A Play or a Playground?

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Saturday was supposed to be a special day.

My mom bought tickets to see the play “Goodnight Moon” at the children’s theater in Seattle. We planned to make a big girls day outing of it. It was the first play Miss Z was going to see and she loves the book, so she’ll love the play, right?

Seattle Center Fountain

We caught the 11am ferry to Seattle. It’s an hour ride, but the weather was incredible.

A Play or a Playground seattle skyline

To avoid traffic and parking, we decided to walk. We brought the stroller for Z because with the amount of walking we knew we had to do, I wanted her to have the choice to walk or ride.

The ferry was fun. We were able to eat lunch, and Z got to experience how windy it gets outside on the ferry.

Once in Seattle, we walked to Westlake Center so we could catch the monorail. From the ferry to the monorail there are several hills, and on this particular day, many tourists. Luckily, spring weather in Seattle is often sunny and gorgeous, but not too hot. Perfect walking up hill with a stroller weather (To be fair, I should mention my mom was doing all the pushing. So, no, I didn’t get much of a workout in.)

I was excited about the monorail because it was the Little Miss’ first time, but honestly, she didn’t seem too impressed.

Once we got to Seattle Center, we walked around a bit outside.

A Play or a Playground space needle and sunSeattle Science Center

We got to play by the giant fountain which was a hit. Unfortunately, the play was going to start soon so we couldn’t get wet. Z and I still had fun taking some selfies and watching the water.

A Play or a Playground fountain selfies

Finally, the time for the play to start arrived. The set was adorable! If you’re familiar with the book, the set is an exact replica of the first page. Down to the stuffed animals on the bookshelf.

Z enjoyed part of the play. They read/sang the book “Runaway Bunny” which is another one of her favorites-it turned out to be the only part I liked in the play. But I’m an adult, what do I know?

Then it was time for the three little bears. They growled quite a bit before they made an appearance and the second she heard that first growl, she was done. She started crying and saying she wanted to go home. I took her to the lobby and we finished watching the first act on the really terrible quality TV.

We had some time during intermission to collect ourselves and she agreed to try the second act. We made it through one song. Then it was time to leave.

I need to point out a few things here. First, it was way past her normal naptime and she was wiped. If you know me, you know I usually fight tooth and nail to get my kids to nap. But I thought, “It’s a special day, she’ll be fine!” Nope. Not fine.

Second, remember when I mentioned we were on the ferry earlier? I made the terrible mistake of showing Z a picture of what her baby brother was off doing with daddy. They were playing at a park.

A Play or a Playground R at the park

I think from the moment I showed her that picture, she was fixating on how he was at the park and she wasn’t.

On our way to catch the ferry home, in an effort to bring some sort of highlight to my little three year old’s day, we stopped and got cupcakes. We ate them on the ferry and promptly after, she fell asleep in her stroller.

A Play or a Playground Z sleeping

(Side note-I’m not usually crazy about cupcakes, but the one I got was the most delicious cupcake I have ever had in my life. It was a Whiskey Maple Bacon cupcake from Cupcake Royale, and from now on, all future cupcakes will be compared to that one.)

Looking back on the day, I feel pretty guilty. I was so excited to have a girls day out with my oldest and my mom, that I didn’t even consider it from a little girl’s perspective. Sure, we were headed to a play for her, but it was in the middle of the day. A gorgeous Seattle day! She was stuck in a stroller for half of it, and each time she saw something cool to look at, we couldn’t stop because we didn’t want to be late. All a three year old wants to do is play outside at a playground…any playground.

When I was tucking her in to bed, I asked her to tell me about her day.

She said, “Why didn’t I go to the park with Daddy and R?”

I said, “Because you were spending time with mommy and Grandma.”

Then she said, “But I don’t want to spend time with you and Grandma, I want to spend time with daddy and R at the park.”

Lesson learned. I hope she stays this honest forever-but maybe she can learn to practice a bit more tact to go along with her brutal honesty.

My mom and I are already planning a do-over girls day. We’re going to stay close to home, pack a lunch, and go to the park. And after, we’ll get some crappy cupcakes. The three year old won’t notice of course, as long as it has pink frosting, she’ll be set.

How old was your little one when you took them to their first play?

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30 Comments

  • Reply Valerie

    Sometimes (often times!), kids just want the simple and nature-y choice. πŸ™‚ We’ve done library plays but not the real theater yet. πŸ˜‰

    April 20, 2015 at 5:36 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      You’re exactly right, I should have known better. Now I won’t make that mistake again and I’ll take my girl to a play when she’s a bit older.

      April 20, 2015 at 9:52 am
      • Reply Valerie

        Oh, not at all! I don’t think we can ever know for sure which activities are kids will prefer so we should just expose them to lots and lots and find out! πŸ˜‰

        April 20, 2015 at 1:02 pm
        • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

          That’s true. We like to try new things, but usually it’s something they’re guaranteed to enjoy. This was the first time she openly wanted something else. But I appreciated her honesty. πŸ™‚

          April 20, 2015 at 1:11 pm
  • Reply Rachael Boley

    Aww this is so bitter sweet. What a fun day you had planned and it sounds like overall it was more good than not maybe…but what a blow to hear she didn’t enjoy it as much as you hoped. But her honesty is refreshing and really could be a great thing as she gets older…but like you said, maybe she’ll learn to soften it just a tad haha. Glad you’re gonna try again soon!

    April 20, 2015 at 8:12 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      We definitely had some highlights. I just felt so bad for her, she just wanted to play. Luckily her honesty didn’t hurt my feeling too much, I feel like I should have known better anyhow. Now we’ll wait a few more years to try a play again.

      April 20, 2015 at 9:54 am
  • Reply MrsMuffinTop β„’ (@TheMrsMuffinTop)

    The grass is always greener? I think she probably was feeling both: happy to be with your and your mom, and sad to have missed out on the park. I think it’s a great opener to talking about feeling conflicted!!!!!!

    My son was 5 when I took him to his first play, and he was hooked!

    April 20, 2015 at 11:11 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      That’s true, I could talk to her about feeling conflicted. I know she felt special being out with us, but also jealous she didn’t go to the park. Good to know, I may wait until she’s 5 until we go again.

      April 20, 2015 at 11:40 am
  • Reply Melissa

    That’s so funny! We went to San Diego and the kids were probably most happy when we went to the park by the beach. I don’t think kids notice if they get a gourmet cupcake or a ‘Betty Crocker’ one. Reading your blog makes me want to visit Seattle.

    April 20, 2015 at 3:35 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Ha! That’s how my kids would be apparently! She had no clue how good the cupcake was, all she cared about was that the frosting was pink. Lol! You should visit! It’s gorgeous up here! πŸ˜€

      April 21, 2015 at 10:05 am
  • Reply Brittany

    “I hope she stays this honest forever-but maybe she can learn to practice a bit more tact to go along with her brutal honesty.” LOL bitter-sweet eh?

    April 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Haha! Definitely was! So proud, but a little heartbroken…

      April 21, 2015 at 10:01 am
  • Reply Alana

    OOOOOOH I just loved every bit of this day in theory. The first paragraph, I was practically consumed with jealousy. The Three Bear moment would have played out almost identically with my little one. IT WAS SUCH A GOOD DAY in theory! SIGH. I love Seattle!!! I want to bring my little girl on a ferry and then to a play. But I so admire your humility and your own honesty of where it could be more three-year-old friendly. Seriously though, such a nice idea for a girl’s day…

    April 20, 2015 at 10:14 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you! I was looking forward to this day for a month!! It was gorgeous and perfect. But my poor girl wanted to be somewhere else. It was definitely a nice day in theory. Now I know what to do for next time.

      April 20, 2015 at 10:17 pm
  • Reply Chanity

    You are so brave, lol! My children would never sit still or be quiet enough to enjoy a play. We don’t even attempt the movie theater! You gotta love their honesty.. too sweet!

    April 21, 2015 at 9:25 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I wasn’t quite sure how she’d react but we did a movie a few months ago and she was fine! The play, not so much!

      April 21, 2015 at 9:55 am
  • Reply Lauren

    This happens to me too when I plan a special day… it never goes quite as planned… I tend to build up the day in my head, and then get sad when the kids dont have fun. I have been there!

    April 21, 2015 at 9:48 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Yes! That is exactly how it happened! I built it up and was let down. Next time I’ll try to keep my expectations lower. haha!

      April 21, 2015 at 10:02 am
  • Reply MeganVW

    Kids are so funny and often their priorities are so different than ours. The play sounded lovely, but it is so sweet she wanted to be with her Dad and brother.

    April 21, 2015 at 10:08 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It was sweet! True, now I know her priorities without a doubt! And my daily priority will be to make her nap.

      April 21, 2015 at 10:33 am
  • Reply Shelah

    Your plans seemed like a lot of fun to me. But what do I know, I am way beyond three years old. Have fun on your next girl’s outing!

    April 21, 2015 at 12:03 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you! We will! I now know how to plan from a 3 yo’s perspective.

      April 21, 2015 at 12:16 pm
  • Reply Ashley

    Often times, we feel like we go above and beyond to make our kiddos happy. When really, all we need is some crappy (though, for me, I don’t know if a cupcake could ever be crappy) cupcake and a park. Not that you went overboard with planning. It actually sounds like a wonderful day. But anything above just pitter pattering around the house in their diaper is more than our kiddos need

    Kudos to you for keeping it all together!

    April 21, 2015 at 1:49 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      You’re so right! I was so excited to have such a big day with her, and she would have been thrilled to just chill around the house and play outside. Luckily my mom and I were able to have a sense of humor about it and we weren’t too offended…a little disappointed, but not offended.

      April 21, 2015 at 7:57 pm
  • Reply Meredith@MommyAtoZ

    I’ve taken my 6 year old to a few plays, starting when she was 3. I can never tell if she likes them or not. Who knows? I agree she’d probably be just as happy running around somewhere. I’m hoping now that she’s older we can try some more sophisticated entertainment…but probably not.

    April 21, 2015 at 7:11 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I was able to talk to her about it a bit more today. Turns out, the Bears were too loud, which is what turned her off. I’ll just keep trying, but I’ll wait a little bit. And I’ll take her on a rainy day, so we wouldn’t want to be at a park anyway! I can’t wait until O can take my girl to more sophisticated stuff! I need a buddy to go to musicals with!

      April 21, 2015 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Tessa

    I’m sorry, but complete off topic moment … The ferry in Seattle made me think of Grey’s Anatomy for a good few seconds before I could move on.

    Really bad quality TV, I’ll say it!

    Also, it is amazing how much personalities shift when kids are awake for too long without their naps!

    Rough planned day! I appreciate the honesty from my kids (or anyone) always, but it’s still rough when you put effort and planning into something and it’s not a huge hit. Still a fun day and great idea though!

    April 21, 2015 at 9:51 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Hahahaha! Awesome! I can’t believe I haven’t watched that show yet-I’m usually a few years behind, but this is what, 10 or so?
      I will not be skipping naptime anytime soon. I was so excited for the day that I planned, and the weather was so perfect! But next time we’ll do a half day and just play outside.

      April 21, 2015 at 9:57 pm
  • Reply Suzanne

    I think taking children to plays, musicals, and little concerts is a great idea! It lets out their creative side and shows them that they can adventure outside of TV for creativity. I also love taking my kids to the park for some much needed release of energy, LOL!

    April 22, 2015 at 5:13 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Maybe I should have planned the play, then some playground time. Because I agree, taking them out to experience different things is so important!

      April 22, 2015 at 7:41 am

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