I’ve always wanted to go away to a film festival.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the fun we have when the world comes to us in Park City to attend the Sundance Film Festival. But I’m never able to truly immerse myself in the festival—to go, nonstop, until I can’t go anymore. There are carpools, there are vet appointments, there are lunches to pack, karate lessons to supervise,
Ai-Yah! Little guy strikes a pose
and no “I was traveling for business” excuses to brush off other work until after the festival.
Granted, there are upsides. I get to sleep in my own bed. I can hide behind, “the kids need me,” so that I can get back to that bed at a decent hour. AND, I can take a break from the mayhem, get some perspective, and have a really, really great parenting moment in between meetings, interviews and screenings.
To wit: I took a break from schmoozing (with friends and colleagues),
A toast with my pal Jessica—an annual tradition
schlepping (from venue to venue) and schnorring(enjoying freebies like lunch and vitamin supplements) and scheduling appointments for swag lounges), as well as scheduling (interviews, meetings and dinner engagements)—to pick up the Little Guy from school. It’s not much of an “escape”—the school is in a building that houses a screening venue—but I do take off my credential for a moment before I go tickle him (the official signal that it’s time to go home). However, after I caught myself trying to hurry him into his boots and coat (like any four year old will ever heed such urging), I decided to seize the moment and run some errands before we had to pick up our friend from another venue.
Jeff, capturing the vibe at the Puma Wireimage Lounge
Which is how I found myself arguing with a four year old in the cereal aisle.
Yes, I was loading my cart with coconut milk and almond milk at the exact same time as my son was placing Fruity Pebbles in it.
We were at near-military standoff.
“It’s poison,” I said. “Put it back, please.”
“It’s not poison, mom, it looks Deeelissshhhus!”
“That’s how they get you to eat the poison, baby. Put it back, please,” I said.
Some nice ladies with whom I briefly shared a look of recognition (“We’re nice Jewish moms from the east coast, too,” their glances seemed to say. Also our common dark, straight(ened) hair, brown eyes, wry expressions were a tip off.), said, “Your mommy is very smart, you should listen to her,” they said. “It is poison.”
“No,” he said. “It’s not. And I’m not putting it back. I want to eat the Fruity Pebbles.”
“Baby,” I said. “What’s the first rule of karate?”
Suddenly, he gave me a sheepish look.
“Listen to your parents, the first time,” said he.
“OK, Seth, will you please put the box back on the shelf?”
You could have knocked me over with a feather. He actually put. The. Box. Back. On. The. Shelf.
The nice yenta ladies practically gave me a standing ovation.
“I’m signing my grandson up for karate as soon as I get home,” one of them said. “He doesn’t listen to anyone.”
We all beamed at each other in a great moment of Mommy solidarity. Suddenly, my son piped up, his eyes alighted on another box. I braced myself. Then:
“Mommy! Look! Clifford cereal!” Indeed, it was. ORGANIC Clifford Cereal. “Can I have it, please?”
Of course I bought the Clifford Crunch!