We spent the last holiday season watching the movie, play acting the details, scouting out Nutcracker ornaments, and dreaming of a day when we'd see The Nutcracker onstage.
Guess what? Yesterday, my little girl and her friend behaved like the most mature of three year olds as we watched a live performance The Nutcracker Ballet.
Everything was lined up for a meltdown: the production was in the afternoon so there was no nap, we were right on time -- meaning we were late -- and had to sit on the front row, the Mouse King only appeared for half a minute (he's her favorite, you know), and people clapped throughout (not at the end ... so Bella was worried the entire time that it was over already).
But she didn't just make it through. She enjoyed it. She clapped and stared and danced in the aisles. She whispered, "She's beautiful!" and "That's amazing!" as she watched, eyes never leaving the stage.
Who would've thought that a $5 Barbie movie bought on a whim by a cringing parent would lead to such a magical afternoon? Welcome to the first year of our first mother-daughter tradition!