This may be uncomfortable for some to read: I listen to some of my twins’ music even when they aren’t here.
When my oldest daughter was younger, from time to time I would play Bananaphone by Raffi. There were some really lovely songs on that cd.
These days I pop in Bobs and Lolo, specifically Action Packed. Rachel loves dancing to the music. It is such a happy and lovely cd for all of us. It melts my heart when Rachel sings “Something Special” to Daniel and I tear up a bit when I sing it to them.
I am repeating myself a bit here, because I have written about “Something Special” before in another post, Birthdays, Bicycles and Bobs and Lolo.
Something special also describes what happened when I found out that Bobs and Lolo were going to be performing close by. They have new shows on Treehouse this year and they were doing a small tour in the region called “Nature Rocks.” Treehouse is where we first ran across Bobs and Lolo several years ago. They had some videos that played between shows and the music was infectious and I took it as an excuse to get us all up jumping, running and marching.
On concert day, we drove to the concert playing Action Packed over and over again. I had tweeted a few messages about going to the show and @BobsandLolo responded back. They are so wonderful at chatting with fans.
As an aside, I love introducing Daniel and Rachel to new experiences. This was not only our first concert outside of something at school, it was also the first time we were seeing someone that we had only heard on cd or seen on tv. It can be interesting to watch children when they see a performer live. The added challenge for our family was how would Daniel respond and would the twins both even stay in the hall. For Daniel we had to go to several movies and work on staying in the seat before he could do it. My biggest concern was what would happen if Daniel couldn’t stay in the hall or even the building.
Having said that, I was pretty sure that Daniel would be engaged and he would likely stay in the hall. With iPad, doodle pro, snacks and other toys in hand, we had all of our favourite things. My sister would stay in the hall with Rachel if Daniel needed to leave. Our plan was all set.
Preparing for any contingency means that if everything goes well, at least we were ready.
From the moment we arrived at the hall, it was pretty clear that both kids were going to have a special day. The space was big enough for lots of moving around if Daniel couldn’t sit. Even better, there was a large area in front of the stage for dancing. The first thought that went through my head was that this is what a toddler mosh pit looks like.
Rachel was her usual social self before the show and made friends with a boy much smaller than herself. Daniel seemed really comfortable in the space and it was feeling pretty good.
Then the show started and the afternoon turned a bit more magical. Rachel ran up to edge of the stage and she pretty much stayed there the entire concert. She would lift her new friend up to get a better look at Bobs and Lolo. She would shout out an answer every time there was a question.
Daniel immediately wanted to climb up on stage. Why hadn’t I thought about that possibility, I asked myself. I did have to play goaltender a bit to keep him away from the stairs to the stage. His desire to be on stage eventually gave way to wanting to be picked up and to dance. Daniel is about 80 pounds and over 4 feet. Dancing with him in my arms was a great form of exercise.
In the past few months Daniel had become an avid photographer with my phone. He snapped a few pics and then decided it was time to sit out a few songs. Rachel was still going strong at the stage.
When it all wrapped up, Rachel, Daniel and I were close to the stage, which meant we were first in line for meeting Bobs. Rachel had a lovely chat with her and we were ready to go.
I, however, asked if Rachel wanted to chat with Lolo too. What was I thinking? Of course she did. The line to Lolo was very long and it was a bit of challenge for Daniel to stay close to the line. Thankfully he was a picture-taking machine. He took his usual several dozen pics of whatever he found interesting. In this case, it was an old light fixture.
Rachel asked Lolo to autograph our copy of Action Packed. Lolo surprised Rachel by asking how her pancakes were for breakfast (that was one of the tweets that I sent).
One of the things I struggle with is how to make sure that family outings offer both Daniel and Rachel the opportunity to have fun and gain important experiences. Truth be told, sometimes we need to react to Daniel’s needs and I feel that Rachel does not get everything she needs. I worry about that. I feel that if only I could have thought about every possibility, both kids could get what they want. Of course, it is impossible to plan for everything and sometimes what Rachel wants to do means Daniel might miss out on something.
Going to Bobs and Lolo was a brand new experience for all of us and I was as certain that I could be that both kids would get something wonderful out of it. I planned what I could to make sure we could all have fun.
Fun is exactly what we had, along with a wonderful first concert with wonderful performers. It was perfect just the way it was.
And yes, we did listen to Action Packed all the way home.
And yes, I still put the cd in sometimes when the kids aren’t around.
Full disclosure: we received some stickers after the concert, but those did not influence the writing of this post.