On Saturday, I took Remmy and Sophie to see the Nutcracker at the Shubert in New Haven. We purchased the book ahead of time so they had an understanding of the story. Definitely recommend doing this, by the way, since ballets can be a little hard to follow. It was the first ballet they’ve attended, and although I reminded them that we need to stay quiet, I still brought a five year old and a three year old to the ballet, so there was some (quiet) chatter.
“LOOK. That’s Godfather Drosselmeyer!”
“Is she going to get hurt?”
“Is the Mouse King coming?”
I didn’t want to be THAT mom that says SHHHHHHHH obnoxiously, annoyingly, and repetitively, so I just did a gentle pat on the back and a finger to my lips reminder. The show was only an hour long (perfect length for kids!), and at the end when the lights came up, the family in front of us turned around to smile at the girls. I immediately apologized for their chatter (they were pretty quiet, but STILL), and the dad said, “No way, their commentary was the best part of the whole thing” so I felt, you know, not embarrassed. (Thanks, stranger-dad.)
On the way home, Remmy goes, “Mommy, why am I not in ballet this year?” Big eyes. Sad face. Sophie’s question was the same.
UHHHH cause ballet is like a freaking ten month commitment and it’s not even a family event because I sit in a little room and I can’t even watch you practice so I just answer emails on my phone and what about other things you want to try like soccer and swim?
They want to try it all. I don’t blame them. I *want* them to try it all, but I also want to be cognizant of the fact that a ton of activities makes everyone tired. I’m driving them to ballet on Tuesday and tumbling on Wednesday and soccer some Saturdays and swim those other Saturdays and suddenly I’ve become a really cool chauffeur except not that cool, because I’m eating Chex Mix straight from the bag since activities bump dinner.
In an ideal world, we’d live down the road from a facility that offers six week programs of everything. Let’s try six weeks of soccer, then six weeks of ballet, then six weeks of tumbling, and six weeks of crumping or whatever. Instead, my options look like this.
1) Commit to one thing at a time for the sake of sanity, but realize that if we skip a year of ballet to do a year of gymnastics, they lose a year of ballet and are behind when they meet up with their peers the next year. Also, if we try one thing, we’re not doing anything else, so there’s a lack of well-roundedness there. But if it’s ballet, I’m holed up in a room for ten months and then I get to watch them perform for two minutes in a recital while the moron in front of me stands up and tries to film it on her iPad.
2) Let them try a bunch of things, find out what they like, enjoy themselves, but also drain myself of sanity and also money, because recital leotards are like a million dollars.
Doesn’t this feel like a lot of pressure for kids that cannot yet tie their shoes? When an eight year old tells me that she’s been in ballet for six years I’m just like O__O “You’ve had more ballet experience than I’ve had parenting experience, and also your two front teeth are missing, what is going on here.”