There are some "I-want-to-stay-cool" rules as a parent I swore I would never break.
Rule 1: Buy a minivan. Did that.
Rule 2: Go out in public with pee and dried-up milk on my clothes. That's happened too.
Rule 3: Under no circumstances will I expose my child to Barney.
Well, I've hit the trifecta in parenting dorkiness. On Saturday, I took my 7-month-old to Barney's Birthday Bash at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie.
I expeceted to hate the entire experience, leave at intermission, then write a scathing review of the horrors I saw at the show.
To my surprise, this not that review.
When the lights dimmed and that purple dinosaur came on stage, I heard the Beatle-like squeals and a voice yelling: "Look, it's Barney!" Wait, was that my voice?
Yes, Virginia, it was. I joined hundreds of other screaming parents who watched in delight as their little ones became mesmerized by the actions on stage.
Even though the theater production and storyline (Barney's having a birthday party, duh) were as simple as could be, it was appropriate for the crowd, which ranged in age from infants to 6-year-olds.
Those who were familiar with the Barney tunes danced and sang with the cast to songs including "Dino Dance" and "Baby Bob Hop." If you were a newbie, you could still participate in the "Itsy, Bitsy Spider," "ABC" and, of course, "Happy Birthday."
I loved watching my baby coo and laugh through the whole show. And that's what made the experience magical. What parent doesn't love watching his/her kid in utter joy? You couldn't help but sing and dance along.
Of course, there were the marketing traps that remind you about the intentions of the world: the $20 Barney dolls and $15 light wands when you walk in. There's also the not-so-subtle balloon buy ($5 each) during the 15-minute intermission. As you walk out, there are $20 kid T-shirts.
But, honestly, this didn't even bother me because any parent who brought their child to this performance did it as a special treat. So, why not splurge for one day. (Note: I did not buy any souvenirs).
What really sold me on the show was a number near the end when Barney is singing about always being there for the kids. It was an homage to the feelings you get as a parent when you look at your kid and know that you would do anything for them. This song reduced me to tears.
So, what if I broke all the cool rules. Barney now has a warm place in my heart.
Barney's Birthday Bash Live!
This interactive, live stage concert features more than 25 sing-along tunes including "Mr. Knickerbocker," "Dino Dance," "Baby Bop Hop" and "Rock 'n Roll Star."
Recommended for: 6 and younger
Runtime: 70 minutes with a 15-minute intermission
When: 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., Sunday, January 9
Where: Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Praririe, TX 75050
Good to know: Parking is $15 per vehicle. Several people were able to purchase tickets at the box office on Saturday.
Cost: $16-$35 (Parking is $15)