Friday, January 4, 2013

The gateway to eating disorders and bad feet

My version of fun when I was a kid was reading books until Arsenio Hall was on, do the arm circling motion with a "woof woof" (WHY did we do that?), hope Arsenio was interviewing Marky Mark or someone equally delicious, and then playing Solitaire on my 386 computer until 2am.

Actually, I consider a good night about the same thing now although we have better technology now.

My extracurricular activities back then consisted of reading, board games, computer games, and a quick stint as a cheerleader because, for some completely unknown reason, I'm pretty good at cartwheeling and propelling myself around on my hands (even now), fairly strong, and would do anything that gets me out of PE.

My list of "things I never, ever want to do" back then was quite long. It still is. Toward the top of that is ballet. Why do I have a beef with ballet? Likely it's because I never had the body type for ballet once I became a teenager, and I had the sense to realize that any attempt at it would end in abysmal failure. If you asked me back then why I had a beef with ballet, I would have told you it's the gateway to eating disorders and bad feet. I still stand by those two claims, but if I'm completely honest, I know ballet would want nothing to do with me, so I would reject it before it had any chance to reject me.

Ballet makes me cringe. I went to the Nutcracker once (not my choice) and, while I could appreciate those girls who looked like they were in a Robert Palmer video with the slicked back hair in buns and their leaps across the stage, I just didn't get the whole ballet "thang." Those poor girls look miserable, like they really need a good meal. I just want to feed them a yummy lasagna.  I didn't really understand why they prioritized spinning their very skinny bodies around on their toes in barely nothing over eating. Or maybe a few ballerinas can actually eat 3 pizzas between them, but I think we all know the truth. I don't have a ballerina mindset. I never will.

So when my 4 year old girl told me that she wanted to go to ballet class, I crinkled my forehead and sighed after I turned my head away from her. I know it's all about the tutu. The damn tutu is alluring, isn't it, to a little girl? (It wasn't to me, but I wasn't a normal kid & I don't think we had tutus for little kids back then. Or I blocked it out.) It could also be peer pressure because little girls' conversations tend to revolve around princesses, dancing, Disney crap, and the colors pink and purple.

Yes, I hate ballet. But my daughter has held up her part of the bargain. Back in August we had a plan: she would do soccer, then swimming, then ballet, and then tumbling. Somehow we survived soccer. Swimming wasn't too bad because this session, as opposed to a year ago, she actually went into the water (not that she did what the teacher said - she just looked at him skeptically for four weeks - but at least she got into the water). So we are onto ballet in our extracurricular sequence that involves only one extracurricular activity at a time so as not to stress out Mommy too much.

I dutifully signed her up for ballet. It starts on Saturday, January 12th in the morning. I think vodka should be involved since I'm already twitching. If I put vodka into a water bottle, no one will know...

This ballet class is labeled as beginner for 3 and 4 year olds. Now I kind of think ballet for 3 and 4 year olds should involve loose-fitting clothing. Kind of like what you would wear to a Zumba class if you wanted to hide your body (like I would). But noooooo, this is like the military ballet. Hair must be put into a bun. Must wear a leotard and tights. Must have PINK ballet slippers.

Why? They're 3 and 4 years old. I have been trying to find PINK ballet slippers in her size with no luck unless I want to spend $22, which I don't. She has a hand-me-down purple leotard, but I don't know if a purple leotard is okay. Her hair is too short to get into a bun. AAAAGGGGGHHHH!!!! This stuff stresses me out. I want my kid to fit in and not be ostracized for being a freak, but on the other hand I don't want her to be a sheep in the military ballet.

This is why I want to make a recording and play it on repeat while she sleeps: "Chess club. You want to join the chess club." 


Wendy said...

You know, ballet isn't as bad as I thought it would be. She listens, follows direction, and is so compliant. I told her that she could take ballet once she could swim. She kept up her end of the deal and managed to swim the width of our pool...

B said...

I'm sure she will love it. Her new BFF now that Mean Girl is gone is in the ballet class (but she doesn't know that yet). Like M, she follows land-based instruction well and has a good focus.

My fear is being sucked into a ballet lifestyle (and of course the ballet moms who are very serious that their child is on track to be a ballerina).

Wendy said...

Meh, I have no desire to be a stage mom. She inherited my clumsiness.