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He didn't care about the Mouse King anyway.

Three Weeks Ago

John: What do you think about taking Bryce to see a performance of The Nutcracker? He loves nutcrackers so much, and there's a lot of music and colorful scenery; I bet he'd really like it.

Kristen: What a lovely idea. Let's see if your mom can watch Quinn while we go.

John: Okay. It will be a great holiday tradition. Look at us go!

One Week Ago

John: My mom said she could watch Quinn while we go to The Nutcracker with Bryce and Hannah.

Kristen: Cool.

Two Days Ago (while shopping with Kristen's mother)

Kristen (answering cell phone): Hello?

John's Mom: Kristen, did you end up getting tickets to The Nutcracker?

Kristen: Yes.

John's Mom: Well, the show starts at 2:00, right? What time do you want me to be there?

Kristen: Probably before 1:30.

John's Mom: Okay, see you then.

Two Hours Later (back home)

Kristen: Your mom called me and asked what time she should be here.

John: WHAT??!! I told her FOUR TIMES that she should get here by 1:15!! Why did she even call you at all?

Kristen: I don't know. Because that's how she is. Hopefully she'll be here on time, then.

Yesterday (1:30 p.m.)

Kristen: Where is your mom???!!! We're going to be late!

John: I have no idea. Why do we even bother?

Yesterday (1:35 p.m.)

John: Here she is, let's GO!

John's Mom: Hi, everyone.

John and Kristen: Hi, we have to go, there's Quinn's monitor, there's his diaper bag. See ya!

Bryce (falling flat on his face on icy sidewalk): OOOWWWW!!!! I hurt my knee!! My pants are wet!

Yesterday (1:40 p.m., in the car after changing Bryce's icy wet pants)

Kristen: Are you okay now, Bryce?

Bryce: Yes, I'm better. I want to watch a movie!!

Kristen: We're going to see The Nutcracker, it's not a movie. You're going to see a person in a nutcracker costume, isn't that cool?

Bryce: Oh yeah!

John (muttering): What is this?! The Toys for Tots thing. Crap.

Kristen: What do you mean?? That's what all these motorcycles are for? Get off this road! Now! We're going to be stuck here for hours!

Yesterday (2:00 p.m., in the car)

John: I'll just take the back roads.

Kristen: It doesn't even matter, we're already late, and there's no late seating!! We're going to miss the entire first act of the show!

John: Well, as long as we're there for the Mouse King scene...


John: Crap. There's the blockade for the motorcycles again.

Kristen: What's wrong with this stupid city?? You can't get from one side of the city to the other no matter what road you're on!? This makes no sense!

Yesterday (2:20 p.m., at the theater)

Usher: Don't worry, we know you were blocked by the bike traffic, and we're breaking our "no late seating" rule and letting people into the balcony until intermission. It's okay, breathe.

Kristen: Cool! John, we can go on in to the balcony, and we probably haven't missed too much yet.

John: I hope he can see the Mouse King!

Yesterday (2:25 p.m., in the balcony seats, ballet in progress)

Bryce (in a loud "whisper"): Mom, when's the nutcracker part coming?

Kristen: Just watch. Shhh.

Bryce (in a louder whisper): MOM! MOM!

Kristen: Stop pushing against me with your head!! If you have something to ask me, put your mouth up to my ear and whisper it.

Bryce (directly into my ear, in a loud whisper): WHEN IS THE NUTCRACKER PART COMING?!

John: (Laughing)

Kristen: Right after this part. See, these are the parents dancing at their party, and pretty soon the kids are going to come down, and the little girl is going to get the nutcracker as a gift.

Bryce: Where is the nutcracker?

Yesterday (2:45 p.m., in the balcony seats, the nutcracker part has come and gone, the nutcracker is now a boring, normal-looking prince)

Bryce: I want a treat! Mom! I want some candy!

Kristen: Bryce, SHHHHH!!! We'll get a treat when the lights come on at intermission, before we go to our seats.

John: What does he want?

Kristen: A TREAT! Don't mention it!

Bryce: When is the nutcracker coming back?

Yesterday (3:20 p.m., in the lobby at intermission)

Bryce: These are good Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Kristen: Do you like the show so far? Isn't the way they dance really pretty?

Bryce: Yeah. When does the nutcracker come back, though?

Kristen: Um. I'm not sure. Maybe in the next scene, but I doubt it. I think he's going to be a prince for the rest of the show. But there will be a castle, and there will be all sorts of cool dancing!

Bryce: Oh. I want another Reese's Cup.

Yesterday (3:40 p.m., in correct theater seats, second act in progress)

John (hissing): Quit head butting me, Bryce!

Bryce: I want a treat!

Kristen: You already had one. Hush! You have to be quiet in here, we talked about this!

Bryce: Why can't I have a treat?

John: Stay in your seat. If you're not going to sit on the chair, then sit in my lap and be still.

Bryce: Dad, I want another treat!!!

John: Be quiet. Look at those cool dancers!

Bryce: (mildly distracted, but then head-butts John again)

John: OW! I told you not to do that! (gets up with Bryce, heads to back of theater, Bryce whimpering for a treat)

Yesterday (3:50 p.m., in lobby after being told once we leave, we can't return to our seats)

Bryce (crying): But I want to see the show!!

Kristen: Well, we can't go back in. We told you you had to be quiet and you weren't even watching. Let's just go.

Yesterday (4:00 p.m., in the car)

John: Why do we even bother?

Kristen: I'll tell you what: next time we have an idea like this, remind me to just take a $100 bill and go ahead and put it right into the paper shredder. That would be a quicker and less painful way to waste our money.

John: They should have had cocktails there.