April 12, 2013

Field Trip: Stinky Cheese Man

Each month, our homeschool group has a field trip for all the children. You don't have to go on all of them, which is good, because not all are suitable for all age groups. Well, the play we were scheduled to see back in November was postponed due to one of the actors being hospitalized. It was held last week.

As our luck tends to run, it also just so happened to be on the one day it was pouring down that week, which was also the coldest day of the week. My vehicle doesn't have a working heater, but thankfully we managed to get the worn out windshield wiper changed the day before. So we were cold, but safe on the hour drive to the VBC.

If you've never heard of "The Stinky Cheese Man," it's similar to a loosely written and very fast version of "Into the Woods." It's a collection of fairy tales held together through the storyline of the giant chasing after Jack, and like Scheherazade, he tells the giant stories to stall his death. He also tells the stories just enough off how they are supposed to go to cause the audience to giggle. However, it goes a step farther by seeking audience participation.

Now, if you've been reading for any length of time, you know my girls have a bit of an issue with sensory integration. As soon as the play started, and voices began booming over the sound system, Boo Bear clapped her hands over her ears and started complaining. I had to pull her hands away and remind her to listen hard to the story and forget about how her ears were feeling about three times before she got the hang of shifting her attention and relaxed enough to enjoy the story.

She still slapped her hands over hear ears every time the other kids began to yell answers at the characters, but considering the noise that can be generated by a couple thousand children packed into a concert hall, I can't blame her. It was uncomfortable, even for me with my degenerating sense of hearing.

I was irritated that morning when we set out for the play. I figured it be a waste of time. I'm never much of one for social events, but I've felt near to bursting into tears at the mere idea of getting out amongst people of late with the constant and unrelenting string of social obligations these past few months. (It's an introvert thing. More on that later.) Plus, it was cold and rainy, and the girls were too intent on playing to do anything toward getting themselves ready that particular morning.

Looking back though, I'm glad we were able to attend. Not only did they get to see their first play ever, Boo Bear and Sneak both had a breakthrough in integrating auditory overload without pain. Plus, I was able to point out structural features in the concert hall that contribute to acoustics.

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