Monday, November 08, 2004

Halloween Candy at the Christmas Show

That's right, I brought Halloween candy to the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City yesterday. Why were we at the "Christmas" show before Thanksgiving? Well, why not? By the way, next week we're exchanging valentines.

But yes, Mike and I have plowed through all 27 pounds of Ryan's Halloween chocolate (how fortunate for us that our son gets a rash when he eats chocolate--so he just leaves it for us. ...My diet starts tomorrow....)

Cara, meanwhile, has stuck her stash in a covert location--that I'll probably uncover sometime around March, which will be really appetizing. Nothing like a Baby Ruth covered in white film.

But, back to yesterday. I took Cara and Ryan to see the Christmas Spectacular with my friend B. and her daughter. Mike had the day to himself so he was happy. And the kids loved going to a big New York show.

Considering we're eight miles from New York, and the show was at 4 p.m., we really should have been able to leave here at 3:30. But, we live eight miles from New York and know better. We left at 2:15. And got to our seats at 3:59. I heart NY.

Ryan saw a twirling light toy on sale in the lobby as we were racing through. The begging began. I told him if he was really good, I'd get it for him after the show. He must have really wanted the twirling light thing, because he was pretty perfect. Of course Cara and her friend were, too. But you expect a 9- and 11-year-old to behave at a Broadway show. You expect it, but you don't always get it.

Take the crew in front of us. Three girls that looked to be about 12 started dive bombing into each other during the last half-hour of the show. Their "Poppy" just patted them on the arms in a strapping effort to calm them down. I swear, if Cara ever pulled that, she'd be watching the rest of the show on a mental tape that she conjured in her own imagination. At home. In her room. There would be no rest of the show! Shushing loudly had no effect. B. and I were like, "They think they're in their living rooms!" But, if Cara did that in our living room she'd be sent to her room. Yes, we got the usher, but the girls were quiet during that in-depth millisecond that he looked at them. Plus, there wasn't much time left in the show at that point, so his attitude was, what do you want me to do? I don't even want to get into what the three- and four-year-olds next to me were like. Let's just say, they don't know what the purpose of a seat is, and to them, inside voice/outside voice, live show/video--what's the difference?

Whatever, Ryan was thrilled with his twirling light toy. When he passed other kids on the street that had them, they'd point the lights at each other like midget aliens. Of course, his light was only amazing until Cara bought a souvenir light-up glass block sculpture thing for $5 (or, figh dallahs, in New York parlance) from a street vendor. Then, he launched into his "no fair" portion of the outing. Which lasted until I said I would call Mike and tell him to come get Ryan and take him home and he wouldn't be allowed to eat out with us. (Hey, to a four-year-old, it's a possiblity.) Problem solved.

B. and I decided to eat in the city. But NOT at TGI Friday's or Applebee's or Olive Garden!! You're in NYC! The greatest city in the world with some of the most interesting restaurants in the world. Why would anyone GO to these places?!? You can't blame it on kids. Because my son subsists on five items of food--and we can take him to any kind of restaurant--because they all have something he'll eat. A Chinese or Thai place--get him a bowl of noodles ("It's Chinese spaghetti, Ry."). Indian, give him rice, peas and naan bread--maybe force him to eat a couple bites of tandoori chicken. Under NO circumstances do you set foot in an Applebee's IN NEW YORK CITY!!!

B. got the idea to go to Ellen's Stardust Diner. It was a great idea on multiple levels: 1) It wasn't stratospherically expensive, 2) it has a kids' menu that included pasta, and 3) it was a place that WE all could enjoy, but that Mike would never set foot into in a million jillion years. Why? The wait staff takes turns belting out tunes on a portable mike as they roam between the tables. And not just show tunes. One waitress gave us her rendition of Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," (had Mike been with us, he would have been making a fast break for the door at that point). A waiter skipped around to "Under the Boardwalk." The kids dug it. The food was decent. And you can't get that brand of restaurant in Iowa.

We headed home (more traffic!), and called it a night. Cara said it was the best day ever and proceeded to fall into a heavy, happy sleep. Ryan took his light up toy to bed, and proceeded to get me up four times during the night. The bright lights of the big city were just too exciting.

I'm going to take a nap now.

--Catherine Schetting Salfino