What is it about?

The rollercoaster adventures of parenting three kids, dealing with disability and mental health - and discussing disability discrimination and how to tackle it.

Saturday, 30 June 2007


Our whole tribe with cousin Fin, and Nathan Foley from Hi5

What a day! Our brother in law arranged a special treat for the kids today. He's a TV producer, and has been working on the popular kids' show Hi5. Every so often he organises something special (like some Hi5 merchandise, or a visit to the studio during the filming of the "Song of the Week") and today, we were invited to a pre-show performance. It's like a dress rehearsal, where they test how the show goes in front of an audience of kids somehow linked to someone working on Hi5, so it’s quite an intimate performance as far as shows go. You don't get this close to the Hi5 crew (consisting of Kellie, Charlie, Sun, Nathan and Tim) that often.

We must have been quite a sight. Our guys love shows, but aren't too keen on the noise levels at most performances, so we bought them some earmuffs. Their cousin has some too, and it was quite a sight. Three kids bobbing along to the music with their earmuffs on in the back row. Here are some pictures of the earmuff brigade we took with our phone:

They were completely transfixed to see their heroes up close. I don't think Possum (4 years old) closed his mouth at all during the first part of the performance. Master Determined (6 years) had the odd startle reflex with unexpected loud noises, but overall the earmuffs did the job and the kids managed to enjoy the show. One of the highlights was the sparkly confetti coming down from the ceiling, the kids just screamed "wow!!". Little Boo Boo – only 15 months old, and not yet owning earmuffs - was enthralled with the whole performance. She didn't take her eyes off the stage (not even while I was feeding her sushi for lunch) and regularly bobbed her head along to the music, and occasionally swung her arms around wildly. Towards the end, she even tried to sing along. I took her along to the circus when she was 5 months or so, and I fear I've imprinted shows into her young and malleable brain – I won't be surprised if she turns out to become a showgirl. Or runs off with the circus one day.

I certainly had fun today, especially as I knew most of the songs, which makes for happy singing along (yes, that's when you really know you're a parent. You recognise the Hi5 sons after the first few tunes, but don't ask me to do the same with any song in the current Top 10). For the kids' it's like going to a rock concert. The Hi5 crew are superstars as far as the children are concerned, and they all have their favourites – Mister Determined likes Kathleen and her successor Sun, and as far as Possum is concerned, Nathan is his hero. So it's hard to imagine how special a day like today is. They got to see the show in a relatively small room, which means we got lots closer than you'd normally would. And not only that, their lovely uncle organised a handshake and photo with Nathan for the boys – now we have something really special for Show and Tell when school starts again! The first thing the kids did when we came home was dress up and do a Hi5 show – acting out some of the scenes they had seen earlier that day. It was absolutely hilarious to see Master D. copy Kellie in her balancing act, and off course Possum did his impersonation of his beloved Nathan.

After the show, we had some coffee and Poffertjes (small Dutch pancakes). The boys were full of questions. Possum wanted to know how they got behind the stage, and Master D couldn't figure out how Nathan managed to get dressed into his "normal" clothes so quickly when he came out after the show. It was funny how the kids at first didn’t even recognise him without his show clothes on. It's just so magical at their age. They see Hi5 on television (well, DVDs) so they know it's not "real" (as in, the people aren't really inside the TV, which took a while to understand) and yet here they are, very real, and in front of them. We try to explain how it works, but it seems like a shame to take the magic away…

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