Ballet Begins

The Princess began ballet yesterday. She enjoyed it. She flitted from girl to girl, acting as a one girl welcoming committee. She complimented them each on their particular style of pink leotard and comparing ballet slippers with each girl. She pranced into class, where a Miss Patty welcomed the girls in. She had a blast. She got to wear a crown, got to dance in a studio, and she got a smelly stamp at the end of class. (“It smells like butterflies and grapes and blueberries!”) She loved it. She can’t exactly recall what she did, but she knows she had fun and is looking forward to next week.

I, on the other hand, did not have much fun. Not sure if you know this about me, but I am not very social. In fact, I am usually labeled “anti-social.”  So, here are just a few highlights from my experience at her first ballet class.

I was early. I mean, really early. And I brought my kid dressed and ready to go. Apparently, this is not the norm. 15 minutes early at a ballet studio seems like forever. All I had to do was change The Princess from her rain boots to her ballet slippers.

I was THE ONLY mother who put their child’s hair in a bun. I’m a rules person. I follow them. Even if they are dumb, I follow them while announcing how dumb the rule I am following is. The director of the studio informed me all girls MUST wear a bun. She had me seek professional help in the matter. (By professional, I mean a nice mom of a teenage ballerina showed me when she saw how clueless I was in the dance store.) I had it pinned up in a hair net! It was a good bun, dang it! And what do the other moms do? Well, it ranged from nothing to a plain ponytail to a headband to some sort of wild pig tails with half the hair thing. Not a bun in the group, except for my adorable gal.

Apparently, starting in ballet at the age of 4 is “late.” Over half of the other mothers knew each other from last year and from the other four thousand activities their child participates in. I was unaware of the tight social group I would be up against. I’m guessing if two left feet don’t do the princess in with ballet, her mother starting her late will! (I’m completely joking.)

I made the mistake of not bringing a coverup for her ballet outfit. When talking to the director, she told me no skirts or tutus were allowed. I failed to read the entire ballerina handbook (okay, so it isn’t a handbook, just a bunch of printed pages) and didn’t realize a coverup of some kind in required when not in the studio. Doh! I broke a rule week one! At least I didn’t break the bun rule and the coverup rule.

In general, I sat. I read. I watched the little screen. I tried not to seem more out of place than I looked. And I said all of two sentences in the hour that the girls were dancing.  Next week, I may go get coffee next door.

A New Season (In Life)

We are entering a new stage of our lives here at the parsonage. With Imogene beginning ballet in a few weeks, I am realizing those blissful days of having all toddlers is leaving us. I know what you’re thinking. Toddlers blissful?! You must be crazy! But really, those days of young children, while wild, have no obligations. You make sure they are fed and relatively clean (so long as diapers are dry, you’re good on that front). That is it. Those are your daily aspirations. Keep child alive. That is about all there is to it. Now, I’m entering the socila stage of parenting. I’ve got to maintain their social life and somehow manage to socialize with their little pals’ parents. Tough stuff for me. Oh where are the days of pajamas all day?! Now, I’m making sure leotards are clean, hair is perfect, and she must have a bag, since surely everyone else will have a ballet bag. (She about killed me yesterday asking me for silly bands because her friends have them. The clerk at CVS got quite a laugh when I replied, “I refuse to buy those on the basis that they are a fad and I refuse to let you fall down fad holes at 4!”)  So, here I go into the next phase. I don’t feel like I mastered the last one, but alas it is time to move on. And now Aidan wants to play soccer. Please tell me the child is joking. He really doesn’t expect me to socialize with soccer moms does he? Does he?! Oh crap, he does. When is soccer season?

(In this photo: ballet bag I made for the Princess. Luckily, she still thinks mommy-made stuff is cool.)