We met up with some friends this morning at Bournemouth Attachment Parents, the local parenting group I co-facilitate, and had a fantastic time at the water-and-play park at Boscombe Gardens. Grace, Kendra and Neddie were very excited at Emma's novel way of rocking the see-saw.
When we got home, Luke found some animated BBC videos of Twelfth Night in preparation for the free performance we planned to see this evening. It is his favourite Shakespeare play, so he was looking forward to it. Grace and Matilda really enjoyed watching them, and were able to pause the videos to ask what was happening, so she had a good understanding by the time we left for the actual performance.
Here begins the epic parenting fail. When we arrived at the Pier Approach Theatre, there were plenty of seats, we had a good view, we met some friends and the children were enjoying the show. The adults, however, were not. The sound quality was dreadful, and the cast were putting on Greek accents, which made the Shakespearean language even more difficult to understand. It was a modern rendition (with traditional language), so the dialogue was interspersed with pop music and mobile phones. We made the decision to take the children into the Lower Gardens.
Grace said that she would like stay and watch the play, but we cajoled her into the gardens, where we discovered that the Salvation Army were playing show tunes, and Grace and Salma played in the the stream and ate oatcakes, bananas and cream cheese.
They did enjoy themselves, but again on the way back to the car, Grace asked if we could watch some more of the play. We managed to convince her to head home, which she did without any major upset, but in discussing it afterwards, we realised that at no point in the evening had we taken her views seriously, or listened to her desire to stay and watch the performance we had encouraged her to invest in this afternoon. We decided it was a poor performance, so we decided to leave and not go back. To her credit, on this occasion Grace was fairly uncomplaining, but we have realised that actually, taking her wishes seriously may mean sitting through a couple of hours of ham acting! There will be apologies in the morning....