If the Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky had added a Power Ranger and an Egyptian mummy to his classic ballet, “Sleeping Beauty,” he’d have captured the heart of every child on the planet.
Or at least my child.
“Is he really listening to that stuff?” my husband asked skeptically when he walked into our two-year-old’s bedroom one evening where we sat on the floor listening to the opening bars of Tchaikovsky’s tale of a princess who falls under a sleeping spell after pricking her finger.
“‘That stuff’,” I prissily answered, “is called classical music, and this particular ballet is ‘Sleeping Beauty.’”
His eyes narrowed and he asked, “Wasn’t that a cartoon? The one with all the fairies, right?” He snorted. “It must be gay.”
“I understand it’s not Larry the Cable Guy, but it is one of the most famous pieces of classical music in the world,” I said.
He just looked at me, obviously waiting for something else. I stared back. And lasted seconds before caving. I rolled my eyes and added, “And, yes, Walt Disney made it into a cartoon too.”
“Hah!” he smacked his hands together. Then pointed a finger at me and said, “And we went to Larry the Cable Guy’s show. As I recall, you were the one who fell outta her seat laughing when he did that impersonation of a pig stuck in a Porta Potty.”
Before I could open my mouth in defense the music got louder and our son stood up and ordered in a whispered voice, “Be quiet, Daddy. The dragon is coming.”
My husband looked at me for an explanation because even his Blue Collar-lovin’ mind understood the ballet didn’t have a dragon.
“Uh, well, see he wasn’t really getting into it, so I added a few things to the storyline,” I admitted.
Curious, my husband sat down on the bed and asked, “What kind of things?”
I shrugged, “I threw in some characters from the cartoon, like the dragon.”
“Yep, dragons!” Gabe yelled behind me, followed by a loud grrrr as he launched into his best dragon imitation by stomping around the room and knocking his toddler-sized teddy bear to the floor and pouncing on him to administer a half nelson wrestling hold.
My husband laughed and asked, “Anything else?”
I nervously bit my lower lip, looked down and mumbled something along the lines of “um, a puherraner.”
“Uh, I didn’t catch that,” he laughed, leaning in closer.
The music got faster and the notes tumbled from the stereo’s speakers, and that’s when Gabe yelled out, “Here he comes! Here comes the Power Ranger! He’s gonna get the dragon!”
I cringed and my husband laughed, “A Power Ranger?!”
“The red one, to be exact,” I answered as Gabe yelled out, “Where’s my sah-ward?! I need it!”
My husband mouthed the word “sah-ward” with a blank look on his face, so I reached under the bed and pulled out an empty wrapping paper tube and handed it to the Power Ranger standing next to me.
“Here you go, kiddo,” I said. “Here’s your (I paused) sword.”
He grabbed the cardboard tube and began swinging wildly at the imaginary dragon flying about his room.
You got to admit, the kid’s got an imagination. He gets that from me. The ability to power burp? That he gets from his dad.
My husband was having a ball watching our son, so I figured I was off the hook for taking a little creative license with one of the world’s most treasured ballets.
That was, until our son completely sold me out.
“Hey, Mommy,” Gabe said. “When does the mummy show up?”
I did what I do best.
I played dumb.
I answered, “Uh, what mummy?” I slowly stood and inched toward the door.
He ran in front of me and held out his arms to stop me. “Remember? You said the mummy would show up after the Power Ranger killed the dragon, and then Prince Gabe,” he looked over at his dad and whispered, “That’s me,” and looked back at me, “beats up the mummy then kisses the princess and she wakes up from her nap.”
I ran from the room as my husband roared with laughter, “I don’t think that’s the way Disney wrote it. But it would have been a lot more interesting than those gay fairies, that’s for sure.”
(originally published Jan. 30, 2008)