My husband and I are musicians. And we’re parents. When we are onstage, we do our best to really be ON stage. But all our “backstage” experiences with our son (our little frog) deeply affect who we are as people, thus musicians. Recent insights:
Touring means spending time in vehicles, hotels, and different venues each day. Being on the road with your kid means negotiating countless transitions with him/her, while still maintaining focus to perform each night.
To keep our son engaged and even-tempered during our time touring Germany, we read a lot of books. We have brought favorites from home and have a few new books auf Deutsch, too.
Allowing a video option as a big evening treat (when Mom/Dad go off to do the show) has been another invaluable tool for limiting pre-show stress for all of us.
But the sweetest distraction has probably been the bag of toys brought from home–with a few new acquisitions, presented at strategic moments along the way. These goodies have kept imaginative Nigel cheery and awake until 9pm or so, so that he sleeps through the transfer from venue to van to hotel.. and sleeps through the night. He will play with and park/arrange/narrate these creatures from one sofa to the next, from one venue/hotel to the next.
Every time we pack up, we go through the collection checklist. The goods to date:
- Trains (6)
- Trucks (3)
- Cars (6)
- Rockets (2)
- Wooden cow from friend in Switzerland (1)
- Blue plastic Wild Boar from Apothekary in Neubrandenburg (1)
- (Penguin and Rubber Ducky (2)… though these are stored in the BATH bag)
From blue pig to mini front end loader…. How soon we adapt and assign meaning to random items that have become vital!