Ms. Bits N’ Bobs Show – Take #2

Hallo there friends and fan’s of Ms. Bits N’ Bobs.  I got such positive feedback from the first two shows, that we are going to do two more.  Much Thanks to  Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga for letting me turn their studio into a black box theatre.  In this space, the kids get to come up on into the stage space and help act out the show.
Do your kids enjoy acting?
Do your kids enjoy adventure?
Do your kids enjoy fairytales?
Where do the stories go when they get lost?
Help us solve the mystery!

Bring your cameras!  Bring your imaginations!

Watch your children dress up, act, sing and dance whilst they go on a grand adventure with Ms. Bits N’ Bobs to the Land of Imagination

The Ms. Bits & Bobs Show

A Family Performance Brought to you by

the Land of Imagination.

Interactive Children’s theater

www.landofimagination.com

Saturday May 14th & Saturday May 28th

11:00am to Noon

Tickets are $10 per person – cash at the door.

We would love you to join us with your younger kids.  However, should brunch beckon, drop offs welcomed for children 5 and up with contact info.

Reservations  are necessary as the space holds 30 people

RESERVE! RESERVE! RESERVE! BEFORE WE SELL OUT!!!

310 594 2774 or email nicole@landofimagination.com

OR


Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga Studio

3207 Manhattan Avenue @Longfellow

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

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The Journey has Begun…

The Journey has begun…

The premiere Ms. Bits N’ Bobs theatre show has come and gone.

Without a hitch?  Mmmm?  Without any angst?  Nmm?  Fun to perform?  YES! YES! YES!

Blessed art thou, the Karate Sensei who told me that I should just go ahead and do my shows in his Karate Studio.  www.mbkarateandyoga.com He is also the guy who told me many years ago, “you do the best that you can do, with what you’ve got.”  This was when I was attempting to do karate kicks whilst holding two year old Olivia on one arm.  A crawling 9 month old Tallulah was trying to cling to my leg as I attempted to complete a Karate kick whilst avoiding kicking my son, Dash, with whom I was trying to bond and the only reason I had taken up Karate in the first place.

Ah those halcyon days… why did I ever think that those were the difficult times?  I must have sent out over 300-400 emails advertising these shows.  I approached all the very kind pre-school and elementary school principles and librarians, teachers and friends, who have provided so much encouragement and support over the last few years.  I handed out a few hundred flyers to people around my local school, including the all important local nanny network who hang out on the greenbelt close to my house.  All of this work and anxiety to merely sell 30 tickets per show.

Show #1… I sold 10 tickets!  Now on my behalf, it was the first weekend of baseball season and the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Still… only ten tickets!

I had known going into that Saturday morning, that perhaps I had some learning to do in the marketing department.  I was  still bummed that so few people were showing up to the premiere show.

Holy Flying Guacamole!  They were the greatest ten people to ever participate in a show.  We took on the challenge of going to the Land of Imagination with verve and vigor.  When we galloped into an alternative universe on our magical horses, we flew there through a splash of color and camaraderie with fairies, dragons, Cinderella and even a cannon that shot out kids.  We met Charlotte, the spider from Charlotte’s Web.  She joined the audience – we needed her, she made 11.  One of our kids could describe Hansel and Gretel’s house so clearly, that we were all salivating to try some of the sparkling gingerbread.  But we knew the witch was really inside waiting for her chance to jump us.  The kids could talk all kinds of animal languages, my favorite being the Human Language where the mom spoke Blah, Blah, Blah all day.

I feel invigorated and joyful that I had the chance to entertain and be entertained by those magical children.  The journey has begun with small but magical steps.  I look forward to Ms. Bits N’ Bobs – Take #2 this weekend.  Naturally, I would love to share the adventure with you.

Ms. Bits N’ Bobs Live Performances Coming to a Theatre Near You!!

Hallo there friends and fan’s of Ms. Bits N’ Bobs.  I am so excited to be able to perform some shows in my own theatre space, thanks to Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga.  I would love you to come and see the first couple of shows….

The Ms. Bits & Bobs Show

A Family Performance Brought to you by

the Land of Imagination.

Interactive Children’s theater

www.landofimagination.com

Saturday March 12th & Saturday March 19th

11:00am to Noon

Tickets are $10 per person – cash at the door.

We would love you to join us with your younger kids.  However, should brunch beckon, drop offs welcomed for children 5 and up with contact info.

Reservations  are necessary as the space holds 30 people

RESERVE! RESERVE! RESERVE! BEFORE WE SELL OUT!!!

310 594 2774 or email nicole@landofimagination.com

OR


Manhattan Beach Karate and Yoga Studio

3207 Manhattan Avenue @Longfellow

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Please and Thank you…habit or hell?

Can I have an icecream?

What’s the magic word? …Please.

Please.

Of course, darling.

(silence)

Whaddya say?  …Thank you.

Thank you.

Good job.

Ever since my kids were able to talk, I have attempted to instill into them the basic habits of saying “please and thank you”.  I don’t think I am particularly unusual in this respect.  I think most of us hope that our children will grow up to have polite manners.

There was a point when Dash was about four years old that it got so ridiculous that the conversation would go something like this…

Dash:  Can I have an icecream?

Mom:  What’s the magic word? … Please.

Dash:  What’s the magic word? Please.

Mom:  Of course, darling.

Dash:  (silence)

Mom:  Whaddya say?  …Thank you.

Dash:  Whaddya say?  Thank you.

Mom:  Good job.

Fast forward to Dash who is now 12 years old.  The game of “please and thank you” has been going on for way to many years, to the degree that when I remind him, we both feel a mild need to wring each others necks.  This would really subterfuge my desire to have my kids grow up as healthy individuals.

Dash and I are in the school office, where I am desperately attempting to take a back seat in his communication with the very patient and organizing school administrator.  Dash conducts his business of receiving a new school lunch card admirably and politely, with clear communication, without one please or thank you anywhere in the conversation.

I am biting my tongue to the degree that the metaphorical blood is dripping down my chin.  Finally, I hiss out of the side of my mouth, “Say thank you.”  I get an appreciative smile from the lady behind the desk and a look of continued “I’m no longer a baby” eye roll from my kid.

He goes back to class.  I go about my daily business.

However, as I am leaving the school, I run into a friendly looking teacher, named Lisa.  Out of the depths of my frustration, I randomly say to her.  Do they ever learn how to say thank you?  I have been working on this subject with my child since birth and apparently he can only say thank you, if I remind him!!!

Lisa calmly looks at me, kindly and not as though I am insane, which I thought was very thoughtful.  She said to the nutty stranger (me), you know I had the same issue with my kids, they’re grown now, and they never said it of their own will until I discussed with them the meaning of gratitude and why it was that we say “please and thank you”.  As soon as they understood the importance of respect and appreciation there was finally a real reason to maintain the habit.

So, I have had this discussion with Dash.  I hope one day he will read this post.  In which case, thank you for the inspiration.

The Binky Fairy

The Binky FairyI received the most amazing email the other day. 

 My soon to be five-year-old still uses his pacifier at night and we’ve been telling him the binky fairy will be coming to get them…Any type of fairy costume would be fine, flexible schedule (just needs to be sometime late July in the evening.)

 OMG…the memories of should or shouldn’t I use the binky with my first child, we didn’t and he cried through the night for eight months.  The second kid, we decided…screw the huge overbite and the funky teeth…give her the binky.  Aaaah, sweet sleep!  What joy, until she was turning two and it was time for the binky to go, according to our doctor.  It was heart wrenching to watch this contented little baby turn into a bloodcurdling fist-pummeling SCREAM of WHY THIS TORTURE!!!  On our behalf, she only took two nights to get over it and never even remembers having a binky.  But do we as parents ever recover?  It left its little scar.  I don’t even remember what happened with baby #3, I was so exhausted from having three young children and just surviving the laundry load.

So imagine my joy, that someone actually wanted me to be the magical binky fairy.  I wish that I had been that inventive as to think of actually asking someone to come and make this magical character come true.

 Of course I would do it, I told the Mama.  We set a date just before David’s birthday, at the end of July.  I was going to adjust Princess Rosy Rosebud’s costume just a little.  The plan was to attach some binky’s and some small gifts to the Princess dress.  I also attached a small, pretty box, just large enough to hold a binky to the dress around waist level.

 I arrived at David’s house, about an hour before bedtime.  As I got out of the car, two old men chatting about tools, gave me that “What the…” look that so often happens when I show up in costume in Suburbia.  I gave them a big smile and explained pointing at the binky’s on my dress, that I was the binky fairy.  Big smiles…they either finally do believe in magic or in women gone mad!  Either Way…

 David’s mama gave me a nervous smile.  I hope she knew how much my heart was with her, how many of us go through this tiny hell. 

 “Hi David”.  He was sitting in one of those little armchairs for kids watching a show.  His mouth genuinely turned into a perfect “O” of amazement.  Dear Lord, please do not let me frighten this child, I fervently prayed.  In the softest voice I could find, I told him.  “I am the binky fairy.  It’s good to meet you, David.”  He mouthed “hi.”  “May I sit down?”  Mouth went back to its “O”. 

 I explained that I visited big kids who were ready to give up their binkys so that little babies who really needed them could each receive a binky from me, the binky fairy.  David didn’t scream.  He didn’t cry.  He didn’t anything.  He just sat there with his big “O”.

 I showed him my magical dress.  “Here are the binky’s from the children I have already visited this evening.”  I explained about Max, who was very frightened of giving up the binky, and about Sam, who was a little concerned, but knew that I could bring the binky back if he really needed it at night, to Joey who decided he would much rather have the toy dog on my dress than a binky, ‘cos he was a big kid now. 

 I showed David the toys that I still had on my dress.  There was a little dog, there was a Spongebob- Patrick Sticker and then there was the box that David was supposed to put his binky into.

 He told me he liked the white and brown dog and he liked the sticker.

 David’s mama, sitting close, silently smiled, her face still clenched white.

 Then I told David the binky fairy version of “The Three Little Pigs”.  He laughed.  He really laughed.  He joined in, acting out all the roles, especially the big bad wolf.  He has a really great growl.  At the end of this version, the big bad wolf doesn’t try to eat the pigs, he just asks them for their binky’s as he has  little wolf pups mewing through the night who really need binkys.

 When the story was done, I asked him if he was ready to give me his binky.  He only had one left, and he only used it at night.  David told me that perhaps I might want to come back the following morning and get it then. 

 My heart was sinking.  It wasn’t going to work.  Mama and I had already decided that this would be okay.  It was still a start.

 I wasn’t going to give up on this challenge.  I’m the BINKY FAIRY for goodness sakes.

 “Remember how I told you that I give the binky’s to the little babies who really need them.  Well, I am about to visit this one little baby and she really cries if she doesn’t have a binky.  I would also exchange your binky for one of these gifts on my dress.”  I gently confided in him.

 “Okay mom, go get my binky and give it to the binky fairy!”  Mama looked like she was about to faint.  I felt quite faint myself.

 David put the yellow binky in my binky box.  He told me, he would like to take the dog.  He called it the Floppy Dog.  It had little brown floppy ears.  He gave me a hug.  He gave me a HUG!  Then he asked me how I was going to leave. 

 I said that I would fly over his house and out into the stars beyond.  If he looked really carefully at the stars, he might see me waving hello.

David’s mama wrote to me the next day. 

  Nicole-

He went to sleep without his binky!!!!!!!!!  We have been waiting for this for years.  I can’t thank you enough.

Let me know if you ever need a referral or endorsement.

 Well, David’s mama, you gave me permission to put this story on my blog.  That is endorsement enough. 

Thank you for allowing me to be your Binky Fairy.

Floppy dogBinky the binkys, the gifts and the binky box

A Hike in the woods!

There was no camp today.  It was time to get my kids out of the house.  This is easier said than done, because the pull of “the screen” in my household is addictive, and my kids are happy addicts.  The screen can be TV, Video games, Nintendo DS and computer games.   This is probably, subconsciously, why I came up with Ms. Bits N’ Bobs.  It is a way to keep TV in check.  They can watch a little and then hopefully, on their own initiative, they will head off and make up some stories on their own.  In my dreams…okay it does happen sometimes.

“Why are we doing this?” my 11 year old moans.  “What is the point of all of this?”  He continues.  These are not rhetorical questions.  He wants answers.  I have got to believe the answer lies in the doing of it.  We head into beautiful Palos Verdes, an area just south of Los Angeles, with the most beautiful horse trails around. 

We borrow Rosie, an exceptionally exuberant half pit-bull, half lab mix and after remembering to bring water for the dog (not ourselves of course) we set off on our hike. 

For about five minutes, all goes well.  The kids are entertained.  The dog is running free.  Then…”how much further?”  “Can we stop for the dog to do tricks for us now?”  “I’m tired.  Can I drink some of the dog water?”  We get stopped by another dog and walker.  This lady warns us that the laws of dogs running free are very strict in this area.  They must be on a leash or we will get ticketed.  Okay, now I have visions of police hiding in the bushes waiting to pounce on my five year old.  My sweet angel is now asking to be carried.  “But I have somefin’ in my shoe, mum”.

I’m determined for a full mile hike.  So I just set off running with the dog, who is walloping me off my feet at about 50 miles per hour.  Happily the kids  follow and as I can’t hear their complaints, I’m in a world of joy. 

On the way back we discover a swing.  Not a fancy swing, but one of those home made swings, a wooden circle attached to the longest blue rope ever, the kind you find in those old movies where they swing across a gully in the middle of nowhere.

They swing, they push each other higher and higher.  Dash and Olivia push Tallulah.  She’s your sister, you take her…he pushes.  No she’s your little sister, you take her.”  They laugh and laugh.  I am the tree protector along with Rosie the dog, in case they are pushed for a header into the tree trunk (by mistake of course, by an older sibling). 

Of course, I was so busy having fun, that I totally forgot to take photos.  So you will have to imagine it all.

Even my 11 year old said he had fun.

The moral of the story… when all the bits and bobs have failed, just go out for a walk.  Adventure lies everywhere.