Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mommy and Me--Take 3

Take One

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?

Take Two

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 my nerves weren't ready to take it again it would be good bonding time for them.

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.

Take Three

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.

And painful.

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.


Heather B said...

Little stinker, giving you such stress :) Glad the take 3 was a good one!

twopossumsandabug said...

Whew! I'm glad that went smoothly. You can sleep well tonight. =) Poor Poppy has been feeling your pain lately. MH is devoted to her brother. Devoted. When Poppy tries to jump in to play, she is often rebuffed. It is a sad scene. I hope that MH will come to appreciate the bonds of sisterhood soon!

irishtwinsmommababybook said...

Awww!!!!! It's their girls started ballet together..and we didn't battle dance of crying, bribing, etc. with both. I finally took my youngest out and now she watches her confident big sister in the waiting room with mama. Keep up with it!! :)

Johanna said...

Glad you got your girl back. :)

Miss Megan said...

Good for you for putting your heart out there on the line! I am thrilled that she did well! And she is ADORABLE in her little outfit! Aah!
We are also battling the ALL ABOUT DADDY on our home front's with both girls (previously it was just one at best - one preferred mommy and one preferred daddy). Now both want daddy all the time...daddy hold me, daddy read to me daddy put me to bed, daddy play with me, daddy give me kisses, daddy clean me up....
It. breaks. my. heart. I don't know why they have switched to all about daddy all of the sudden, and daddy loves it (naturally), but like you, I'm nearly heartbroken =(. I am hoping it's a phase and will pass!

KERRY said...

That is so adorable to think of her dancing her little heart out and she's only 18mths?? What a great post, I am glad she gave in to her mummy being her dance partner, maybe the few months since she started she has grown enough to enjoy it more :)
Cute pic xo

Kelly said...

So glad it went well!! I didn't know they had classes that young...will have to look into them.

christina said...

YAAAAAAAAY! i love this!! so much. sooooo glad you guys had a nice evening together. :)

Awn said...

I'm so glad she was a dancing queen for you! Us girls can be so demanding when we're young. Yes, only when we're young. Ok, fine, when we're older too.

Olusola said...

My heart was in my mouth for you as I read take 3. I'm glad the story ended well. I don't know why sometimes relationships with kids is like dating the most popular guy in highschool and hoping he'll always like you back. Drat!

Always Heather said...

Such a funny post.. I had to pull my daughter out of Tap and Ballet recently as she told the dance teacher she hated her? hmmmmm... anyways...I was one of those red faced Mom's dragging their children out to the parking lot while she screamed blue murder...such a proud moment...maybe we'll try again when she's 10!

Tami said...

I have a 2 year old that is in my child care. She pitches a FIT every time daddy comes to pick her up. I feel so bad for daddy.

Ashleigh said...

I've so wanted to be able to do something like this with Makayla, I've just been waiting for her to be able to walk...however, everything you described has certainly crossed my mind. Makayla is anything but predictable!

I'm so glad it finally worked out for you guys and you had fun! I hope it continues to go so well!

Kathy Radigan said...

They really love to torture us don't they?!!! I have become so immune to the whims of children that when they say they prefer my husband over me I'm glad for the break!!

Melissa she is so cute!! I'm glad you had fun!!

RoryBore said...

3rd time IS the charm! yeah for both of you.

and the whole parent favourtism thing - since my spouse is a shift worker, he had to deal with it more than I. they always wanted mommy. always. I felt the other way - it was so overwhelming because even when he was ready and willing to give me a break; he wasn't able. they wouldn't go to him.

the first time that changed....oh man, I was out the door in a heartbeat! start the car, start the car! LOL.
but your right, it was temporary. they still normally want "the mommy".

Shannon said...

I am glad that Emily liked dance WITH you there, looks like you both had fun :)

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Awwww, I know that did your heart worlds of good!

Tasha said...

Makes me smile! Hope all is well.

Tasha said...

Makes me smile! Hope all is well.

Tasha said...

Makes me smile! Hope all is well.

Tasha said...

Makes me smile! Hope all is well.

Kim said...

First of all, that is the cutest picture ever. Second of all, I love that she did a curtsy. And thirdly, my 2 boys are OBSESSED with Daddy, the second he walks through the door. Sometimes it's nice, because it means a break for me, but other times, it feels like a little knife through the heart ;(

Glad your little dancer is loving it!
My Twintastic Life

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I was just reading something from a fellow blogger a couple of weeks ago, about a child seeming to "prefer" one parent over the other. She said she read the same try to carve out more time to spend together.

I hope that phase - and you know it's only a phase! - passes quickly! And so glad to hear you both had a great time at dance! :) :)

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