Saturday Night. The time when you get ready to go out on the town for a few drinks with your mates? No.
Out to work with the band again? No.
Sitting at home watching a film or TV? Still no.
Tonight I was sitting in the front row in a church watching 3 – 7 year olds dancing to Barney and the Snowman surrounded by parents who thought they were watching Darcey Bussell in action according to their oohs, aahs and awwws. I love my little girl – as mad and uncontrollable at times she may be, I love her to pieces. Sitting through an evening – or half actually – of little girls running round in circles wearing pink and looking for their parents in the crowd (or just looking confused) while Disney songs and Barney the f*cking dinosaur plays is not my idea of a good night out.
I know as parents we have to go to these things and tell the little darlings that they are wonderful – and she managed to lie on the floor and kick her legs just fine – but really? If this what it’s going to be like for the next fifteen to twenty years, it’s time for a dose of truth serum I’m afraid. “Oh get a picture of them!” as they are standing picking their nose or hauling their pants out of their bums. The parents are jockeying for position to get their future pension on camera just in case a talent spotter is on Facebook tomorrow.
I do love my kids and am proud of them like all parents but why do we constantly push them up on stages to perform for us – and not even ironically? There are six Thumpers to every Tinkerbell in these groups and you do worry that no-one is ever going to tell the Thumpers that they are wasting their time. And I’m aware that everyone has to start somewhere – I’m sure when I first picked up the fiddle I wasn’t worth listening to (probably still ain’t) and again I was made to play “Snug as a bug in a rug” from E. Izzard’s Tune a Day books. It was awful, no-one enjoyed it – not the crowd, me or my Mum who’d heard it thousands of times as I murdered it at home. Encouragement is fine, as is trying these hobbies and pastimes but public performances should really be kept until it’s something worth seeing or hearing in my opinion.
So church, dancing show, Barney, front row so no-one could see past me and a room temperature set by Beelzebub himself did not make this Saturday night one I’d like to repeat.