Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Chafing of the Nuts - 16 Years of the Nutcracker

Every Christmas since my sophomore year in college has seen us at the Nutcracker.

Every. Christmas.

By the time Bob and I had been married for two years, he had had enough. The last time we saw the Nutcracker as a married couple with no kids (oh, the blessed D.I.N.K. years) he fell asleep before Clara did and was snoring loudly by the time the Sugarplum Fairy made her appearance. I remember being so angry with him, and we had one of those fights that D.I.N.K.s have - you know, stupid fights where you argue in the taxi all the way home to no responsibilities other than your cat and we made up in the morning, after we had slept in and got ready for brunch with friends.

Excuse me while I go sob gently in the corner for a moment and carve out my uterus with a rusty knife. Oh, all the rusty knives are somewhere outside buried 'neath the tree house, you say? Damn kids.

Anyway, when the girls were little, Nutcracker time was really special for me them. I got to pretend they were the type of little girls who regularly donned crinoline and bows and played tea party with me, rather than the Lord of the Flies -esque ruffians who liked to dig shallow graves for neighborhood children who displeased them.

This year, after Christmas shopping for items like night-vision goggles and duct tape, I took the girls out to The Nutcracker as is our custom.

Me: [clapping hands together] Oh, don't you girls look beautiful! Honey, take a picture!

Maddie: I am way overdressed mom. Can I wear jeans?

Chloe: I like wearing my dress mom. In fact, I love it [snarky look at sister].


Later, at the theater...


Me: [attempting to hold their hands, which keep slipping out of mine in between bouts of heavy sighing and hissed whispering of Moooom, not here, okay!] Sniff, this is just so special, girls. I want you to know I treasure these moments, where it's just the three of us, and we're having...

Maddie: Oh my God! It's Hannah and Leah! They will think I am such a dork for wearing this dress! [slinks down in seat and zips up parka over head]

Chloe: Hannah! Leah! Over here!

Me: You look beautiful! No one in this small town dresses up for anything anymore, I say let's set the bar higher, ladies!

Maddie: [muffled, under parka] I am so embarassed. This is so lame.

Chloe: Mom, Maddie has hair in her armpits.

22 comments:

BetteJo said...

OMG the shallow grave again! *snort!*

kristen said...

I seriously needed to laugh tonight and will be forever grateful to your girls for giving me a reason...

A shallow grave?

Duct tape and night goggles?

I want to live in your house, too.

Mrs. G. said...

Ho frickin' ho. I'm afraid you are going to have to lower your holiday experience expectations--they fail almost as miserably as prom night.

Thanks for the laugh--that rusty knife line is a keeper. File that one away for the novel.

flutter said...

omg the rusty knife....

Beck said...

Ah, how well I remember the DINK phase of our marriage - it was a blissful three months....
So you're saying a good time was had by all, then?

Mary Alice said...

hahaaha...that was great Jen....I thought for a moment you were confused and had accidentally taken MY girls with you.

Umm, why are you wearing THAT? You can’t wear your sweatpants and USAF sweatshirt out”

“Why not? If I have to go I should at least be COMFORTABLE”

That would be my youngest….unless it is a high school ball, she wants to wear gym shorts, her Air Force sweatshirt and flip-flops. Everywhere.

suburbancorrespondent said...

Thanks for letting me know there are other girls out there embarrassed by their mother. And I don't even make my daughters dress up for the Nutcracker. Anna is just embarrassed by the way I breathe.

jakelliesmom said...

Love, love, LOVE this.

Maybe your boys will be better guests at the theatre. Or not.

I remember the D.I.N.K. life. We traveled. And lazed. And brunched. Sigh.

(And I'd totally be your product lab rat! I'll try anything if it makes my child damaged body look and feel better - said with tape across my temples....)

painted maypole said...

MQ and I dressed up to see The Nutcracker (her first time!) this year, too, and everyone was so casual, it made me sad.

but I love getting dressed up and making things an event.

maybe we should go together. I would hold your hand. AND wear a dress. ;)

and your title? awesome!

Orangeblossoms said...

LOVE this. Chafing the nuts.... shallow graves, rusty knives.... all of it.....

great piece.

Family Adventure said...

LOL! Noone can ever say that you didn't try. Really, really hard!

Thanks for the laugh.

Heidi :)

Christine said...

How funny. Very entertaining. Makes me relive some memories of my sister & I with my grandmother- always dressing us up when we visited.
I just posted about my bell ringing experience with two boys.
I am learning you have to catch those "sensitive" moments when you least expect it.

wheelsonthebus said...

But, they will remember and it will be special, armpit hair and all.

Emily R

Noe said...

It made me think at a time when my mom took me to church and asked me to wear that hideous red jacket. I felt so embarrased!!! We laugh at it now, but I just hated it!!!
But I agree with you that now nobody dresses for anything... so it's good you dress them to go to see something special.
Good post! I loved it!!!

theghelertertwins.blogspot.com said...

Oh, I so hear you on this one. We went to see Mama Mia and the girl next to me was wearing a "juicy" outfit with "crack" clevage and her t-back sticking out the back!! lol. Shzzzz. Of course I was just jealous that she looked so damn good.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

My daughter is still too young to be embarrassed by her outfit. I do think, though, that she is too young to sit through a ballet. It's too quiet in there and I'm afraid that "Mama, I need to go poo-poo" would be loud enough to silence the orchestra! And send people to looking down their nose at me. And me pretending she isn't with me. And failing.

Erin said...

What is DINK? I know I should figure it out but my mommy brain won't process.

the dragonfly said...

i laughed out loud several times, but i laughed loudest at chloe's last word. Ha!

Cathy said...

OMG, this was hilarious!

Jen M. said...

Dual Income No Kids!

Kristin said...

Every "moment" I (try to) have with my children is summed up in "armpit hair".

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Gotta love those Nutcracker memories! My Hubby calls it the "Ball Buster." One year (when we were D.I.N.K.S.) he took me as a gift. I remember him leaning over to me as the show started and whispering, "So when are they gonna talk?"