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Family valued - 2.15.06

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'Disney's Beauty and the Beast'

Simply put, Disney's Beauty and the Beast is the timeless tale of a beautiful girl and the repentant beast who tries to woo her. It's a lot like life at my house the day after Valentine's Day.

Rochester Children's Theatre's production of the musical continues this weekend. Maybe you've seen the animated movie. My nine-year-old daughter and I have, too. On continuous loop when she was 5.

But knowing each song by heart just enhanced the experience of watching this first-rate group of performers bring to life our old friends Belle, the Beast, Lumiére, and Cogsworth. It reminded me of attending the Rocky Horror Picture Show in the halcyon days of my misspent youth. Only instead of Magentas, there were Belles in the audience.

"It was just so good!" my daughter said. "I loved the costumes, especially Babette the feather duster. And I liked how kids were forks and spoons in the 'Be Our Guest' song."

When the Beast sang "If I Can't Love Her" you could have heard a rose petal drop in the theater. I was positively teary eyed by the show's end. And no, I don't think it was just menopause kicking in.

Treat your family to Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the NazarethCollegeArtsCenter, continuing Saturday, February 18, at 2 p.m., and Sunday, February 19, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the box office. www.rochesterchildrenstheatre.org, 385-0510.

--- Linda Kostin (www.junkstorecowgirl.com)


This week for families:

Helmer Nature Center 154 Pinegrove Ave. Wednesdays through Feb 15: "Everybody's Somebody's Lunch," 4-5:30 p.m. Grades 2-3. $6 per session/$20 series | Register: 336-3035

Find other family events in the Mind, Body, Spirit section of the calendar, page 22.


New daddy diary, February 12, 2006

On February 1, around 3 a.m., my wife Nikki and I were resting impatiently in our delivery room, trying to sleep but knowing it would only come in twitchy fits and starts. Nik still wasn't sure if she wanted an epidural to dull the pain she was scheduled to experience later that day. She was 60/40 yes, and then 70/30 by the time they hooked up the monitor. Then we heard the woman in the next room screaming--and not just any old screaming. This was legs first into a wood chipper screaming. The epidural was now a lock.

As we waited for the inducement process to begin, we asked a thousand nurses a zillion questions. They administered Cervidil, but that made the baby's heartbeat intensify to a scary pace. Four hours of tachycardia later, the docs decided to stop the process with another medicine that made Nik shake severely from head to toe. A few minutes later the shaking just stopped, as if a switch had been turned off. There was nothing about any of this in the books I'd read.

Then came the epidural, followed by an IV of Pitocin to induce contractions. Sparing you the sanguinary details, the baby was stuck for a while and the doctors were visibly frustrated. After three hours of pushing, our doctor gave an ultimatum: one last try, then it's off to the operating room for a C-section. Nik gave me a look that said, "No way am I going to get all the way to this point to have it all count for nothing."

And thus came the push of all pushes, my wife's finest hour. Our daughter went from barely crowning to out in one moment. And so it was that on February 1st, at 4:53 p.m., our daughter Tess took her first breath. You know, I've heard many sentimental clichés about the joys of this parent stuff. Until that moment, I had no idea how true they all are.

--- Brandon Heffernan

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