The day after Asher’s birthday party, we took Atia to “Yo Gabba Gabba LIVE” at the Chicago Theatre. If you have or know kids under the age of 5, then you’ve probably already started humming, “Run, run, run. It’s fun, fun, fun. Run, run, run. It’s fun, fun, fun…”
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me clue you in. “Yo Gabba Gabba” is a trippy kids’ show on Nickelodeon. Its charm lies within its catchy lesson-based tunes like, “Be nice to everyone, and they will be nice to you”, “Don’t, don’t, don’t bite your friends” or the classic, “Try it, you’ll like it.” I’ve literally sung every one of these songs to Atia at one point or another - while reminding her to be nice, to not bite or when tempting her to eat something she’s never had.
Admittedly, the characters are bazaar, ranging from the fuzzy green striped, unibrow sportin’, Mr. Bill smiling, stumpy leg havin’, excessively long arm wavin’ monster named, Brobee to the tall, red, one-eyed monster donning mysterious, asymmetric lumps from top to bottom named, Muno to DJ Lance Rock the only human in the bunch, but that’s not saying much. He’s the thinnest, smiliest, workin’ the orange unitard like nobody’s business-iest kinda guy I’ve ever seen. Everyone at the show received his trademark thick-brimmed, black, square-framed glasses (I still don’t understand how we were brainwashed to think nerdy, thick rimmed glasses were cool, but we do!).
I was really excited about the show. I honestly had grown fond of the characters, the well-known guest and the underlying principles melodically illustrated. Steve happily supported Atia’s 1st concert/show, but wasn’t overly enthusiastic (the tickets were expensive and he’s never been a big fan of the theatre).
Atia was excited, but we feared that may be short-lived once she spotted the oversized characters and was accosted by the excessive volume (she didn’t like loud things). Beyond those challenges, Atia had recently resumed chemo after an extended suspension, so she was also dealing with those side effects again. We weren’t exactly sure how it would all go down, so we brought a little insurance for backup (aka, her blankie and binki).
We took the elevated train (aka, the L) downtown. It was Atia’s 1st train ride and she excitedly pointed out all that flashed by. Never before, nor since, has public transportation been as entertaining. She breathed life into everything we did – even the most menial things like riding the L.
Atia was fascinated with the red velvet theatre chairs; she gaily pushed the seats down just to watch them spring upright again. Oh the joys of childhood!
We spotted our friends who were joining us, and shortly thereafter the lights dimmed. The crowed began clapping and chanting, making Atia uneasy. She nervously squirmed until the music began. I had one hand on her binkie ready to pop it in her mouth if her anxiety escalated.
But instead, we were seamlessly whisked away into the fantasy of “Yo Gabba Gabba” land. We cheerfully sang along, excitedly participated in the interactive songs, and got lost in the pure fun of it all.
Atia was bitten by the dancin’ bug; the girl couldn’t sit still. She was up shaking her booty during every song – and there were a lot of ‘em. It was hysterical, beautiful, awe inspiring and heartwarming all at the same time. Our hearts melted as we watched her and applauded her every move. All her hip swaying, booty shaking, and foot stomping was worlds away from the little girl who’d been so feeble months earlier.
The “Yo Gabba Gabba” gang might be creepy to some, but not us. We drank the Gabba kool-aid and have been loyal viewers ever since. We’ve even turned Asher into a fan.
In the words of DJ Lance Rock, “YO, it's almost time to go, but first let's remember what we've done today.” This video will help us review.It was taken during the show, and I promise you’ll catch yourself smiling as you watch 3 year old Atia while battling cancer, shaking it like she owns it!
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