Oh, the earnestness of this performance! There were multicultural songs representing countries in the Olympics and simplistically expressive dancing There were sign language and call-and-response interactions with the audience. There were slowly spoken introductions to various instruments and quasi-semaphoric flag maneuvers. And, as much as I want to make fun of this, and GOD have I never wanted anything more, I just can't do it. Sure, it was ridiculous and cheesy in its chipper reptition of encouragement to "do your personal best," but Olivia and all of the other children in the audience absolutely loved it. One of my mama friends and I shared a panicky realization that THIS IS OUR LIFE NOW. We are now moms who take their preverbal infants to musical performances that we can barely stand because it makes our daughters so very happy. We are now THOSE PEOPLE, those parents who subvert their own aesthetic standards to serve up to their children all manner of brightly colored kitsch regardless of how irritating it might be.
Before I had Olivia I had very high standards for what I would and wouldn't expose her to once she was born. No, absolutely NO Bumbo chairs because they make babies look creepy and unnatural. I wound up buying her one at 3 months. She loves it, and we use it every day. No, absolutely NO silly headbands by which I can objectify and explicitly gender my daughter. I happily put one on her, which she happily wore, on New Year's Eve. No, absolutely NO children's music. And now I'm admitting to the interweb that I not only paid an exorbitant fee to take her to a children's music concert, but that I also clapped and sang along when urged to by two blue ladies and their somber percussionist.
When you're anticipating having a child people tell you how much your life becomes all for your baby. And you believe this in a grand, life-and-death sense. Sure, I knew that I'd lay down my life for her even when she was a mere zygote. What is difficult to predict is how much your life becomes all for your baby even down to tiny things. I will use a Bumbo chair because Olivia loves it. I will put headbands on her and dress her in pink because I, and her entire family, love it. I will take her to see blue ladies play simplistic versions of Vivaldi and Bach to her because she loves it.
I'm reminded of the scene in The Omen in which the nanny commits suicide in honor of the demonseed, Damian. Before jumping to her death she beatifically repeats "It's all for you, Damian!" And, while it's very likely that I'll survive Livy's childhood, so many of my foolish and naive preconceived notions of being some kind of hipster, cooler-than-thou parent have plummeted and splatted like so many Satan-worshipping nannies.
It's all for you, Olivia! It's all for you!
Olivia wore her tutu to this formal occasion.
But, being my daughter, she wore her sweatpants underneath it part of the time.
Spazzing to the beat!