Sunday, October 12, 2008

Amateur Mom and 3 Year Old = A No Go

Yesterday would have been the very first dance recital for Goddess. However, it didn't happen.

Leading Up: Picture this; Friday night, baby girl gets out of bath, has 10 rollers put in her hair (they asked for a high pony tail curled). Goes to sleep without a problem. Wakes up and is excited about her new curls. Wants to dance. Wants to get dressed down to shoes. Talks about being on stage and how she is dancing with Miss Jessica not Handsome.

Before the Dance: We are there before the teachers. Miss Jessica sees Goddess and tells her she looks beautiful. If you have a kid in dance you know they say this to every single girl they see. I guess dance is all about being "beautiful." Miss Jessica takes all the little girls over to a circle. "My Pretty Princesses are going to sit over here with me." (I really thought this was her way to get them into dance mode). Asks Goddess to sit next to hear. Goddess is so excited. I head over to wear the Teach and Handsome are. About 10 feet away. I head back over 5 minutes late and Miss Jessica is with her older girls who go on first. I thought that she would head back over to the girls because it is only 6 weeks into dance and they only learned their dance 5 minutes before the end of the last class.

Goddess is sitting with the other girls and seems fine. They are all sitting on the ground and I take this picture.

I told her I was right here and she waved then looked back at the piece of straw she was playing with. I headed back to the Teach. Sat down and then walked back to her to see if she was ok. More and more people where coming and it made me nervous when I couldn't see her. I must have walked back and forth about 35 times in the 20 minutes before show time.

I wanted to walk over to Miss Jessica and say, "You are going to spend time with the girls right?" She has been doing this for 14 years so I assumed she knew that these little 3 & 4 year olds needed some attention. I walked back when I saw the other teacher walk over and say they were going to practice the dance. She was gathering all the little ones into a closer circle. My little one was still sitting on the ground with 2 other tiny ones. This teacher didn't know all the students. She hadn't moved with the group and no one seemed to care that she was sitting there. There were adults standing all around her and no one seemed to notice. I couldn't get through two big women and they didn't hear me say excuse me. I bent down and called through their legs, "baby come here." Nothing. She was so nervous it was like a deer in headlights. "Come here baby. Come to mommy." Nothing, she just sat there looking at me with all these legs standing around her. Finally I pushed through the oblivious women with a "Excuse me, can I get my daughter." and picked her up. so I moved mine and the other 2 closer. I headed back to the Teach.

As the first group was going off I walked over to Goddess because her troop was going up and I didn't see a teacher with them. She was still sitting on the ground and there were three women, trying to get her to stand up, "you have such pretty shoes on, are you going to dance? Come on your group is going up." She didn't budge. I walked walked over and had to pick her up because she was to scared to come to me. I told her, "Your group is going on stage, do you want to dance with Miss Jessica?"

She threw her face down on my shoulder and shook her head. I told her it was ok but walked over to Miss Jessica. Miss Jessica said, "hi, honey come on we're going to dance." My daughter with her face still in my shoulder, shook her head. My heart was breaking for her because I could tell how scared she was.

I told Miss Jessica that she was left alone for too long, she said, "Oh ok."

Goddess and I walked back and The Teach asked what happened. I told him that she was sitting on the ground all by herself with adults standing all around her and that she was scared.

The girls started dancing, and I asked if she wanted to watch her class dance. She just shook her head no with her face in my shoulder. 2 minutes later she was asking about balloon and was fine but I will never forget how small and little she looked or how scared she was. Because she is such a big girl sometimes I didn't realize that she would need me there. I didn't know I was allowed to stay with her. I didn't know that Miss Jessica wouldn't be with the group. I didn't realize how many girls were in the class. Her class is only 6 girls, she didn't know any of the ones sitting with her because it was 3 combined class.

The next time I will not be leaving her. I would have had her sit with us until they were going on. Because she heads right into class I thought this was be the same. She doesn't look for me at all in class, I assumed this would be the same. I thought if she sat with us and not her class she wouldn't go on stage because she wouldn't be in that mind set.

It will take me a long time to get the image of her sitting all alone on the ground with oblivious adults standing all around her. Also, to see how frightened she was that there were three strangers touching her and talking to her.

When we got home I asked her what happened. She said, "I don't know, I didn't want to dance." I asked if she was scared. She said, "Yes." I told her that the next time she has to tell me that she is scared. That she can tell me anything and that I will take care of everything.

Afterward I heard her talking to her dolls. She always does both sides of the conversation. She was saying, "why didn't you want to dance?" Then, "I don't know." How come, "I don't know, I was nervous." Then "But why...." "Ummmm because I don't know."

When her father asked about the dance she said, "I didn't want to dance." When he asked if she was scared, She said, "yes." Then he told her when we were sitting on the couch that the next time she is scared she has to tell mommy.

Hopefully she got the lesson. I know I did. I will never again just think that strangers (even the ones I pay) are going to consider my daughter the way I would want them to.

This will not be happening again. Not that she will not be dancing, but I am about to become that stage mom that doesn't go away!!!


  1. Good for you! There is no excuse for that. Coaches/teachers like that are the reason my daughter is no longer dong gymnastics;

  2. Gretchen, I agree. This kind of thing could change her attitude about something she loves and that would kill me. She loves going to class. I hope that she still feels that way next week.


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