momlogic's momstrosity: I'm trying. Really. Instead of picking my kid up from preschool and plunking her down in front of the TV while I made dinner, I decided to take her to meet Curious George yesterday. Yes, THE Curious George -- star of the books of the same name. He was appearing at my local Barnes & Noble. My kid is nuts about George. (Or should I say bananas?)
She's not the only one. When we showed up half an hour before showtime, the children's section of the megastore was already crammed with kids and parents.
Much to my little girl's dismay, the big "G" had an opening act which consisted of a tired- looking woman who proceeded to read a few books that Barnes & Noble was no doubt trying to push. In order to be heard over the kids, she had to almost scream her stories.
Finally, the storyteller woman -- her voice hoarse and battered -- introduced Curious George.He was led in by another staff member/monkey wrangler, and then seated on a bench. George didn't speak (but to be fair, neither does the character in the H. A. Rey books). He did occasionally offer a lackluster wave, though -- which the kids enthusiastically returned.
George was, as my daughter later stated, "enormous" -- certainly not to monkey scale. Had the Man in the Yellow Hat also booked this gig, he would've had to be 25 feet tall.
Then it was photo-op time.
The slightly frazzled monkey wrangler announced that kids could have their picture taken with George. Chaos ensued, and the event started to resemble Altamont (that Rolling-Stones-concert tragedy of 1969). Kids and parents rushed the stage. Some kids were knocked down; some were crying. Parents were pushing through with cameras ready, like paparazzi whose livelihoods depended upon them getting the shot.
It was getting ugly. Parents were shoving their kids toward the monkey, who continued to just sit there, seemingly oblivious to the pandemonium he had created. I pulled Lily from the crowd before she was sucked into the crush.
Is this what most in-store kid events are like? If so, it will be my last.
Damn you, Barnes & Noble.