The Daughter Chronicles

Monday, May 24, 2010

She's come undone

I was going to write a smug post about how lousy other parents are, but then my own child proved what a lousy parent I am, so this will be about kids and what freaking nutters they are. Won't that be fun?

So last Tuesday was Norah's performance at Little Gym. I've shown video before, so I won't do it again, but I will sprinkle some pictures throughout this post. She did a good job tapping and balleting through her routines, as I figured she would. She's been dancing there for a while, and I think she was the oldest one in the class (which will be important later), so she is a bit more mature than the other girls in the class (or so I thought). She likes dancing, and so I was happy to see her following the teacher and doing a nice job dancing. She's made a lot of progress over the past few years at Little Gym.

The class then did some gymnastic routines for the parents. The teacher asked who wanted to go first, and Norah demanded that she be the one (another girl jumped in a bit late; the teacher finally chose Norah first then the other girl, but I thought there might be some hurt feelings there for a second). She did a short routine on a balance beam and then sat down. All the girls did the same routine (there were seven girls, I think). At one point, Norah got up and began hanging from a bar next to the balance beam. I told her to sit down and be quiet, because the other girls were quiet for her. She went back to her spot and sat down. The reason I was peeved at the other parents was because at least three girls ran off to the bars and were hanging from them and trying to put their feet up on them and flip over. They were making a lot of noise and being disruptive. At least one parent was sitting right next to her daughter and not doing anything to shut her up. She didn't tell her to sit down or that they were going to leave if the kid didn't hush. These were girls who had already performed their routine and had the rest of the class sit quietly while they did it. Now they were being rude, and their parents didn't care. When Norah got up and wandered over to the bar, I told her, not angrily at all, that she needed to sit down or we were going to leave. She knows not to test me. I'm sure some parents would argue that their kids are too young to sit still - one of the girls in her class just turned 3, I think - but that's crap. Norah could sit still two years ago if she knew there would be consequences if she didn't. I just couldn't believe these parents weren't more embarrassed that their kids were being rude when their classmates were trying to do their routine. I may not be a great parent, but I know enough to be embarrassed when my kids are behaving poorly, because it reflects really badly on me. I was really angry at these parents. It was just sad that some of the kids were trying to do their routine while some of their classmates were running around shrieking.

Of course, Norah, after behaving so well when I told her to, had a meltdown later. It was partially my fault, but she still needs to learn how to behave. Krys took off from work to see the dances, but she, of course, had to go back to work. Norah has been fairly good about leaving Mommy behind recently, but on this day she reverted to the old Norah. I usually give her ample warning when we're about to leave, but last week I sprang it on her, and I don't think she was ready for it and didn't prepare for leaving Mommy. So she freaked. She started screaming uncontrollably and would not calm down even as we both spoke softly to her and told her everything was fine. I was trying to put her shoes on, but I finally gave up, picked her up (she had one shoe on), and carted her away. I was giving Krys the camera and Norah's shoe bag, and Krys wondered why she had to carry it all. "Because I'm carrying her" was my logical answer. I simply took her right out of the Little Gym, because I'm not self-absorbed enough that I don't get embarrassed when my daughter is behaving poorly. She should know better, and she didn't. So I didn't care about getting her shoes on or even trying to calm her down - it was time to leave.

She didn't calm down in the car all the way home. She screamed pretty much constantly, so I just turned up the iPod and ignored her. When she got home, she was still whimpering and whining, so I didn't say a word, just took her by the hand and showed her calmly into her bedroom so she could scream in peace. After a minute or two, she knocked on the door. When I went to the door, she asked if she could get dressed (she was wearing a leotard that she danced in). I told her that her clothes were in her room, so she could get dressed by herself. She came out perfectly calm, and all was well. What a weirdo.

I did take her back to Little Gym about an hour later and made her apologize to her teacher. She was scared that they would be mad at her, but her teacher was just worried that something had happened to her. I told her that it was just a Norah freakout, and Norah needed to accept the responsiblity for bothering the class. Norah apologized very nicely and we moved on. I don't know why she freaked out so much - she used to do that when she'd see Mommy in the middle of the day but couldn't stay with her, but recently she's been much better about it. I really do think it was because I surprised her with the knowledge that it was time to go and Krys had to go back to work. It was just too much for her! But still - she shouldn't have melted down like that. She's not Norma Desmond.

We're taking the summer off from Little Gym, because I think she's a bit burned out. Plus, they don't have very good times for the dance class, so it was as good a time as any. We'll see if she wants to go back in the fall.

In other news, Mia won a "fairness" award at her school last week. The school has "six pillars" of good behavior, and Mia, I suppose, is just so fair that they had to give it to her! So that was nice. Here she is with her little certificate:

This week is the last week of school, but both kids are going to summer school pretty soon. Norah won't get any time off and Mia gets a week (next week), but as they both love school, neither of them minds going back for the summer. Plus, it gets them out of my hair! And isn't that really all that matters?


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