You know, it really seemed like a good idea to have Lisel backstage during the Americana Music Awards. Really it did. We were going to be onstage only briefly. Once, to play "Hesitation Blues" and then again to accept the Award. So, we figured we could just hand her off, for the, what was it? A grand total of 5 minutes. And she'd be fine.
Because she'd done so well earlier in the day. Peter Schwarz, our manager, had offered to watch her during the show. When we found out we had a surprise (to us) rehearsal that morning, we asked Peter if he wouldn't mind an early getting-to-know-you baby hang. He graciously obliged, and held her in the front pew of the Ryman while we ran through the song a couple of times.
And it was awesome. Lisel won't let everbody hold her, but when she's feeling the good vibes she's a super chill kiddo. And she was feeling the sweetness with Peter. I mean, not a peep. Not a whine. They mostly watched us.
(The wonderful Sherry Miller took an amazing picture of them, which I will post here soon)
So Dave and I figured we were golden with a backstage baby hand off to Peter during showtime.
You probably can tell where this tale of parental hubris is going right?
That's right. Backstage Baby Breakdown.
Now, this had nothing to do with Peter. In fact, he tried to establish a way more reasonable procedure for the night. Earlier that day ge had suggested creating a space on the bus, and doing the handoff there. At the time I agreed. And Peter, I'll say it before the Interwebs and everybody that you were totally right and we totally should have stuck to that plan. We should have gotten the baby away from the crowds. We should have provided you with a bottle and a stinky t-shirt. We should have given you the tools for a tired baby.
Instead, we left you high and dry.
Because we were hanging backstage, eating cheerios chillin, and Lisel seemed to be doing okay. And like I said, she'd been doing so good earlier in the day.
Of course, earlier in the day the theater had been empty, not filled with a crowd. And the backstage wasn't crammed with folks catching up and waiting to go onstage. And It wasn't near the bean's bedtime.
Dave and I didn't think the whole handoff thing through. So when we went to hand Lisel to Peter he wasn't getting a recently awakened calm soul. He was being handed an overstimulated, exhausted creature who, looking back on it, was probably only holding it all together because she was with mom and dad. We left. And we left Peter with just a binky, a cloth book, and a glass jar of cheerios.
And of course, a crying baby.
Dude, I am really sorry.
And of course, he wasn't with her for two and a half minutes. Because there was waiting beforehand, and pictures afterwards, and two minutes turned into fifteen or twenty.
That's hours and hours in crying baby time.
By the time we got back, they were both flustered. And we still had to accept the award. Lisel was so distraught, that I opted for the quick and comforting backstage nurse. Thank Goodness for the hooter hider.
I was a little embarrassed, but fully covered. And it helped everyone. I have a feeling I wasn't the first woman to comfort her child in those halls.
And rather than do another traumatizing handoff, we opted to bring her out on stage during the award giving. She just snuggled into me, and I snuggled into her, and watched as Ray and the band got honored for a an almost 40 year run.
And then we said our goodbyes and hightailed it back to the bus, where Lisel fell into a deep sleep.
I've been feeling like a shmuck ever since this deal went down. What kind of mother am I anyway to expect my baby to be fine under those circumstances?What kind of friend was I to Peter to put him in charge of a pissed of baby, and not give him to tools to calm her? What was I thinking???
I guess it's really true. Parenting is a learn as you go process. And everyone in the world, including fathers mothers and yes even including Dave and me-- everyone makes mistakes.
I say that, but I still feel all "what were we thinking??!??!"
Because I want to be, you know, really great at this mom thing. I want to make all the right decisions for my child because the stakes are so terribly high. I'd prefer a zero defect parenting style, thank you very much.
That's not going to happen, is it?
-- Post From My iPhone