Back in November, I enrolled Emily in a Mommy and Me dance class. The first few classes went fairly smoothly (if you don't count that one wardrobe malfunction). With the tuition paid, recital costume ordered, and tutu positioning corrected, we were off.
Or, so I thought.
That's when something happened around class number 3 or 4, and Emily decided instead of dancing, she would rather cling to me and scream--loudly.
At home, she continued to dance and be happy. Each week I would mentally pump myself up, hoping that week would be different.
Each week grew more painful. A few times we left early because I couldn't take it anymore (and I don't think anyone else in the class wanted to take it anymore either).
We didn't go a couple of times.
I sent Marty in my place. He left after 8 minutes.
Was our 18 month old destined to be a dance class drop-out?
After talking to other parents, including the dance studio's owner, we decided to take her back after Christmas for another try--with a twist.
This time around, Marty would take her. We agreed
And, wouldn't you know it? She was a dancing machine for her daddy!
Was it timing? maturity? Daddy's influence? a weird alignment of the stars?
It's a mystery to me.
Since things are going so well, you might be wondering why there's a Take Three here. After all, why mess with a system that's working?
Well, tonight we had our first hockey-dance scheduling conflict. Marty had a hockey game, which left me to decide between skipping dance or taking Emily myself.
Believe me, I wanted to skip.
Emily has picked up this new phrase, "No! Go away!" (I am blaming this new phrase on daycare since I have no idea where she's heard it). I could imagine her telling me to "GO AWAY" in the middle of dance as the other mothers looked on in horror.
Visions of those awful classes full of screaming and clinging danced in my head.
If I can be completely candid, thoughts of inferiority waltzed in my head, too.
For the last month or so, Emily has been all about DADDY. One night at story time, she took the book from my hand, gave it to Marty, and said, "No. Daddy do it." I get teary-eyed just remembering it.
After a few rebuffs, I even researched why toddlers might prefer one parent over another. (Yes, I researched it).
Apparently, it's pretty common. And temporary.
One of the suggestions, which I had already been trying, was to carve out more time just for the child and the parent who is currently out of favor.
Taking her to dance seemed like as good of an opportunity as any I might have.
The stakes were high.
Would Mommy trip and fall or glide gracefully through?
My Mommy pride (and heart) were on the line.
As we pulled in to the dance studio parking lot, Emily said, "Mommy. I wanna dance!"
And, dance she did.
Well, she ran around and spent a good amount of time in front of the mirror laughing and smiling at herself. But she didn't cry, cling, or scream. She didn't ask for Daddy either.
She even did her curtsy at the end and held my hand as we walked out.