Lucy Gets Wiggly With It
I never went to a single rock concert when I was growing up. My first concert was in college, and it was given by a long-haired German playing the harp. And I was covering it for the school newspaper, so it wasn't even a social event.
In high school, I did go to orchestra camp, but this was a totally different thing. Actually, on reflection, it isn’t. The fact that I did not attend rock, pop or soul concerts and the fact that I did play in a competitive orchestra explain a lot of things. The saddest part is, I wasn't even one of the cool kids at my music camp.
Nerdiness was my destiny. But in Adam, I found the Ethernet jack for my dongle. And our child, Lucy ... Lucy is not yet two, but she can already read most of the letters in the alphabet. She can already count to the high teens. But she can’t jump. Nor can she run any faster than she can walk, although she does hoist her shoulders up to her ears when she tries.
I have no problem with Lucy being a nerd, but figure it’s my job as a parent to expose her to things that are cool so she is at least able to avoid being stuffed in lockers in junior high school. (I fit inside them rather nicely, myself.) If there is any spark of hipness in her, I’d like to fan it before it’s deader than the Apple 2e with external floppy drive that my Dad bought us in 1982 for Christmas.
This is one of the reasons Adam and I took Lucy to a Wiggles concert last week. If you’re under 3, the Wiggles are as cool as it gets. They’re like the Fab Four, only there isn’t a cute one to fight over.
The other reason is we took Lucy is that she dances like Adam and it amuses me.
We arrived at the theater early. We had reserved seats, but I wasn’t going to take any chances with unruly crowds. There’s no angry mob like an angry mob of two-year-olds. Outside, some hapless parents who hadn’t bought tickets on time stood beside their glum children holding cardboard signs.
“Extra tickets?” they asked.
I shielded Lucy’s eyes. She didn’t need to see this.
Once we were in our seats, I realized why the Wiggles had a policy of requiring tickets for everyone, even babies. Half the people there were babies. It would have been a two-layer audience had children coasted in on their parents' tickets. We would have needed oxygen masks to live beyond the first set.
After an extremely long fifteen minutes, which gave Lucy ample time to remove one shoe and attempt to make off with the feathersword of the smaller, less grippy child in the next seat, the curtain finally rose.
The Wiggles roared on stage in a fake red car powered by their feet. The crowd screamed. And I thought, “Crap. I’ve been listening to the Wiggles every day for six months, and I don’t know the words to this song.”
It didn’t matter to Lucy. She started dancing, which in her world, means swinging her arms back and forth, snapping, and bouncing up and down to a rhythm that bears no resemblance to the one in the song.
From that moment on, it was though heaven had showered fragrant blossoms Lucy and all the other children in the theater, except the 8-year-old boy behind us who kept yelling “YOU SUCK” while his mother did her best to keep her hand over his mouth. Like I said, the Wiggles are cool if you’re under 3. Someone should have taught that kid how to be a ticket scalper. I’ll bet a $50 profit would have turned that kid into a fan.
Lucy, who clearly occupies the heart of the Wiggles demographic, thought no such thing. Every time they stopped singing, she hollered “DO MORE!” You could barely hear her over the roar of the world’s shortest mosh pit, but I knew she was having the time of her life.
And, just watching her, so was I. There aren’t that many moments in life when you are unaware of anything except the joy in being where you are. For Lucy, it was being in the presence of the Wiggles. For me, it was being beside her.And, judging from the sounds of the parents I heard behind me, earnestly belting out every corny line of every hokey song, I know I’m not alone.