the baby behind you screeched, or your entire row were coughing throughout (and we were…). However, a full quarter of the audience got fed up with the film before it ended and decided it would be much more fun to evade their sleeping mums and race around and around the audience, entirely unfettered.

Would I take the kids back again? Definitely with Mother’s Little Helpers (ear-plugs). Without? God, no!

Meanwhile, Maxi and The Boss had ventured into The Big City to catch an art gallery and museum. I say ‘ventured’ because our car is currently playing silly beggars. I think the battery is dying; The Boss thinks it can’t possibly be because we seem to go through a battery every 18 months; I think I don’t care who’s right, I just want a car that reliably starts! It really didn’t want to start on the drive to Frozen (5 attempts, very slow starter, only succeeded with every power-draining thing turned off). Even in the brief switch-off to change drivers at town caused The Boss palpitations (I could tell by his pale, sweaty face on the 4th start attempt that he was having nightmarish visions of having to accompany us to Frozen). I warned him ominously not to stall or turn the engine off unless he’d first parked somewhere it would be safe and free to leave the car overnight for a recovery truck. Why did I say that? Well, I like to give him something to niggle on 🙂

Sounds like they had a wonderful time. The Boss understands modern art. Like, properly understands it. We were once in St Ives and went along to the Tate Modern because he wanted to show me some Barbara Hepworth sculptures (they blew me away and changed my soul. He knew they would.) We were in a gallery that had some strange daubings and I felt pretty uncomfortable.

“I don’t get it”, I told him. “Why are these paintings in this gallery? Why are they on show? What makes them good?”

My questions were rhetorical, but he started explaining bits and bobs. I forget now exactly, but I remember him explaining the point of the ‘crazy’ perspective, what it meant, and why the brushstrokes were the way the were, and that it wasn’t about the lines but the shapes and shades they made. It was a very strange experience to look again at those paintings, through his eyes, and feel that “Oh!” lightbulb moment.

So it was lovely that our eldest artist was going with him. As well as the Father-Sole Daughter time that they rarely get, he was the perfect person to take her to see art. They barely had any time, but managed to trough a slice of toffee cake (I approve), catch some Greek helmets (great! Maxi’s special interest this year has been all things Ancient Greek), introduced her to some Barbara Hepworth (wow! Brilliant!) and some famous watercolours. Sounds like it made quite an impression on her.

Back home, we had a big haggis dinner in a bit of a throw to it being Burns Night. Though with us all liking haggis, it’s any old excuse to be honest. This time we shovelled it away with gusto to catch the last episode of our 3 night home-DVD extravaganza: The Boss bought the Star Wars trilogy home on Friday night, so we’ve been introducing the kids to Episodes IV, V and VI (ie the Real Ones). The best bits:

“Midi, who do you think Luke’s sister might be?” – “Leia, cos she’s worthy of The Force” (Worthy? Worthy? Where do 6 yos get that kind of language from?!)

Mini, about Stormtroopers: “Why are those men wearing nappies?”

Maxi calling the characters Dark Vader and Hand Solo, just like I had when the first one was released when I was younger than her.

Hand Solo? I’m sure there’s a dirty joke in there somewhere, and probably linked with Anna being taken up the North Mountain, but I’m just too tired to see it.