Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dance Night

This evening was the first night of Peeper's new dance class, and it was quite an experience.

Since she did the two-week summer dance session in July, I've asked her several times if she wanted to take dance class again, and she's always said yes - even though every night, she wailed when it was time to go in, but came out an hour later with a big ol' smile on her face.

And, tonight was no different.

When it was time to get dressed, she started with the "I'm gonna miss you!" and "Please don't make me go to dance class, Mama!"

This went on for a while, until I was telling her that her friend K from last year would be in the class with her, and she asked if G from MOMS Club would be there, too. I said, "No, she's not in your class, but we'll probably see her in the waiting room, because she's taking a tumbling class right before your class."

Well, she said, "I will show you how I tumble!" and ran off to the hallway to show me her "forward rolls." So, I asked, "Would you like to take a tumbling class some time?"

"Yes!" she said.

"Would you like to take a tumbling class tonight?"


"Would you want to take it instead of dance or as well as?"

"As well as!"

So, I called the dance studio, and got permission for her to try out the KinderGym class that's right before her KinderDance class, and then discuss it and decide what we want to do.

That was great, until we arrived at the studio, and she started freaking out on me again. By the time it was time to go in, she was hysterical and screaming in my arms, and I had to pry her off to leave her in the room.

It. Was. Awful.

There were several MOMS Club members there, so I came out and talked to them and cried for a while.

About half of the KinderGym kids stay for the KinderDance class right afterward, so they pull them out into another room before dismissing the ones who are leaving. (Wise move with these teeny kids, I think.) That meant that she was in class(es) for an hour and forty-five minutes, but D (our MOMS Club president) was able to get a little peek at her, as she was going back into the room for dance, and said she seemed to be doing fine.

And, sure enough, at the end of class, she came out with a giant smile on her face.

I asked, "Did you have fun?"


And a few minutes later, "So, what do you think? Do you want to take gymnastics or dance or both or neither?"


"Do you think you can remember how much fun you had, so that you won't have to be all worried next week about missing me, and get all freaked out?"


Well, okay then. At least I guess I know what to expect.

When I talked to the studio owner (and her dance teacher) she told me that she'd checked on her right after I left (she was teaching another dance class in the room next to the gym class) and she was fine, then she was fine in dance class, and participated and "did everything."

I really don't know what we should do. I hate to let her talk herself out of something that she obviously enjoys, just because she's scared that she's going to miss us, and I don't want to set a precedent of not doing scary things, or quitting when they get a hard, but on the other hand, I don't know if I can take that kind of melt down week after week.

Once we survived that, I took her out to dinner and ice cream.

No, I did not buy her both ice cream and a doughnut. We were at Baskin Robbins / Dunkin Donuts and a woman whom I think is an owner or manager gave her a free doughnut (while she was eating ice cream, thank-you-very-much), best as I could tell, just for being adorable.


  1. I don't know how it might work with school adjustment and all coming, but maybe you could come up with some "acceptable" ways she could express her anxiety about the separation, while not going into full on freak out.

    Maybe you could use a sticker chart/reward system or something, if she succeeds in "expressing herself appropriately" or something. Maybe she could have some specific phrase(s) to say to express what she is feeling, or "freak out until a count of 20" or some such.

    She obviously wants to do these things. With dance, in particular, there is no mystery to her about where she is going and what she is going to be doing. She likes it; she has fun; she just seems to have anxiety about the transition where she has to separate from you and/or Shrike.

    Maybe (if you haven't already) you could talk with her, specifically, about the seperation moment, maybe try to frame it as a separate issue than the "going to class" part and figure out some way(s) that might help her over the yucky hurdle, so she can get to the fun part more quickly.

  2. I remember being about 6 or so and having to have the swimming teachers pry me off my mom every.single.week. But then they had to pull me out of the pool when I was the last one to get out. So, there's that. I have no bad feelings towards the memories. Just mostly amused and empathetic to what my mom had to deal with.

    I say since she calms down so quickly and enjoys the class so much, let them pry her off you and keep going back every week. Eventually she'll get past this stage.


What say you?