Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tip Toes

This year, one of my goals is to make sure R is well socialized. I am feeling a tad guilty (surprise, surprise) that she hasn’t gotten as much of an opportunity to do this as B and A at her age. I know this is a repetitive theme for me.

Last spring, we took a painting class together. There we were sitting criss cross applesauce on the carpet singing the hello song. Various hand motions were involved. Very expressive parents smiling at their toddlers. It was cute. That’s probably what every other parent in the class was thinking. I was thinking-I can’t believe I’m back down here on the carpet singing this crap. And I really wish I had made that Starbucks run prior to class. The age span of almost five years in between my children is tough.

Kids classes and parent participation vary by the age of your child. When they are toddlers you attend and participate with them. Then, you graduate to sitting on a chair or bleacher nearby and can talk to the other parents. Eventually, you get to the drop off point. Here you go, your taxi service is pulling out and I’ll see you in an hour and a half. I am just getting to the drop off stage with B and A. It’s a beautiful thing.

With each of these stages comes a hint more freedom for the parent. For instance, I can remember the pure joy I had realizing I could (gasp!) read a book while B and A ran around the gym playing basketball or gymnastics or ice skated. When I drop them off at practices now, I can run errands with R and actually get things done. When I sign R up for an activity- it’s carpet time. Uggh.

So, this fall she is taking a ballet class. I have to say she has been so very excited about it. We’ve had the leotard, tights and bag picked out forever. She has been asking for weeks when it starts. Well, first day of class comes along. This one should be a mommy sits on a chair in the hallway type of class. All of the other mommies were able to do this. Guess where I was with my little Koala bear? (Graphic image of how this type of bear hugs onto a tree. Guess who’s the tree in this scenario?) I was, of course, in the ballet class. Trying to get R to let go of my neck and participate. I don’t know if she thought brutal Miss Mary (not making the name up) or her posse of six in tutus were going to take her out or what, but she clung for dear life. So, we left without a stamp on our hands because we would not even try one step.

Miss Mary did not want me to leave R in the class and have her cry it out. I’m not sure if Miss Mary has children or not or if they have a similar temperament as R. However, there was only one way this class was going to happen and I was not ready to stay inside the class again. So, this week, I went up to Miss Mary (remember I am not good at confrontation) and let her know that I would be leaving R in the class and she would cry (hard) for a minute. I would be right in the hallway. If she cried longer than a minute, I would come back in to get her. I don’t think Miss Mary thought this was a great plan, but who’s going to argue with a deranged mother?

So, I left. Miss Mary had to hold her back as she shrieked for me-for all of 15 seconds. I know this because I timed it. She was fine within 30 seconds and participating after 1 minute.

Ahhh. This time around, when R is in a class and I am in the hall, I don’t have anyone else to entertain. It’s just me, myself and I for a whole 30 minutes. The look on her face when she came in the hallway after class was priceless. R was so pleased with herself and I couldn’t have been more proud of her. And she had the stamp to prove it.


  1. Way to go R and way to go Mommy!! 30 minutes is so long in mommy world!!

  2. This is such a big developmental milestone - separating from mommy... It only gets wasier. And that is both a relief and heartbreaking all at the same time.

  3. Good for you! (I'm non confrontational as well, so I know what that took.)

    And 30 minutes...oh the bliss. My daughter is in a dance class too but I have to wait in the lobby with her sister.

  4. "I was thinking-I can’t believe I’m back down here on the carpet singing this crap. And I really wish I had made that Starbucks run prior to class."

    ROFL...that is hilarious! I would be thinking the exact same thing!