Lots of people ask what our day is like on tour with kids. I’ve narrowed it down in about two hours of blogging:
Wake up at 5am when June sticks her head under my curtain and whispers “I wanna sleep in your bunk.” I lift her in and we sleep until about 7am when she has to pee. Side story-The other day she pooped on the bus at 6:30 am (no solids allowed on bus toilet) so I literally bagged it and ran across a sunrise-drenched hotel parking lot in my jammies and bare feet to dump the bag. June watched and cheered from the bus window.
Then we’re up for a little while until it’s time for me to go back to bed and the nanny gets up.
And, if the 3 year old transitions to the nanny well, she gets a sticker on her sticker chart and eventually gets to exchange 3 stickers for a puppy surprise-this has worked wonders since I had to peel her crying body off of me the first two weeks of tour. Mags wakes up at sometime around 8 and either reads, hangs out in her top bunk for a while or comes out ready to eat a toaster waffle.
A few hours later Jason and I take the girls to lunch with maybe some homework thrown in, or to a park or a museum or just on a walk to find coffee and something to see. With June we go on puppy hunts because really, all that kid needs to be happy is a dog to pet.
We have been to parks galore this past month so the girls are now scoring each playground. I’m saving all the data so that I can remember where the best ones are. It’s fall and despite the northeast snow attack, it’s the best time to tour the country because well, parks are free and kids love them.
We have hit tons of kid museums or zoos too-especially if we cannot find a playground near or the weather is bad. And we also saw “Dolphin Tale” one day (win for everyone-because I love popcorn).
Then we soundcheck. Sometimes the girls will get to play with our instruments or Mags gets a guitar lesson from Kenji.
Usually during this time the kids either ride bikes and scooters around the club, take showers in the dressing room, swim in the hotel pool or go on an adventure with the nanny.
After soundcheck-it’s family dinner time-usually at a restaraunt that serves some kind of noodles.
Then we get them ready for bed and do bedtime-we (Jason and I) switch every night on who does bedtimes.
And then we-the adults- go to “work” (play the show) hang out, break equipment down, pack up, eat second dinner on the bus (sidenote-I’m trying to get better at limiting the amount of meals I eat on tour but second dinner is an important crew/band bonding time) and then we go to bed around 2 or 3am. I usually pass out playing “words with friends.”
And now for the grown up section:
We love the shows where people are happy (obviously happy) that we’re there. I like when people dance or sing, really anywhere, anytime. At any one of our shows, this immediately somehow makes us play better. Also, we were on Letterman. We’ve been waiting 14 years for that I have to say, aside from my all-day stage fright (which I never get) it was a career highlight. The kids got to hang out on set for a while too but I doubt they even know how cool that is.
And finally, my Mom highlight: This time my mom moment on tour had nothing to do with tour. It was also something that could have made me feel tremendous guilt-missing my daughter’s first choir concert. Instead I got to watch a video of the concert. It was actually so moving that it made me feel that I made the right decision to leave Mags with my mom for the first week of tour. In case you don’t know about this choir thing, check this post. She made it into the choir and she is the most enthusiastic kid singing, she is totally into every word, head bobs, eyes closed, head-tilted type of singing and I loove it. I guess a true test of parenting is letting go when you need to so that your kid can do exactly what they truly love. I selfishly wanted her with me but she seriously was living in the moment in a way I’ve rarely seen in my girl. So, for once I let that guilt go away and just watched her sing over and over…on my iphone of course. Mom guilt-you lose! Mags joins the tour again in a couple days. Can’t wait.