Monday, June 04, 2007
Kids Say the Darndest Things, Part 1
Best friends forever
My daughter was recently in a production of The King and I. She's only five and was in pre-K this year, but her preschool is part of a larger school that goes through high school. The Upper School did the production and asked kids from the Lower School and early childhood classes to participate.
It was a lot of fun for both of us. Obviously, when you ask young children to do something, you are really asking their parents to jump in, too, and I did. I sewed big silky pillows for the king's palace, mended the odd costume, and applied makeup to little faces. The experience took me back to high school and college productions, and I loved it. My daughter seemed to love it, too. While she was initially skittish about being up on stage in front of lots of people -- at least until I assured her that the lights would be so bright up there that she'd never see her audience -- she was sold as soon as she learned her best buddy was going to be in the performance.
DD was supposed to be one of the children of Lady Thiang. If you're familiar with the story, you'll know that Lady Thiang was the head wife of many and the mother of the Crown Prince. She sings the song "Something Wonderful," which is one of my favorite Broadway numbers. I very much like the young lady the school selected for the role, and I have to say she was wonderful herself with my daughter. And DD was crazy about her.
I received an email today from "Lady Thiang," who wanted to share with me something my girl had said to her backstage. By way of introducing these comments, let me say that most of the kids in the show were not Asian like my daughter, and so they had to be made up to look at least a little bit like Thai people. Beside using the brownish foundation and the exaggerated eyeliner on the kids, the powers that be decided that all the kids' hair needed to be sprayed with black temporary hair color unless unless they already had dark hair. This spray stuff was icky, looked fake (see the picture of DD and her best bud, who is a blue-eyed blonde) and according to the other moms, required a lot of shampooing to remove. DD's hair is very dark brown, so she was one of the lucky ones who escaped the paint sprayer.
Without further adieu, I quote "Lady Thiang's" email:
"[DD] looks up at me with an excited smile and says, 'Did you know I'm Chinese?'
Me: 'No way! I had no idea [DD]!!! That's so cool!'
'And I don't have to spray my hair because I'm already Chinese,' [DD] said proudly."
Art Linkletter said it best, "Kids say the darndest things."
Oh, and the production was outstanding. My unbiased opinion, of course.