Tonight, The Boy and I went with the grandparents to see Mom play "Peter and the Wolf" with her symphony orchestra. It was a good show; the orchestra is a community orchestra (which means volunteer players culled from the community, but not likely professional players), but they're a good community orchestra. The Boy enjoyed the show, and it was interesting to see his reaction.
I think this might have been the first real concert that he's seen since he got his hearing aids. I really wonder what he heard before and what he hears right now; he doesn't quite have the words and concept to explain the before or after. I suppose he'll be able to tell us later.
Sesame Street has a movie starring Elmo and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Baby Bear learns about the instruments of the orchestra while he learns about programmatic music, or music with a particular story. The story goes through the story of Peter and the Wolf starring the Sesame Street characters as the characters of the story. It's quite cute, and The Boy has watched it several dozen times. When The Wife learned that her orchestra was playing this, we were excited to bring him to the concert.
Earlier in the day, he had some nasty, nasty constipation. We finally fixed it with a suppository, but in the process, he ripped himself a little bit - a normal consequence of getting backed up like that. It's been causing him immense pain all day, until our pediatrician told us to put Orajel on it. Same kind of mucous membrane as the mouth, after all. So, he had discomfort during the concert, but not as much as we feared.
That's why I'm awake right now. My medications do a great job of knocking me out at night, but if I'm woken up at the right time, then the drowsiness turns to jitteriness. Guess what happened today? Screams of agony and pain and agony and pain. This will be twice in the last three days that I'll be up until 3 or 4 in the morning.
Before the concert started, I reminded The Boy about the beginning of Tubby the Tuba: "First the oboe gave his A note to the strings, the woodwinds, and to the brass." I told him the conductor would then come out, just like in Tubby. When it actually happened that way, he was interested and amused. A waltz was the first piece, and he and I danced in our seats together while he listened.
When Peter and the Wolf started, he started picking up the instruments: "Daddy, that sounds like a flute!" "Daddy, that sounds like a bassoon!" (Yea, my three-year-old knows what a bassoon sounds like.) "Daddy, that sign says exit!"
They're not all winners.
He followed along with the narration and with the music quite well, considering his age. I don't have the same standards of behavior for him that I do for an adult, obviously, but I've been to concerts and had elderly people (who should know better) behave worse. He did, however, enjoy pointing out: "Daddy, look! That's Mum way over there!"
To be honest, I don't like bringing the kids to concerts. I know it's good for them, and I certainly want them to participate in the things that we consider to be important. But, I really hate when other people go to concerts and make lots of noise, and I hate being that person. I know that in this situation, when the orchestra is playing some stuff that is definitely child-oriented, people are more relaxed about that sort of thing. Still, it concerns me.
The Boy behaved beautifully all night, particularly concerning his age. I was very, very proud of him. He was interested, engaged, and doing quite a good job! Nights like this make me want to take him to more events like this. I mean, not the waking me up at midnight, the other thing.
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