Have you ever looked around a room and thought to yourself, “Wow, I’m the token crazy person today?” That was how I felt Wednesday when I took Brennen to see Barney at Kids Club Live.
I had high expectations for the day. I even posted on Facebook that it was going to be a Super Dee Duper kind of day. It seemed like a no-brainer, Brennen loves Barney and had a great time at Kids Club Live last year. What could go wrong?
Well, I failed to remember that Brennen has developed a fear of seeing TV characters in person. Somehow I managed to block out our first row experience at Sesame Street Live earlier this year or maybe I convinced myself that Barney would just be different.
It wasn’t different.
While sitting in out third row seat waiting for Barney to come on stage, a slew of characters began walking around the room, mingling with the crowd. As soon as Brennen caught a glimpse of the Cat in the Hat he started crying so loudly that the entire crowd looked over at us. He then put his blankie over his eyes, buried his head in my shoulder and used his grip of steel to cling to me for dear life. I tried desperately to console him, rubbing his back, talking to him, rocking him, etc. Nothing helped. This continued as Curious George, Super-Why and others came out. I could see other parents looking over at me and I knew what they were thinking, “Why don’t you leave, he is obviously scared?!?!” I wanted to say, “He loves Barney, really he does!” But I just smiled nervously.
I was still holding out hope that when Barney finally came on stage, Brennen would be just as excited and mesmerized as he was last year. But instead, he stayed in the same terrified position through Barney’s entire performance except for a few songs where he swayed from side to side while still covering his face and clinging to my shoulder. I asked him on several occasions if he wanted to go home or stay and every time he said he wanted to stay. When Barney left the stage, he sat up, removed his hands and blankie from his eyes, started clapping and said, “Yay, Momma! We did it!.” He then looked around and said, “Where did Barney go?”
On the way home, Brennen played a video that I recorded with my phone of Barney singing the “I love you, you love me” song over and over and over. Just before pulling into our driveway he said, “Can we go see Barney again?”