Sweet Daughter came home last week with a flyer advertising the “planetarium” that was going to be at school tonight. I told her that I was REALLY BUSY this week, and didn’t know if we’d be able to go. She came home from school today telling me I had to read the flyer in her book bag about the presentation in the school cafeteria tonight. Shorter Half had a meeting from 6:00 until 8:00 tonight, so even though I have reports due at work tomorrow, and a HUGE weekend to pack for, and food and clothing to document, I agreed to take her. She SO wanted to go.
We got to the school at the appointed hour and walked in to the cafeteria to find what looked like a giant silver mushroom cap inflated in the middle of the floor and chairs set up in rows behind it. I naively hoped that the presentation would be projected onto the outside of this thing. No such luck. Have I mentioned that I’m a bit claustrophobic? And that it seems to be getting worse as I get older? So when I found out that they expected us to crawl through this tunnel thing like it was some kind of space-age igloo, I asked the parent of one of SD’s friends if he’d mind keeping an eye on her, and told him he was free to rip off her arm and beat her with the wet end if she misbehaved. I went to go sit and wait things out when the Guy In Charge lifted up the side of the giant mushroom for those of us that were old, infirm, halt and/or lame to enter. I thought that I’d try that way – after all, there was plenty of room inside, right?
The good news: I ended up sitting by the fan that was blowing fresh air into the giant Hefty bag. The bad news was that the fan was so loud I couldn’t hear the presentation. We were packed in there like sardines. We had to sit on the floor, and being closer to 50 than I am to 45 these days, that wasn’t terribly comfortable. It was stuffy in there. And when he started spinning the stars across Kinderdome, I thought I was going to hurl. Did I mention that there was no way out that didn’t involve a bladed instrument?
So I sat with my head down next to another claustrophobic mom and waited it out. Then the sick bastard giving the presentation told us those of us ducking under the side had to wait until everyone else had gone through the tunnel before the rest of us could exit. I thought I’d done pretty well until I got home and found that my stomach was still in knots an hour after leaving. And to top it all off? I found out the kids had already sat through the same, if not more extensive presentation, earlier that day.