Sunday, February 7, 2010
I always said to myself, that when I had a little girl of my own, she would get to do aaaallllll of the wonderful things that I only dreamed of doing when I was younger (don't we all say that?). Alright, so I can't wave my magic Mommy wand and turn her into a princess, and I refuse to ever buy her any kind of power wheel vehicle toy, especially those of the Barbie corvette variety. But I can sign her up for music class.
When I was 3 or 4, a friend of mine (Veronica was her name), went to dance class. Also, my cousin (Frank), was in Karate (I remember going to a class or two and watching from the side). I never understood why my parents didn't enroll me into such classes. I wanted to dance and yell "Hi-yah!" just like Veronica and Frank. When I was a little bit older, I did get to participate in things like Campfire and Girl Scouts, so it wasn't as if I was locked up in a cave, I just remember having the ambition to do so much more.
On Saturday, Eleanore and I, no boys allowed (they smell anyways), headed across town to the Abilene Performing Arts Center, for Kindermusik! We had researched local dance classes on the internet, and Kindermusik seemed like the perfect fit. Eleanore isn't at all built for ballet, could you honestly picture her twirling around on her toes? I don't think she'd really be very into tap, she can hardly walk in normal shoes. And gymnastics? Are you laughing too? Its not that I don't have faith in my daughter, because I believe that she can do anything she wants to do, I just know that her stubborn personality combined with her Sasquatch body, would not make for a graceful ballerina, or a smooth tumbler. If she decides later that she wants to give those things a go, we'll certainly give it a try. Until then though...
From the moment we stepped into the studio, she was thriving. She wouldn't stand still for a picture, but I managed to make the one that I did get to work. Some of the other kids from the class were sitting on a mat, playing with musical instruments that had been set down by the teacher, before the class started. I encouraged Miss Elie to go play with them too. Eleanore has never been in a classroom environment before. At the most, shes played with two other kids at a time, either at their house or here at our house. Being in a room with 6 unfamiliar faces was a little overwhelming, and accompanied with an expected amount of pouting and attitude. For the most part though, she seemed willing to play nice, and happy to be a part of something new and unknown.
As soon as the clock struck 11:30, the teacher (the sweetest lady, you can tell the kids just love her) closed the door, and all of us parents got to relax, kid free, in the lobby while our babies sang and danced in a nearby room. Previously, in my head, I had imagined the moms being stuck up, like some of the awful play group style moms that I had met at the park, but the reality was very different. There were actually more dads in the rooms, than moms? And one mother who was there, had her 1 year old little girl, just freshly walking (come on Charlie, everyones got you beat!), so we had a lot to talk about- babies and diapers and military nonsense. I didn't really get to know any of the other parents, but one of the dads did mention that he might be the one doing my spinal when the bean is born in August. That wouldn't be awkward at all, would it?
I knew I should have brought my book to read, to help pass the time while Elie was out of sight. Things sure got boring. I walked around the room, took some pictures (I really liked this red wall), drank some water, had tiny bits of random conversation. Next time I'll be sure to bring something to keep me occupied though.
Before I knew it- the doors to the classroom were opening, and all of the kids (except my Eleanore, who was standing inside by herself, looking completely confused) came running out to collect their parents.
For the last 15 minutes of the class, every week, the Moms and Dads all join in. We sit together on the mat with the kiddos, shake some red Kindermusik brand egg shakers to a beat, trying to teach the kids rhythm, and then dance around in a circle as our way of saying "goodbye" just before school is over. Maybe it was all of the excitement, or maybe she was just tired, but Eleanore took it upon herself to leave the mat during shaker time, leave the circle during dance time, and then eventually leaving the entire room during the end of our goodbye time, making me chase her all around trying to figure out what was wrong. The pout came out, and she mumbled things like "well, I just don't want you to play with me", which I knew really meant "Mom I'm tired, and this is hard stuff for a first timer" (right? I'm fun dangit!). When it was time to actually leave, she sat herself down in the middle of the lobby, while other kids were putting on their shoes, and she cried. And she cried. And she cried some more.
"I don't want to leave, I want to go to dance class!", she howled.
The teacher had nothing but good things to say, presented Eleanore with a toy spinning top that all of the other kids had gotten at the last class (we came in 3 weeks late, and the class is 15 weeks long), and we decided that we'd officially enroll her, because she and Kindermusik are a perfect fit.
She sang the entire way down the stairs, and the entire way home. Her happy voice echoed throughout the halls as we paraded out of the building. We can't wait until next Saturday, when she gets to see all of her new friends again, learn a new story, and I get to finally get past page 4 of "Dear John".
Good job Eleanore, Mommy and Daddy are proud of you *blows kiss*.