Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Hopes and Dreams of My Five-Year-Old Producer

Those of you who have met Kieran know that he is quite the promoter! After seeing the "Wizard of Oz" at the Northwest Children's Theater in December, we had a resurgence of his W of O obsession.

He went beyond engineering a birthday party based on the Wizard of Oz (which he engineered with my help when he turned FOUR!), and he planned to actually stage a play of the W of O at elementary school. Last fall he distinctly remembered the announcement that the middle school principal made before Chris' play, in which he said that a parent had approached him to ask if she could help the students put on a play. Why couldn't they stage a grand production in kindergarten, thought he?

He had a cast list all made out, with his classmates' names on it...and he was collecting and making costumes and props. He even saved up his allowance to buy a new W of O book with a little ruby slippers necklace, which he planned to present to his star and classmate, Lily (who amazingly agreed to play Dorothy!). The only problem? He couldn't line up anyone to play the Wicked Witch of the West! (Long-time readers and friends will remember that he played that role at his four-year-old birthday party, but he declared that he had moved on, and now he wanted to be the scarecrow.)

His friend Lynn was going to be the director, and even Mrs. Lang (his wonderful teacher, who knows the dramatic foibles of our children, since she had Chris too) had agreed to be in the cast--either as an apple-throwing tree or a flying monkey. We planned the performance for April, after his birthday (figuring that enough lead time would allow the idea to fizzle out), and his grand design was for the whole cast to watch the movie together, and then act out the play verbatim!

Kieran had a few play dates with Lily, where they plotted and planned for the play. We were delighted that he finally found a friend who seemed to be as enthusiastic as he was about his grand schemes.

The stage in our family room is festooned with W of O "decorations" in preparation for the play, and he has made signs that are posted outside of our front door. He was totally delighted when my parents procured a huge roll of tickets, and he's been giving them out to everyone who visits.

Here is Kieran in his "scarecrow" costume, which he had been putting on after school every day for weeks, practicing his scarecrow dance, "If I Only Had a Brain":

Peter Pan meets the hat of the scarecrow we had as an autumn decoration, with yellow paper posing as straw...all his creation!

Well, yesterday all the plans of the past month came to an end. Kieran came home, announcing to Mike that Lily had told him she was tired of talking about the W of O. Mike had a gentle discussion with him, explaining that perhaps the other kids were getting tired of the idea...and maybe he should move onto other things. (Remember when I posted yesterday about my boys' one-track minds?) Amazement of amazements, he accepted this...and indeed decided to move on. He has abandoned his hopes for producing the play, and he doesn't seem to be a bit upset about it, to my surprise.

Secretly, I've been hoping that it would all fizzle out by April (last week he had me draft a letter to his principal, Mr. Blanck, asking for permission to use the school stage!), but now that it has, I feel kind of sad for him. I'm not pushing the matter, because I certainly don't want him to get upset about it! But you know? It's hard to see your kids have their hopes brought down to reality. The kid is certainly a dreamer and a planner!

We have a little secret: Chris' fifth-grade teacher confided to Mike the other day that the school music teacher is considering a W of O theme for the school's spring musical. We might drop a hint to the music teacher that Kieran is a huge fan, but we think we will keep the information to ourselves unless she decides she wants to engage him somehow...

In the meantime, he will continue dressing up and masquerading in his spare time...until he comes up with his next plot or strategy! I suspect we'll be moving on to "Bye Bye Birdie" next, as auditions for the middle school play are next week. Last night we were trying to help Chris decide what to sing for auditions, and Kieran had lots of suggestions! Personally, he has a strong preference for "WE HATE YOU CONRAD, OH YES WE DO! WE DON'T HATE ANYONE AS MUCH AS YOU! WHEN WE HEAR YOU SING, WE SAY PEE-YOU! OH CONRAD, WE HATE YOU!!!" Wonder if they'd consider casting a kindergartener?

The batman pirate

This is what I came home to yesterday...a cross-dressing, umbrella-carrying Groucho Marx: (that's my black camisole there):

What I didn't take a photo of was what he was wearing last pantyhose and heels! I figured that might be going a bit too far in terms of blackmail potential!


  1. Your kids sound hilarious! You've got quite an ensemble there. Soon enough you'll be making you'll be making your way to Broadway to watch them!

  2. Thanks Lizzi. Yes, they are indeed hilarious! I will not be surprised to see one of them make it as a performer!