Monday, May 11, 2009

Baby Take a Bow

This past weekend was catalogued under the WEEKEND OF THE NEVER-ENDING DANCE RECTIAL in my mental library. A few months ago, Kate’s dance instructor nonchalantly asked if Kate would be participating in the spring recital. Upon realizing that all of the children in Kate’s class were participating, it was apparent that my choice was limited. Add to that the costume measuring, the practicing, and the incessant chatter about the recital, and there was no way I was going to sneak our lack of participation past Kate. Before I knew what I was doing, I opened my mouth and answered in the affirmative. All the while, my brain was screaming, wondering what on earth I had just agreed to do.

I must admit, I had no idea what I was in for, other than the fact that I had likely agreed to something I later would regret. That simple yes signed me up for approximately $125 in costume charges, recital fees, and tickets. It also gave me the desirable opportunity to wrangle a toddler into full costume and dedicate a Saturday in April to pictures; individual and group pictures nonetheless. It silently colluded to ensure I would pay an additional $30 for said pictures. Even more exciting was the fact that it saved me from having to plan anything to do over Mother’s Day weekend. Dress rehearsal Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (check), Recital from 5:45-8:30 on Saturday night (check), and Recital again Sunday from 1:45-4:30 (check). What was even lovelier was that the aforementioned schedule meant that darling Kate missed nap on Saturday, went to bed late that same evening, and then missed nap on Sunday. You couldn’t pay me enough money to voluntarily allow that to happen. Ever.

The ultimate proverbial icing on the cake? Getting the privilege to be “parent volunteer” for Kate’s class on Sunday. Translation: Spending the 90 minutes before show time responsible for 5 little beings between the ages of 3 and 4. Leading the “train” of tutu wearing, slightly uncoordinated children, in slippery ballerina shoes up and down at least 9 flights of stairs. Smiling graciously at the uncooperative little child whose sole mission seemed to be doing exactly the opposite of what I said, all the while saying, “You AREN’T my mom.” I was quite proud of the fact that I resisted turning around and yelling “THANKFULLY!” All of that was possibly overshadowed by the fact that for the first time in a long time, the title of THAT KID in the group was not assigned to Miss Kate.

This photo pretty much sums up the entire experience. You have three kids sort of doing what they are supposed to be doing. Then you have “the kid” second from left. Then you have my kid, the Dancing Queen, busting a move on the far left. Spec-freaking-tacular!

I could make about a weeks worth of blog posts out of the dance extravaganza, but I won’t. Mostly because I don’t have the stamina to continue to reflect on it all week. I did learn some interesting things over the course of the weekend though that I can’t resist sharing:

When you have strategically mastered getting all 5 toddlers down three flights of stairs into the dressing room in the basement, 4 of the 5 will need to use the bathroom.

The bathroom of the recital hall requires you to go up a flight of stairs, through a narrow 24” hallway WITHOUT LIGHTS running behind the stage, then up another flight of stairs to a single stall bathroom.

Is someone pouring me a drink yet?

Whoever made costumes for toddlers that require taking the entire contraption off to use the bathroom should be required to make the above mentioned hike, then undress and redress four unruly children. Bonus points will be added for not swearing, not losing a child, ensuring no serious injuries occur from falls down the stairs, and making it back to the dressing room before their act is scheduled to go.

Wearing cute heels is not a good idea. Additionally, an extra application of deoderant is advised.

When the instructions tell you to put stage make-up on your kid and you don't, you will certainly receive suspecting looks for your apparent disgregard of the art of dance. Refraining from mentioning the obvious concern about applying make-up to a 3-year old should be avoided in the sea of make-up cladded toddlers and their blush-wielding mothers. Perhaps I am suffering some PTSD from the whole Jon Benet thing.

Bartender, I need a refill.

If you are ever asked to be a dance-recital parent volunteer, it is absolutely worth the money to pay someone else to do it for you.

Watching kids in tutus do haphazard somersaults is about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Just when you think the whole thing was for naught, your daughter will conclude the recital by bowing with her class. Instead of existing stage right, she’ll stop, dramatically close her eyes and take one sweeping, solitary bow. There we go, back to earning the title of THAT KID.


Jodi said...

She is so cute! This brings back traumatized memories of my first recital, probably around Kate's age, maybe a tiny bit older. The Penquin Cha-Cha! I LOVED my costume of course, but was stressed by the routine and putting your leg and arm to the right and then to the left! HELLO - I didn't know my rights and lefts! Stressful!

Call Me Cate said...

Adorable. But, wow... And on Mother's Day? I hope you have some downtime very soon.

Jeanne said...

I under-wrote dance lessons for two of the granddaughters this year, but drew the line at paying for the recital. And, since I'm not the mom, I only have to attend the recital, not work it.

Grandmas -- living the life!

Ann's Rants said...

Great photos.

I listened. I learned. Got it. Very proud of your restraint on the "thankfully" comment. HA!

C. Beth said...

She is so adorable, and I LOVE YOU for not putting makeup on her. :)

Leslie Jackson said...

I was so with you LAST weekend. Luckily our studio does it the weekend BEFORE Mother's Day. However THIS year, I told them I would NOT----NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT---be the parent who stayed backstage! ( I missed the ENTIRE recital last year!)

Also.... I only put enough makeup on my 5 year old that you can see it close-up! That way...she doesn't SHINE in all the pics and on the DVD, but she doesn't look like a.....well.... insert your own word for "working girl" there! :)

I loved this post!

Special K said...

Love it. Love all of it. For the record, I still wasn't okay asking permission to pee kindergarten ( and my son will ask ME for permission still!) so I am positive I did my entire ballet recital at age 4 having to pee. And the tutus were incredibly itchy. I still remember. And the crowns were beyond okay to wear with their uncomfortable level. Know what your cutie will remember of this entire thing- that you were there:) You dun' good.

Me, Amplified said...

aww i love the costumes! and, sorry, but i would have been very disappointed in Kate if she hadn't managed the sweeping bow lol

Sschraed said...

So so funny! Loved it. I am just about to sign my 3 year old up for dance classes so I learned a lot from this post. I always feel like you are writing about my life. Sometimes I forward posts to my husband just to let him know we are not

Suzy said...

Man, talk about a flashback. My sister's tapping recital. Funnier than me!

Crazy Mo said...

Fabulous post! I especially love the whispered drinking comments. I snorted out loud a few times!

Grand Pooba said...

All that hell that you have just described is my heaven in a tutu! Oh how I LOVE recitals and love being the backstage mom (ok wannabe mom)

You could so hire me!

The Rambler said...

Oh my.

Move over there and order me a double!

Is this what the life of 3-4 will be? I'm freaking out :)

AND thank you for your comment today. It meant alot. Will take you up on the offer. Beware for a loaded email sometime in the future.