Last week Ed took Hazel and Ginger on their first official Daddy-daughter date. It was the sweetest thing you could imagine.
Sometime last winter we borrowed the movie "Mary Poppins" from the library. I thought the girls might like the music, didn't know if they could follow the story. Well, they LOVED it. I had to sit through it a few times answering their questions. Then, once they had the gist, and knew when the "scary parts" were coming up (like Michael and the mean men at the bank), they could watch on their own. And watch they did. We had it from the library so much that we finally bought the DVD for Hazel's birthday, plus this cute Mary Poppins doll. It suffices to say, we're fans.
So when I heard "Mary Poppins" the Broadway musical was coming to D.C., at the Kennedy Center, this summer, I took notice. I thought it through. We would have a new baby. Ginger would be just shy of 3 1/2. I bought three tickets and decided we would figure it out when the time came. We thought if Ginger couldn't stay up late enough, or sit through it, Hazel could take a friend instead. But in the end it would have just been cruel to take Hazel and not Ginger.
So last Friday I made sure they both took good afternoon naps. When they woke up they put on their best Sunday dresses. I unearthed my curling iron, which I honestly don't think I've used since my wedding nine years ago. The girls had no idea what it was so I had to explain it, and once I started curling their hair I remembered how inept I am at it, and why it had gone so long unused. I didn't even have any hairspray in the house to do it right, but it was the process that was fun. Here are the before-and-afters:Ed came home early to pick them up. He took them to dinner at the Kennedy Center Cafe before the show, where they shared prime rib, vegetables and chocolate pudding, with typically overpriced Mary Poppins souvenier cups of water. Then they took their seats.I got Ed's report of the evening first, so I would be able to make sense of the jumbling explanations the girls gave me all the next day.
"And there was a bad nanny in this one, and she went in a cage!" (Apparently the story is quite different in the stage show.)
"And Mom, there was no Mom in this one!" (Ginger had a hard time distinguishing Mrs. Banks from some of the other women in the play.)
"Mom, what's a butler?" (No Ellen, a butler instead.)
Despite a few bathroom emergencies, the long line for overpriced concessions at intermission, and a very tired Ginger who didn't want to stay for the second act (Ed persuaded her with "Step In Time", which is her favorite song and hadn't come on yet), it was a fabulous evening. I admit, I was jealous. But I also really wanted Ed to have this experience with the girls, and vice versa. I was asleep when they got home, but they came in with whispery giggles to kiss me goodnight. I hope they know they're the luckiest girls in the world.
So, what did Poppy and I do while they were gone? Got a salad from Wendy's for dinner (they have all new ones, have you seen?) Watched my recorded shows from the week - Top Chef and Burn Notice. I got Poppy down to sleep a few times but she kept waking up crying. I suspect she knew something was up - the house was too still and she missed her sisters. I didn't mind; I was a little lonely myself, so she stayed up with me and watched Michael Westin kick some drug dealer's butt. So satisfying. And finally, once she conked out on the couch next to me, I moved her to bed and went there myself. For me these days, nothing beats climbing into bed and falling immediately to sleep. Not even a spoonful of sugar.