Do you know what I hate watching on TV? Reality shows.
The absolute worst is obvs the Kardashians. I don’t think I’d watch that even if there was nothing else on and my eyes were taped open. In fact I think I’d rather chew on my own toe nails than watch that show. But anyway, the other reality shows that I hate are those dance mom or pageant shows.
You know the ones I’m talking about right? Where the tiny little girls are all gussied up to look about 15 years older than they are before parading around on the stage while their parents shout at them.
I can’t stand those shows and yet when my girl made it through to the finals of her ballet performance I could totally see myself as that mom. It was like a switch flicked in me. I wanted her to practise more, think about it more, listen to the music more often and just generally have it all together. But not just together. I wanted her to have it perfect. I wanted her to win.
But I’m trying really hard not to kill the joy that my kid finds in the things that they love. So I held my tongue when I wanted to tell her to point her toe more or whatever else my untrained eye noticed. It was hard. Instead I offered the opportunity to practise whenever she wanted to and I let her dictate when that would be. She did it on her own because she wanted to take it seriously. She wanted to try and win but on her own terms.
I was (mostly) cool with that.
She absolutely nailed her first solo and got a Diploma – I cannot even tell you the feelings I feel seeing her do her thing out on that stage. The fact that she is doing this completely apart from us and we were not involved at all is really quite something. It’s the weirdest feeling. It actually almost makes me feel giddy – like levitated off my seat almost. I can’t explain it. It’s like my heart is fluttering so crazily for her that my whole body vibrates with nerves and excitement and pride.
When it got to the finals I realised another reason I could never be a dance mom, you know, aside from killing all their self esteem. I am not nearly organised enough. Her tights were dirty and so Seth had to go on a ballet stocking expedition just before she went on stage. Luckily she got them in time and we rushed to the audience just in time to see her…
walk off the stage.
I was devastated. We hadn’t even seen her most important performance. (They were running like 15 minutes early which is another thing all on it’s own).
We didn’t know what to do.
Whether to tell her or not. I think we just sort of decided to just leave it unless she asks. And then she asked me afterwards what she’d done wrong that she hadn’t been chosen as one of the top 3 (there were only four of them that made it in their age group and type so I still thing that’s a massive achievement in and of itself but I think she felt it more acutely because she was the only one left out). I told her the truth, that we’d walked in just as she’d walked out and we were gutted about it. She handled it super well though and now we’re buying the DVD and organising a movie night for us all to watch her performance together (most of the family couldn’t make it as they were away when she did her thing).
And apparently there is nothing a little ice cream can’t fix 😉
And I must say one more thing.
The other thing that I struggled with on this whole dance mom thing is that even though I freaking ADORE Kyla’s teacher, I was so tempted to move her to another class where they take it more “seriously”. The problem with that though, is then it takes all the fun out and what’s the point in that? To please me and my desires to have her completely kill it on stage? No thanks.
So until she expressly tells me that she wants to be a ballerina when she grows up or that she personally wants to take it a level up, we’re sticking with our awesome teacher. (Who I also love for having such child appropriate clothing, music and dance moves. I was SHOCKED to see what some little girls were wearing and dancing to. I’m not a prude, or maybe I am, but it was really rather inappropriate. I would not let my girls join in on a class like that.)