We lost our babysitter. The reasons why and how are really not important (suffice it to say that the situation was HIGHLY annoying and leave it at that). The affect of all that annoyance, however, is that we currently don't have a consistent person to watch the kidlets while at rehearsal. In a "normal" theatre, this would not be a big deal. A huge stack of toys, a pile of snacky food and a well-intonated "Sit here and don't touch anything" is usually enough to buy a few uninterrupted rehearsal minutes. However, we are currently rehearsing in a big, empty, unfinished commercial space. While this is a much appreciated rehearsal venue, it also poses real danger to miniature humans who have not yet learned where not to put their fingers.
In walks The Bruce to the rescue. As you can see by the picture below, The Bruce cordoned off a space with rope and "walls" made from cardboard boxes and filled it with toys to keep the kidlets occupied. This worked shockingly well especially when accompanied by copious amounts of Cheetos.
In spite of the relative safety of the kidlets, I still found rehearsal to be extremely difficult. As I have said before, musicals are not my Happy Place and when my attentions are divided, it proves to be even more difficult. Plus, I am not the nicest person on the planet when I am stressed out so I was hyper-sensitive to the tone of my voice and my body language when dealing with the little ones (I mean, after all, none of this is their fault so why should they be subjected to the Wrath of Mommy) so I spent the majority of rehearsal in a "hypo-manic state" (as our musical director put it). This is certainly NOT conducive to an effective rehearsal process and we decided to end the evening early. Would it have been better to "call in Mommy?" Probably not, but was enough accomplished during rehearsal to have made the cardboard playpen worth it? Only time will tell, I suppose, but in the meantime, we are still mostly child-care-less and - it being summer and all our back-ups are off being normal teenagers - don't have a real viable alternative in the works. 3 weeks before opening is not a good time to have people bail on you but at the end of the day, the safety and care of the kids are most important, so cardboard walls to the rescue.
Now if only The Bruce could create a cardboard padded room . . . I would be all set.