Thursday, December 6, 2012

Out of Nowhere

A couple of days ago, I went to read to S's kindergarten class. I was really excited about it; the teacher had asked for volunteers a few weeks ago. It was set up as a surprise, and I was the first of the readers to participate.

Colds have been running through our house the last few weeks as their wont to do this time of year, but nothing serious since the crazy strep throat incident awhile ago. Of course, the sniffly noses and coughs seem to last forever. S was playing outside in the leaves on Monday as it was 70 degrees out (not bad for December 3rd in the midwest), so she was coughing a lot more that night. So much that it kept us both up even after a does of Robitussin and a Halls cough drop.

Tuesday morning, she didn't want to go to school. I didn't want to tell her why she needed to go and ruin the surprise, so I tried to encourage her in other ways. She wasn't terribly sick, but she hadn't slept much and she was still coughing so much that it really was a major distraction. I told her I couldn't stay home from work, she'd have to go to daycare if she didn't go to school. That's usually enough to convince her to go; she really likes school. But it didn't do the trick. I told her she would be upset if she missed that day because there was a surprise mystery reader coming to her class. I put off telling her it was me until we were halfway to daycare, hoping she'd change her mind, but it didn't happen. Then when I told her it was me, she just said, "Oh." Like it was no big deal. I was disappointed. In a big way.

It's not her fault. I thought she would be really excited about it, and I'm sure if she had gone to school like usual, and I had showed up, she would have loved it. But it didn't happen that way. I still went. I read "What's Wrong Little Pookie?" by Sandra Boynton. The kids really enjoyed it. They asked me to read it again. It was fun, but I was really sad that S wasn't there for it.

On my way to work that morning, the DJ was talking about how they had taken a photo of her 3-month-old in her Christmas stocking which was their traditional first Christmas photo with the babies in their family. I thought, "We should be doing that. A first Christmas photo this year. But we're not." And the tears came.

The one day I wore mascara to work (since I had to read later, I had put makeup on and tried to look nice), and I was crying. Part of it was due to the lack of sleep. Part of it was due to the disappointment with S. And part of it was missing my baby. Weird to think it's been almost a year since I wrapped up the little stick and left it on DH's pillow for Christmas. It feels like eons ago.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dance, Dance, Dance

Friday night was S's first (and likely, last) dance recital. She took a combo class this fall at the community center. Her teacher was my first dance teacher, Miss N. Miss N is old school - literally. Her techniques are strict and disciplined - only pink tights and black leotards - no colors, no tutus - hair pulled back. She has to be 90 years old (she was at least 50 when I started taking from her in 1980), but commands respect and obedience from toddlers better than I do. One day when I dropped S off, I told her to have fun. Miss N said, "We don't have fun. We learn, and we enjoy it, but we're not here to have fun."

S started out in the 3-4 year old class since she'd never danced before, but moved up to the 5-6 year olds after a couple of weeks. In the first class, the tap dance they learned was to "Ellie the Elf." When she moved up, she learned "Spunky the Monkey." I was excited because that was a number my sister did when we were little. Not that she remembers it since she's blocked our entire childhood out of her head - our 72-year-old dad remembers it, but not her.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I told her she could either do dance lessons again after the session ended or do something else. She said, "M (a boy in her kindergarten class) plays football, baseball and basketball. Why can't I do all of those?" I said, "You can, baby, but football season's almost over, and baseball won't start til next spring. You can play basketball if you'd like, or soccer or karate or dance. We just can't afford for you to do more than one right now." She decided to sign up for soccer. I asked her if she was sure she didn't want to do dance again. She said, "No, that's ok. I already know how. I don't need to take classes anymore." Glad to hear you've mastered it in 12 weeks, babe. I'll wait for Joffrey to call...

Of course, I didn't explain that soccer wouldn't start right away, so that Saturday when I told her it was time to get ready for dance class, she said she didn't have it since she was going to start soccer. I told her she still had a couple of weeks left as well as her recital. She said she didn't want to go anymore. I told her she didn't have to take dance again, but she did have to finish the session and do the show since Miss N. had already gotten her a costume. She still didn't want to go. I told her we finish what we start, and if she didn't, she wouldn't get to do soccer or any other activities. She finally got ready and went to class. And enjoyed it. Then she said she wanted to do dance for the next session instead. Sigh...

Anyway, Friday night, we hurried home, ate some pizza and headed to the community center. I asked her if she was nervous. She said she was, and I told her that was normal, but everything would be ok. She was excited, too, and couldn't wait to get there. On the way, she said her stomach hurt. She thought she'd eaten too fast. Crap. We got there and got her dressed in her white turtleneck and gold lame, sequin-lined skirt. I put a bit of blush on her cheeks and a dab of lipstick on her mouth and pinned the gold sequin headband in her hair. It was very surreal to be the mom instead of the child. I had flashbacks of my mom putting makeup on me, curling my hair, heading backstage. I hated the primping but loved the dancing, and she was so patient with me.

My parents and DH's dad joined us in the third row. I said to my dad, "Too bad Tippin's isn't around anymore." Almost every year after my dance recital, we went to Tippin's with at least one other family from the dance studio.

I thought S's class was going to be the third number, but they were the third from last. Luckily, they went on just as I thought I was going to lose Baby R to the inevitable boredom and have to remove her from the area.

When they first went on stage. S looked terrified. My poor baby had stage fright! No wonder her tummy hurt. After the first line of the song, she saw us, smiled and waved. Then she was ok. Afterwards, she told me she was scared, but once she saw daddy, she was ok. I told her she was very brave and did a great job.

We may not have had Tippin's that night, but we did celebrate by going to get yogurt. It was lots of fun, and I hope she remembers it fondly.
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