As the girls' big Christmas present, I took them to see Ballet Austin's performance of The Nutcracker yesterday. Unlike last year's trip, this year's adventure was a lot of fun.
First off, the show was at the Paramount Theater on Congress Avenue, which is such a neat venue. It's an old building, and the theater itself is very ornate, with murals on the ceiling and lots gold everywhere. The girls were antsy until the curtain went up, then they sat on the edges of their seats for the rest of the show.
Lily asked a few funny questions at the beginning, like why wasn't anyone talking and why did the ladies have the backs of their dresses attached to their arms. I just kept shushing her. Ella asked a few questions about who was who, but mostly she just watched, silent with big eyes.
I think Lily's favorite part of the whole thing, though, was getting to clap. Every time there was applause, she'd sit straight up and clap for all she was worth, with the biggest smile on her face. I loved seeing her face light up like that.
The only thing that marred the event was Ella's meltdown over her Nutcracker ornament. I told the girls they could each pick out a small Nutcracker as a souvenir. Ella grabbed one right away and carried it around, clutched to her chest. Lily took a bit longer to pick her, I think because she was hoping I'd change my mind and let her get a big Clara doll. After they had made their choices and we'd made our way back to the car, Ella started sobbing because she had decided she liked Lily's ornament better than her own. She tried to convince Lily to trade ornaments with her, but that just made Lily start sobbing. Lily calmed down when I assured her that she didn't have to trade if she didn't want to, but Ella kept up the waterworks the whole way home and off and on for about an hour after we were home. She started up again after the girls were in bed, sending Lily notes about trading, which set Lily off again.
Ella has now added a large, red Nutcracker to her Santa list, which grows by the day.
Despite the tears at the end, the girls really did have a good time. When I asked them what their favorite parts of the show were, they both said, "Everything!" They also made B read them their Nutcracker book at bedtime last night. I'm sure this afternoon we'll have a dance recital, complete with the proper music.