Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wiggles Wonderment con't

WARNING: The following post contains really average photographs. My pre-existing poor photography skills combined with a malfunctioning camera on the day made for particularly bad results. I apologise in advance.

I secured our tickets to the Wiggles December concert in Melbourne back in June. I didn't mention it to my children for quite awhile after that. My children, like most their age, struggle with the concept of time. The last thing I wanted was to be asked, "When are we going to see the Wiggles?" for months before the concert. So to avoid the nagging question, I waited until early September to break the news. When I did, I made it clear that we'd see the Wiggles at Christmas time. This way the children understood it was still a few months away. About a month prior to the concert, we started a countdown to the day. Here in Australia, children count down to big events by counting the number of "sleeps" between now and then. I don't remember counting "sleeps" when I was a kid in the USA. I remember counting down "days", but never "sleeps". My children count "sleeps" and now so do I. Some things you just have to run with.

Needless to say, the anticipation for the concert was building for several weeks prior to the event. My children were giddy at the opportunity to see the Wiggles live (although I think it's important to note they have been to previous Wiggles concerts and this wasn't their first) and secretly, so was I. I was really excited about this particular concert because I'd been so on the ball back in June, I'd managed to get us seats on the floor about six rows back from the stage. Not only that, I'd convinced the Handsome Australian to come along and his Mum and Auntie as well. This meant we had a 4:2 ratio happening--four adults to two children. Easy street!

Our day began quite early as we had to be bathed, fed, dressed and out of the house by about 9am to get to the city and find parking before the 10am concert. In the car on the way to the city there was excitement in the air. As soon as we got to the parking garage where we'd be leaving our car for the day, my youngest announced gleefully, "We are in the City! We are going to see the Wiggles."

We walked to the nearest tram stop and began to see the signs of fellow Wiggles faithful. There were Wiggles backpacks, Wiggles t-shirts, Wiggles dress up costumes (our son was decked in his Captain Feathersword outfit) and lots of little people with hopeful smiles on their faces waiting for a tram to take them to the venue. When the tram arrived, it was packed with even more Wiggles faithful--there were prams (strollers) and children, Mums and Dads, Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents--everyone it seems was on their way to see the Wiggles. We literally squeezed ourselves on to the tram in the various nooks and crannies that were remaining.

A few stops later we stepped off the tram in sheets of rain and cold wind and walked the short distance to the arena. We found our way into the arena and walked down the stairs, and down the stairs again and down, down, down until we reached the floor. It dawned on me then that these were the best seats I've ever had for any concert I've ever attended. I'm not sure if that is a sad statement about my previous concert going efforts or something to be celebrated. At any rate, the Handsome Australian gave me a big pat on the back and said, "Well done. Floor seats! I'm impressed. We're only six rows from the stage. Amazing." (This is why I love men. You can tell them something several times like, "I got us floor seats for the Wiggles and we'll be sitting six rows from the stage." and they'll never remember it. Then when they get to the event and notice the seating arrangement it's like they just discovered it themselves. "Wow! Aren't we lucky?" Yes everything is always new to them.) My Mother-in-law was also impressed with the good seats and the kids were thrilled with how close we were to the stage.

Immediately, the two little ones began pointing at the stage and the various backdrops waiting in the darkness for the Wiggles to appear.

We saw their instruments sitting to one side waiting to be played.Behind these billowing strips of fabric that were glowing yellow was a backdrop that looked like a circus meets a fairytale castle. It was bright, colourful and really, really festive. Our entire group couldn't wait to see what kind of magic the Wiggles would perform on this stage.

Unfortunately, these were the last two photos for which my camera was actually functioning. Once the concert began, my camera went fuzzy and took nothing but blurry psychedelic photographs. It was a sad, sad day for my camera.

Camera troubles aside, the lights went up and on the stage ballerinas and gymnasts came prancing and tumbling out on the stage. The children's eyes lit up in amazement. The costumes, the dancing, the flips--they were taking it all in. Then the crowd let out a big cheer of excitement when the Big Red Car came cruising on the stage carrying the four most important people there--Murray, Jeff, Sam and Anthony aka The Wiggles!! My youngest had a smile from ear to ear. I'm not sure I've ever seen him more excited. At one point he was actually physically shaking with excitement.

The concert continued with plenty of music, silly antics and a cast of colourful supporting characters who are loved just as dearly as the Wiggles themselves. Since we were so close the the stage, our children were able to leave their seats and dance in the aisles and up near the front of the stage--it was their own little Wiggles mosh pit! Our oldest danced her little heart out and did a wonderful job of protecting her brother from the various obstacles one encounters in a Wiggles mosh pit. She's a good sister.

In the meantime, I looked over at the Handsome Australian who had a big smile on his face. He wasn't singing any of the songs, but he seemed to be pretty pleased to be there. My mother-in-law was the same--she was very excited to see the children enjoying themselves so much. The Great Auntie and I on the other hand, were probably almost as excited as the children themselves. I caught myself singing along to most of the songs and dancing in my seat. I couldn't help myself (when you've listened to as much Wiggles as I have, it's almost impossible not to sing all the words). I had a huge smile on my face for several reasons--my kids were having a ball and it was great to see, my husband who rarely finds himself with the time to come to these events was there and able to witness their joy as well, my mother-in-law and the Great Auntie were enjoying themselves, and I can't help it, but I LOVE the Wiggles!

Yes, I just said I LOVE the Wiggles. Honestly, never before have I been to a concert where you could see such enthusiasm and enjoyment on the faces of the performers themselves. It is so obvious that the Wiggles and their entire cast and crew really do love what they do. Not only that, but they are humble and very grateful. I've been to three Wiggles concerts now with my children and each time at the very end, the Wiggles thank the parents and carers for making their way to the concert, buying the tickets and bringing the children along. It's a heartfelt thank you and it makes you feel appreciated. As a parent, I like their style.

All good things must come to an end though. The concert finally finished and we made our way out of the arena. Smiles plastered on every one's faces. In the back of my mind I was thinking, "I hope my kids still love the Wiggles next year--it would be a bit embarrassing coming without them!"


Midgee Moo's mum said...

Sounds like you have the 'Wiggles flu'. I have it too! The concert sounded great, we missed it, would have loved to have gone. Anything for the children.

suzinoz said...

The concert was great and I absolutely recommend going to one at some point if you are able to. It really is a special day for the kids (and the Mums!!)

Nathalie said...

How cute that your eldest looked after the little one in the crazy world of the mosh pit. She is just too cute.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

That's so funny, and my idea of giving the kids info about an upcoming event is about 48 hours prior. You are a stronger woman than I!

suzinoz said...

Thanks FGIS! We watch, sing or talk about the Wiggles on a daily basis here anyway, so the topic would have come up regardless. It may be time for an intervention...