Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rebel in a Pink Tutu

Love Monster was starting dance class. Hmmmm. My impossible to contain, spastic, larger than life daughter was starting dance class. I imagined prim proper ballerina’s practicing genteelly at the bar only to be bowled over by my tornado-in-a-human-body Love Monster. This seemed like a horrible idea though everyone I talked to about this said this would be great for her. Well, they weren’t the ones who had to watch.
My darling Love Monster couldn’t be more excited. She wore her leotard around the house proudly. Tested out her tap shoes on the linoleum (which she seemed to have insane natural ability) and practiced her “dance moves” to any musical toy that was turned on. The first day of dance class couldn’t come fast enough. But I remained cynical.
The day came. It’s only forty five minutes. We can do this. We arrived, Love Monster Smirker and I and sat in the chairs that I think only park district’s own and wait for the teacher to address the class. The teacher, an older woman in her fifties I would say, walks up and with a plastered on smile. 
“Are you ready kids??” She said.
They kids yell “Yes!” and she immediately tells them to be quiet. 
Oh lord. Smirker was squirming so I was excited to be dismissed so I could take her to the park next door. The teacher waved the kids toward her and they gathered around her in a circle. I smiled at Love Monster and started to leave. She began to wave good bye and then completely melted down. 
“No Don’t go!” she screamed. 
Now I know this isn’t unusual for kids to not want their mom to go. But Love Monster  has NEVER done this. I think I could leave her with the Insane Clown Posse and she’d be cool with that. Other mom’s look at me like “Oh I understand.”
Dude this isn’t my kid. No pity please. I finally get her calmed down and I’m ready to get the hell out of dance-ville when the teacher said:
“Parents! Now I want you out!”
Okay, good I’m going.
“But you can’t really leave. I don’t do crying or bathrooms.”
Good idea you are teaching three and four year olds. She wants us to be in proximity but not in enough proximity that our kid can see us. Have I mentioned this place is made of glass walls? Um okay lady. 
I spent the next forty minutes chasing Smirker around, because there are no closed doors and I can’t fucking corral her.  I got many a dirty look from the teacher when Smirker ran into the class. I ran after her all while trying to stay invisible to Love Monster (because that’s what the teacher wants), but secretly I was also trying to get Love Monster to see me every now and then because seeing me was actually keeping her from crying. But I could not let the teacher see, because she does not get that. You follow me? I’ll give you a second to reread that last paragraph.
But I must say the x’s are fucking genius.
The teacher put little tape x’s in a row that the kids were supposed to stand on. At first I was like “Good luck lady.” Love Monster ain’t gonna mind no x. But they work. Like magic. Love Monster stands on her obediently and does not move from it. She swings her arms to test her boundaries, but those feet were not moving. I’m putting these x’s all over the fucking house.
Then Love Monster’s had to pee.
“Love Monster’s mom!!!!!” The teacher screamed, panicked. “Where is Love Monster’s mom???”
I’m here. Relax.
I walked over to get Love Monster.
The teacher looked at me in the most condescending way, “ You didn’t take her to the bathroom before did you? Naughty, Naughty.”
I wouldn’t even know how to civilly respond to that.
And I already knew how this was going to go. As some of you might know, Love Monster does not do public bathrooms. So of course she did not go, but promised she could hold it.
Love Monster went back to class (where they ran in circles pretending they were going to Cinderella’s ball. So thats dancing... okay). And Smirker was beyond squirmy. If I put her down she immediately ran into the middle of the dance class. My only other option was having her walk the huge staircase which we did for a half hour. 
The class ended and I was more tired than Love Monster was.
“Mom, you need to smile more!” The teacher said to me on the way out. Okay, I’m going to punch her in the face.
The next few weeks go very similarly to this.Then it’s the last class before the recital. This was when “the rubber-band incident” happens. 
I stood in my close, but not close zone as I’m supposed to be trying to manage Smirker who hates being held all of a sudden when I looked over at Love Monster. She’s standing on her x (Yay Love Monster!) and I noticed she’s playing with her rubber-band that must have fallen out of her hair. She not doing anything bad. Just absent-mindedly playing with it while listening to the teacher’s instructions. Then I saw the teacher rip the rubber-band from Love Monster’s hands and say something to her. I saw Love Monster’s face fall and she started to cry.
I don’t do crying, echoed in my head. 
The teacher gestured away and said, “GO to your mom.” Love Monster ran over to me hysterical.
“What did I do wrong mom?” She said sobbing.
I’m pissed.
Now all the teacher had to do was take the rubber-band and put it back in Love Monster’s hair.
I calmed Love Monster down put the rubber-band back in her hair and sent her back. 
Love Monster went back sniffling a bit, but okay. The moment she got to her x the teacher sent her right back. “You’re still crying. Go!”
I wanted to kick this woman’s ass.
Love Monster ran back hysterical again.
ALL MISS FUCKING TEACHER had to do was calm Love Monster for two seconds. That’s all it would have taken. You are confusing the hell out of her, lady!!!! She thinks she is doing something wrong!
We are not coming back to this class. Not only do I not like this lady, but we were promised tap dance as well as ballet and we got ballet, but did hula instead because it’s summer. Whatever. Tap was why we took this class!! 
The next week was the recital. I could give a shit if we go, but Love Monster was excited so I’ll brought the flip video to document the insanity.
I came prepared. I put Smirker in a stroller so I didn’t have to worry about her with a cup full o stuff to play with, pen and paper, flip camera case and a fake diamond necklace I happen to have in my makeup bag. The stroller was worth it even though we had to get a key to take the elevator up. The recital began and I was brought to tears. Love Monster actually learned something. She was so cute. If you watch the video, the camera shakes and you can hear my sobs. I’m pathetic.
The recital ended and I wanted out. But unfortunately we needed the key to get down the elevator. And the only person we can get it from is the teacher. Sigh...
She smiled and handed us the key.
“See you next session!” She said galavanting away.
“Yes mom! Can we?”
And like child birth, you forget the pain when you see your kid’s face.
“See you then!”