We took the boys to a Christmas concert this weekend, downtown, in the symphony concert hall. We try to do a proper concert at least once every year with them.
How, you may ask, did I get my 20 month old to sit still for two 45 minute performances? Wasn't I worried about behavior?
Mostly, I was worried about my behavior. Because getting the toddler to sit still in a symphony hall was all about egregious parental rule breaking. I slowly doled out half portions of gummy bunnies for the first 20 minutes. When Mattias lost interest in those, I gave him a granola bar.
The granola bar was crumbling all over the place. And you know how the symphony hall seating doesn't hide much? I mean, I've seen steeper seating in sports arenas, but one can almost see the laps of the people sitting on the opposite side. Certainly, we could see the laps of the people seated in the orchestra section below.
Mattias was not interested in lap sitting after about 25 minutes. I decided, fine, let him stand. He stood there, holding his granola bar, grabbing the seat in front of us. I glanced over the seat: Ha! No problem, there was a 6 year old girl slumped in the seat below him. Most likely, she wouldn't notice a toddler pulling on her seat.
There he stood, yanking on her seat, peering over it to the orchestra below, munching his granola bar.
And then he sneezed a nice, big, granola sneeze.
Fritz and I both flinched as granola pieces sprayed forward.
But there was no reaction from the girl below.
Until 5 minutes later when she puked all over the seat in front of her.
Her parents exchanged accusatory glances at each other; less we needed any further confirmation that they had more pressing concerns than the granola sneeze. They speedily left. Just before the Hallelujah chorus, someone came to clean up. It was two shows in one.
Honestly though, the boys' behavior was otherwise really good. As we were leaving, we overheard another parent saying to his kids, "Let's talk about what we can do better next time..." In our well-behaved-kids (but not parents) euphoria, we turned to Noah and asked him what his favorite part was.
"Nothing," he mumbled.
"Didn't you like the concert, Noah?"
"Really, no? It seemed like you really liked it. And you were so well behaved!"
"It was boring."
I'm becoming more convinced everyday that he inherited my contrarian gene.