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11 long shows.

December 19, 2011

Okay…I’m just going to come out and say it: I don’t enjoy sitting through Maya’s holiday extravaganzas.

Last week Maya was in no less than 11 shows. 11 shows! Not only did I have to shuttle her back and forth to rehearsal after rehearsal, and not only did I have to go on a lengthy scavenger hunt to purchase a suitable ensemble, but I also had to actually attend several of the shows.

Here were my thoughts during show #1:

  • Maya was super cute during her 2 minute song. Wow. Was that her entire part?
  • Do I really have to sit through 58 minutes more minutes of this?
  • Wooden auditorium seats are really, really hard.
  • This lady sitting next to me looks like she’s really enjoying this. Is she for real?
  • She’s clapping like her life depended on it so I think she’s for real.
  • I bet I’ll have 15 new work emails by the time this show is over. I could totally get through 15 emails in 58 minutes.
  • I better not check my email. I would go ape sh#$ on Ali if he pulled out his phone during a school performance.
  • It’s already 6:30 and the show was supposed to be over by 6. This really throws our evening schedule awry.
  • Why have a printed program if you aren’t going to adhere to it?
  • Holy sh#$ this chair is freaking hard.
  • Why doesn’t anyone seem to be bothered that this show isn’t ending?

What? You can't find her? Neither could I!

Allow me to give you an abbreviated version of my thought process during show #2: I’d rather be at work.

What I’ve written above is unforgivable. I fully understand that. But I know that someone out there feels the exact same way. I know it.
116 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2011 9:48 pm

    My husband feels the same way. He loves seeing OUR kids, but after their part is done so is he. Usually we take separate cars so he can move on to something more worthwhile, like work or a basketball game.

    At our elementary the holiday performances usually only last about 20 minutes. I LOVE them for this.

    11!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t care how much you love your kids that is insane!!!

    • December 20, 2011 4:49 pm

      20 minutes? I am so jealous.

      I think it’s interesting that parents complain about anything and everything except how long the performances are. I think I am in the minority here…

  2. December 19, 2011 9:55 pm

    I think I would look forward to my daughter performing on stage even if it meant to sit through real boring ones. 🙂
    I am sure Maya must have been super happy to spot you among the crowd.
    I am also glad that you chose not to sort out your work emails during her show.

    • December 20, 2011 4:50 pm

      I suppose Maya’s 2 minutes were worth it. But very barely.

  3. December 19, 2011 10:06 pm

    I assure you Ameena, when I have kids and I have to take them to 11 shows, I will feel exactly like this. You are superwoman!!!

    • December 20, 2011 4:51 pm

      I am definitely not superwoman…I assure you of that! But I thank you for thinking so!

  4. December 19, 2011 10:14 pm

    11 shows are simply insane. Child labor laws may have been broken. you should look into that! Wait until she starts in soccer (or whatever) then you have to sit through the games and pretend that you care… In the sun/rain/heat/cold most likely… Better pick a good indoor sports like I did. Gymnastics. LOL. ^-^

    • December 20, 2011 4:51 pm

      You make a wise point about the indoor sports. Very good advice!

  5. December 19, 2011 10:18 pm

    I was in ONE play in elementary school. And my parents were late coming to see it. I got over it. LOL

  6. December 19, 2011 10:22 pm

    I love your tags. They never cease to amuse me.
    anyhow, the chair isn’t hard. You just need more junk in your trunk. I can help with that. I am a chef afterall…

  7. December 19, 2011 10:27 pm

    I found her,she is seventh from the right counting the half cut kid on the corner, right?! 11 shows is crazy!

    • December 20, 2011 4:53 pm

      You are right Priyanka! You have fantastic eyesight, that’s all I can say. 🙂

  8. December 19, 2011 11:17 pm

    You know what, as I was reading your post MY hands were itching to pull out my blackberry and check my emails!!! Next time you see the super happy lady that was next to you, please find out what brand of coffee she drinks. I need me some of that.

  9. December 20, 2011 12:45 am

    LOL!!! You can totally speak a peak at your BB! {or go to the bathroom for 1/2 hour}

    • December 20, 2011 4:54 pm

      I didn’t think of escaping to the bathroom…not sure why that didn’t occur to me??

  10. olya permalink
    December 20, 2011 2:19 am

    I can relate! To each and every word in this post

    • December 20, 2011 4:54 pm

      Thank you Olya. Thank you!! So glad it’s not just me.

  11. December 20, 2011 2:26 am

    Does this post make you a terrible human being? NO! An honest, relateable human being? Hell yes! This is hilarious! I don’t have kids and I’m already dreading the days where I have to sit through school performances and pretend to be amused! And not pulling out your phone…better woman than I, my friend!

    • December 20, 2011 4:55 pm

      I am a terrible human being but I appreciate your thoughts otherwise. I just hope that when you have kids their school institutes some sort of time limit on their shows.

  12. December 20, 2011 2:39 am

    No definitely not unforgiveable! We are all there with you, suffering through endless kids concerts. Why does every activity my children do feel obliged to have an end of year concert?!! I had 5 violin concerts to go through. Believe me, by the last one I was the mad woman manically clapping – just to encourage them to hurry up and get off the stage!

    • December 20, 2011 4:56 pm

      5 violin concerts? Wow. And you’ve just shed some interesting insight on the woman sitting next to me. Maybe desperation is what drove her to clap with such vigor…

  13. December 20, 2011 3:01 am

    I can understand what you say BUT I bet MAYA would love ot see her parents watching her and remeber you doing this for her 🙂

    But 11 is for sure a LOT.. maybe you can pick an choose which ones you want to go to ..

    • December 20, 2011 4:58 pm

      Of course she wanted to see us there..which is the only reason why I suffered through it!! 🙂

  14. December 20, 2011 3:15 am

    I do…I go through my lists in my mind even when I have to take my daughter to the doctor and there is a line of sick kids before her-I wonder what kind of parents they are to have sick children lined up there!
    yes, we are weird but super moms too in the same breathe and most importantly-just mere HUMANS!

    • December 20, 2011 4:59 pm

      Being human doesn’t seem to go hand in hand with being a mom. I swear the requirements for being a mother go above and beyond!!

  15. December 20, 2011 3:18 am

    I don’t have kids, but I do have nephews and nieces around the same age as Maya. I have been to few of these shows – mainly to be a camera man and in an attempt to capture the whole event – and in the process piss off some parents who simply disagree I shouldn’t be filming. But when you have already gained written permission from the school it they arguing parents don’t have a leg to stand on..

    Anyway – I find these events to be exciting and interesting, it helps to build up the childs confidence, increases the bond between you and your child. Most importantly – I know how it feels since I use to be in almost every event during my toddler years, and I recognise its hard as a child to stand up and perform – we as adults still find it difficult to stand up in a small crowd and do a presentation but imagine how kids are feeling.

    Sorry – I’m not with you on this one.

    • December 20, 2011 5:06 pm

      I recognize how hard it is to get up on stage and perform and that’s why I encourage Maya to do just that. And I love watching her! But really, 11 shows? That’s way too much to expect of a child, never mind a parent.

      I appreciate your point of view though – thanks for commenting!

  16. December 20, 2011 4:59 am

    When my friend Annie used to teach dance, I would occasionally attend one of the four or five shows they would do. And you’re totally right. They’re never as short as they say they’re going to be. And you can’t do a damn thing either because the theater is dark and EVERYONE looks at you when your phone lights up.

    However, her husband is a producer and works long hours. As do her in-laws. Someone’s gotta represent, right?

  17. December 20, 2011 6:25 am

    My parents recently admitted that they found my childhood baseball games incredibly boring – unless I was up to bat! This made me crack up because if I remember correctly, I was often bored as well! This post is more the reality that no one ever talks about more then anything. 🙂

    • December 20, 2011 5:12 pm

      So maybe, just maybe, Maya wants to be in these shows even less than I want to attend them? Interesting…

  18. December 20, 2011 6:25 am

    I used to have to drive my sister to her rehearsals and go to her 3 shows because my mother was smarter than me. I loved the 3 minutes of her dance routine, I even loved the 3 Lady Gaga dances before hers. But I hated the next 4 hours and would always beg my sister to sneak out after her dance was done. I feel your pain.

    • December 20, 2011 7:47 pm

      To make the sacrifice for your child is one thing…to do it for your sister? I am impressed!

  19. December 20, 2011 6:41 am

    And that someone would be me.

    • December 20, 2011 7:47 pm

      Lindsay…thank you! So glad someone else can relate.

  20. December 20, 2011 6:57 am

    Seriously, 11??? That is just crazy. Is that breaking some sort of child labor law? And my parents have been joking for years about how horrible sitting through those things was, and anyone who doesn’t admit that is a liar.

    • December 20, 2011 7:48 pm

      I dream of a day when I can be honest with Maya about this as well without causing her to need therapy…

  21. December 20, 2011 6:59 am

    My parents still laugh about how awful it was to sit through recitals and shows when my sister and I were kids. Can’t say I blame them. My dad cringes when he thinks about dance recitals, where my mom cites the middle school holiday concerts as the worse—except that one year where some kid threw up and it was hilarious.

    • December 20, 2011 7:49 pm

      If I saw a kid throw up I’d probably be throwing up myself so maybe Maya’s concert wasn’t as bad as I thought?

  22. December 20, 2011 7:27 am

    i never thought about this. I wonder if my parents felt the same at mine!!

    • December 20, 2011 7:49 pm

      Probably not. You seem too well-adjusted for this to be the case. 🙂

  23. December 20, 2011 7:30 am


    Why 11 shows?! WTH?

    Like I said before: Your Honest is what keeps me Coming back :))

    LOVE IT :))) XXx

  24. December 20, 2011 7:39 am

    Sometimes I feel that way and I’m the one who has to put on the programs! I keep them 25-30 min tops. Hope she enjoyed it 🙂

    • December 20, 2011 7:50 pm

      25-30 minutes is totally doable! We need someone like you at Maya’s school Anne.

  25. December 20, 2011 8:04 am

    I had to go to a few performances last week and for my sons choir show, the school had set up folding chairs that were crammed together. I was wedged in between a very large woman and get husband, had no room for the legs that come with my six foot body, and the hard chair was killing my pregnant back. By the time it was over I was feeling a bit crazed.

  26. December 20, 2011 8:24 am

    Hahaha! Most mothers would have spent 3hours searching for their kids in the picture! I’m sure everyone (or 90%) of people thought the same as you. Well, at least I would’ve. I remember this ice skating show I went to see because my friend was in it. I was thinking the whole time
    ”Man I have to pee.”
    ”God why are those onion rings so expensive?? Inexcusable! They are trying to rip us off!”
    ”Why have they unleashed balloons on the ice? What if a someone skates on it? Would it make a big BOOM?”
    ”Man when is the Zamboni gonna make its apparition?? So tired of seeing ice skaters. I want the Zamboniiiii!!!”

    I’m a horrible friend.

    • December 20, 2011 7:52 pm

      So we have a similar thought process! It makes me wonder how many other mothers were thinking along the same lines…

      Expensive onion rings…I love it.

  27. December 20, 2011 8:26 am

    this is funny! I can’t believe you actually remember your thought process.. i’d be writing them down for my next post. lol. i remember those holiday concerts growing up and i was so bored during my own show. when my part was done, i honestly didn’t’ feel like hanging around and i was in the show. man, motherhood is HARD!

    • December 20, 2011 8:11 pm

      Funny…I don’t remember my shows at all! I probably didn’t enjoy them either.

  28. December 20, 2011 9:40 am

    I have to be honest….I really don’t like watching kiddie shows!! When my nephew gets big enough if he’s in something I’ll surely go and think it’s sweet as pie but yeah…it could be a little mind numbing. 11 shows!!! They should have a max performance limit.

    • December 20, 2011 8:12 pm

      I don’t like kiddie shows or cartoons or dolls or really, anything kid related. So it’s odd that I actually had a child, isn’t it?

  29. December 20, 2011 10:12 am

    I put my parents through this with all my clarinet recitals, band marches, pit band plays, etc., so it’s just fair for Dudette to do it to me now. I actually enjoy it simply because I never thought she’d get to be extroverted enough to stand on stage. 🙂

    • December 20, 2011 8:13 pm

      I agree actually…the fact that Maya is so extroverted thanks to being on stage sort of makes it all worth it. Sort of.

  30. December 20, 2011 10:21 am

    Ameena your stories and woes simply make me want more to NOT have kids… I mean it, anyways I am sure I will feel exactly like this 😦

    • December 20, 2011 8:14 pm

      I’m sorry to discourage you but at least you won’t walk around saying, “I had no idea it would be this hard!” like I constantly do. 🙂

  31. December 20, 2011 11:54 am

    Wow – kudos to you for even attending, ha 🙂 The only way I could make it through one of those lengthy shows would be a flask of vodka in my purse and a long straw.

  32. December 20, 2011 12:07 pm


    I attended my brother’s but stayed only for his performance- which wasn’t too rude since it was standing room only and I could sneak out, Before I left, there was a solo that brought tears to my eyes…because I didn’t think any boy’s voice could go that high and it hurt my ears lol!

    • December 20, 2011 8:15 pm

      It brought tears to your eyes for the wrong reasons!! I am laughing so hard right now.

  33. December 20, 2011 12:12 pm

    I found Maya! She wore pink top right? I hear you. I usually lost interest once my son’s performance is done… 🙂

    • December 20, 2011 8:15 pm

      Ditto that. It was one second after she was done that I was ready to bolt!

  34. Leslie permalink
    December 20, 2011 12:13 pm

    This is very well-written, Ameena. The list structure gives a force to your myriad of thoughts, esp with your repeating mantra…. You hit the universal themes of parent- pageant duty. Very, very amusing. Very, very insightful. I also loved how you longed to pull out your iphone for emails, but would never have let Ali do it.

    On a personal note, I adore the plotline in “Love, Actually” about the Christmas pageant. When Emma Thompson’s character feigns congratulatory enthusiasm upon learning her daughter is First Lobster in the school’s Christmas pageant nativity scene, then slips when she says, “Wait! – There was more than one lobster at the birth of Jesus?” Her preteen just goes, “Well, duh!” Happy Eco-Friendly, Multi-Cultural, PC, Pan-religious Holidays!

    One last thought – it seems like every other Christmas Mom tells this hilarious story of my 6th Holiday Pageant – with all of my 3 dramatic lines highlighted. We all still laugh. You’ve got materials for decades right now!

    • December 20, 2011 8:17 pm

      Love, Actually is the BEST movie. I love it! I could relate to Emma Thompson so much, actually I wanted to be as patient as she was. She was my role model!!

      Love your comment as always Leslie. You make the most fascinating points.

  35. December 20, 2011 12:15 pm

    Oh please… This year my hanukah gift is that Alexa is in only ONE show. And I didn’t even make it to Sofia’s… I was in cooking class. I don’t think anybody linear the shows. At least not anyone I want to be friends with. Just saying.

    • December 20, 2011 8:17 pm

      When I met you I thought you were super mom Deena. I feel so much better reading this. So much better!

  36. December 20, 2011 12:41 pm

    unforgivable? No way – that’s a hella lotta kids to have to listen to. Oye.

  37. December 20, 2011 1:02 pm

    I would want to see my kid in the show, and then leave. Those things go on forever, I am totally going to be the exact same way.

    • December 20, 2011 8:19 pm

      They won’t let you leave! That’s the frustrating part – of course I understand why but still…so frustrating.

  38. Med permalink
    December 20, 2011 1:14 pm

    Lol!!!! Your thought process cracked me up! Mine went along the same lines:
    1. Why do we need separate lines, color coded wrist bands, raffle tickets, and a mean lady yelling numbers at us to get in?? Are we entering the White House?
    2. Wow, Mean Lady loves the sound of her own condescending voice a lot.
    3. Can’t wait to see Maya! Let me look at the show program. Wow, Maya is not on for a while, double wow, Maya is in 2 scenes out of about 20.
    4. That’s ok, it will be great.
    5. This is taking forever.
    6. WOW! Maya was awesome, LOVED watching her!!!
    7. Oh man, she’s not on again till the finale.
    8. Finale was so cute!!!!
    9. Oh, now we have to wait again to see her while she cleans up and mean lady says more condescending stuff.
    10. Hmm, maybe it’s not so bad that only parents are allowed to come to the next show 🙂

    • December 20, 2011 8:21 pm

      I swear I thought you’d be so mad at me for writing this! I am so relieved that you felt the same way.

      And no joke, I am so impressed that you made the effort to come so far and on a weeknight! You are a dedicated aunt.

  39. December 20, 2011 1:40 pm

    I know dear what u are trying to say..
    Motherhood come with big huge add-on’s LOL

    • December 21, 2011 9:04 am

      Add-on’s are right…and I had no idea they were part of the deal.

  40. December 20, 2011 3:18 pm

    Sounds about right for what would probably go through my head as well. Eleven shows?!? Good grief, you have my sympathy and my admiration for making it through that!!

    • December 21, 2011 9:05 am

      Luckily I didn’t have to attend all 11 shows…thankfully there was no room for every parent at every show!

  41. December 20, 2011 5:57 pm

    I think this is something that I am going to struggle with when I become a parent because I ALREADY struggle with it when I go to see my little sister perform in musicals, etc. LOL.. I have so many of the same thoughts! I do check my phone though.. but I’m a teenager.. isn’t that acceptable/the norm?! lol.. 😉

    • December 21, 2011 9:05 am

      As a teenager I think you are excused. As a 35-year-old I think people might not appreciate me pulling out my phone. 🙂

  42. December 20, 2011 8:07 pm

    I hear you. After our kids are done it can get boring. I think you did well not checking email even once or randomly texting/whatsapping someone. I know I would have lol. But I’m sure having u there would’ve meant something special to Maya.

    Entertaining post as always.

  43. December 20, 2011 9:16 pm

    I have sat through 3 hour Christmas concerts before – torture! At our school the little kids go last otherwise many parents would leave after their child’s performance.

    • December 21, 2011 9:12 am

      They have all the bases covered, don’t they? 3 hours? Ridiculous.

  44. December 20, 2011 9:27 pm

    Not kidding. I’ve walked out of some shows after I’ve seen the parts I want. Yeah, I said it. No worries if you don’t want to stay an exorbitant amount of time seeing other kids. =D

    • December 21, 2011 9:12 am

      I admire your guts…I feel like other parents are just noting down who leaves early so they can glare at them during the morning drop off….

  45. December 21, 2011 12:04 am

    Why so many shows? Does she attend a showbiz school or something? lol!

    My niece Jazzy had her first hula show this weekend, the show was long but her part was short. It was so much fun to watch her but I’m not sure how I would feel if there was 11 shows to attend though.

    I agree, those chairs are uncomfortable. If there is going to be a repeat of this next year, I suggest you invest in some butt pads. he he!

    • December 21, 2011 9:13 am

      I need to bring my own chair…one of those folding ones with a canvas seat. Seriously.

  46. December 21, 2011 12:49 am

    Sounds like Maya has been busy. Holy cow, really 11 shows. That almost sounds like child labor law violations.

    • December 21, 2011 9:14 am

      She’s been busy all right! Between driving me nuts and having me attend her shows!

  47. December 21, 2011 6:31 am

    I remember when my neice invited me to one of these “I want to stick a fork in my eye” extravaganzas.
    How could I say no to her sweet face?
    It was torture.
    I’m pretty sure that this was before the invention of Facebook and twitter because there was absolutely nothing to do but pretend that I was blown away by the wonderful acting and singing.

    • December 21, 2011 9:14 am

      “Stick a fork in my eye extravaganzas” – you have a way with words Kimberly. I love it.

  48. December 21, 2011 6:32 am

    When my evening schedule goes awry I am one unhappy girl. And I don’t even have children. Man – my inflexibility could become quite the problem. Ha – “could become?” – who am I kidding. It is a bright red flashing problem already. My potential children are in for quite the treat.

    • December 21, 2011 9:15 am

      I have the same bright red flashing problem Kristen. It’s the root of many issues in my life! I need to learn flexibility and yet at 35 I fear it’s too late!!

  49. December 21, 2011 7:43 am

    I would totally be checking my iPhone. God bless you for having the willpower to restrain yourself!

  50. December 21, 2011 8:20 am

    I’m with you. It’s all so phony and pressured. We had the international festival which was songs and food from all over the world, a total mess.

  51. December 21, 2011 9:02 am

    I am fully engaged for one show per kid per season. ONE. No more than that. 11?????

    • December 21, 2011 9:17 am

      I wonder what on earth I’d do if I had another child and had to attend 11 shows for him/her as well? Crazy!

  52. December 21, 2011 10:00 am

    11 shows? Seriously? Is her school troop the opening act for the Glee Tour or Bon Jovi or something. Wow. That does seem painfully excessive.

  53. December 21, 2011 3:24 pm

    How is it possible for anyone, child or parent, to survive 11 shows!?! I will admit that I don’t envy that aspect of your life, but I still respect you for somehow getting through it. 😛

  54. December 21, 2011 4:02 pm

    Is it terrible that I’m already dreading this and mini me is not even a few months old yet? 🙂 On the flip side, an iPhone pretty much makes all things more entertaining. And who knows what else they’ll have to distract bored parents in a few years!

  55. December 21, 2011 5:08 pm

    That does sound like a lot! I don’t blame you.

  56. December 21, 2011 6:01 pm

    Seriously, 11?!? Wow. Couldn’t they break the kids up into smaller groups or something?

  57. December 21, 2011 7:32 pm

    Oh, God. The never-ending school show. When I think about how many choir/orchestra/band concerts we forced my parents to sit through, I’m ashamed. The choir and orchestra concerts, specifically, were the definition of purgatory.

    I hope that you have a WONDERFUL Christmas trip! After surviving 11 shows, I think you’ve more than earned it.

  58. December 22, 2011 6:00 am

    11 shows?! Holy shizz.
    I would have left my phone alone while my kids were doing there thing, but then would have snuck it out for distraction purposes 😉

  59. December 22, 2011 5:54 pm

    Just like an effective speech, things like this should be limited to 15-20 minutes. Am I alone on this?

  60. December 23, 2011 10:54 am

    God, I HATE sitting through school programs. It’s all a blur except for the bit with my own kid.

  61. December 28, 2011 7:38 pm

    Any parent who doesn’t feel exactly like you probably isn’t worth hanging out with.

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