When we went to Hale Centre Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol last Christmas (a holiday MUST guys - it's amazing), I noticed that they'd be doing The Sound of Music in 2012. And then I realized it was running over Annabelle's birthday! When I got home, I immediately looked up tickets, and was only slightly discouraged when I read that the age requirement is five. She's tall, right? I scooped up three front row tickets lickety split, with the commitment to take her only as long as she could handle sitting nicely. And on her birthday (her party was a few days earlier), Jess and I took her to dinner and a play. In truth, her birthday day was a bit of a disaster - she was a whiny heap of a tantrum all day, and I was honestly in no mood to reward her. (Too much attention was the culprit, in my opinion.) But I'd been anticipating this for months, and at her core, she's an unbelievably good girl who deserved a birthday celebration.
We dropped off Lou with her Grandma, Grandpa and aunties (by the way, Lou seriously was like, "See ya! I'll be diving head first off this slide when you get back!"), and off we went on a special date with Belle. We stopped and grabbed dinner at Cracker Barrel. Because it's toddler friendly, it's across the street from the theater, and because it's a bit of a soft spot for us as it's a little bit of Southern goodness. And as our only child who lived in North Carolina (she was actually born in Utah), we thought it only fitting that Annabelle should have a good home-cooked Southern meal. She chose mac 'n' cheese, of course, and lemonade in "a cup like this," she pointed at the picture for the waiter, and she played the little peg game with her usual determination and concentration face while she waited. She was bound and determined to figure it out. We also let her wander the Cracker Barrel store for a while and made an obligatory stop at the rocking chairs.
Then we gave her theater rules: no crying, no whining, no talking (only whispering). "Just like at church?" she asked. We told her we'd have to take her home if she was loud.
And apparently she listened. She was angelic. And she was in awe. I think my favorite part of the play was watching her face. Whenever the set would move or something would drop from the ceiling or Maria would sing her songs, she'd open her mouth big, put her hands on her cheeks and say, "Oh!" And point and point and point. After every number and scene she would clap and grin and grin and grin until I thought her face would fall off.
She did get sleepy towards the end, but not sleepy enough to keep her from meeting Maria and Captain Von Trapp, who were so so cute to her. They told her they saw her on the front row and they were so proud of how good she was. (They were especially proud when I confessed her real age.) They also wished her a happy birthday, which had her beaming. (I'm stupid and forgot to take pictures.)
I'm so proud of my little three-year-old. And so happy she had such a magical night. It was honestly a magic night for all three of us I think. Our little baby is a little girl. And it was truly lovely to spend an evening with our little lady.