Tag Archives: dance

Greta’s Dance Recital (2015)

I know I'm behind a bit in my blogging duties of late, but, let me tell ya, summer with a six-year-old who is used to the structure of a regular school day is definitely not for the weak of heart. Yikes…it's been one big, crazy event after another since school got out in May. Crazytown!

Anyway, in the spirit of finally getting back on track, here are some of the best pics from Greta's Father's Day weekend dance recital. Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Greta stuff, Holidays

Kindergarten Week One: The New World Order

Yesterday marked the end of the first full week of kindergarten and let me tell ya, whoever said I’d have more time on my hands once Greta started school is full of shit. I haven’t felt this frazzled and out-of-my-element since those first few days after we brought Greta home from the hospital. Seriously, it’s been non-stop since Monday morning.

One of my new mom friends equated this week with starting a new job, and she’s not far off. I was anxious, way too concerned with my hair and what I was wearing, tired as fuck (sorry, but my usual F-word substitute, “fudge,” just didn’t seem to express how truly exhausting this week has been) and completely overwhelmed with paperwork. Insanity!

And though there have been definite highlights and I’ve made fast friends with several very chill moms and dads of students in Greta’s class, I think all three of us are a little overwhelmed by the sweeping sea change washing over us right now.

So far, Greta has been loving school but it’s the getting up in the morning and going there that kills her. However, aside from Wednesday morning, which was just horrific — at one point I was literally dragging her to class! — she really loves her teacher and each new day was better than the last. So, that’s progress in my book.

Personally, I found myself finally getting into the groove around Thursday, which is great because it ended up being one of the longest days of my life. I got up at 7:15 (which, believe it or not, has been my start time all week!), got Greta ready, dropped her off at school at 8:25 and then headed to my first PTA meeting at 8:30. Luckily for me, I managed to squeeze in some breakfast, because it turned out to be a three hour meeting! Yikes…who knew?

Fortunately, the meeting got out a little early (at around 11:00) so I had time to run to Costco and Trader Joe’s before heading back to school to pick up Greta at 1:30. We then headed to the park for a mini reunion with some of our old friends from Greta’s pre-school days, and then headed from there straight to ballet class, where we shared an emotional goodbye with Greta’s beloved ballet teacher who started her maternity leave today.

After ballet, we ran home to change and pick up Mrs. Yeti and then hurried back to Greta’s school for a massive “Back-to-School” picnic. They had food trucks, music, a farmer’s market selling produce grown at the school’s onsite garden (!) and again, many chances to meet new parent friends. Simply put, it was awesome. If all the parents at Stevenson are as hip, artsy and totally diverse as the ones we met this week, this new world order might not be so bad after all!

Now, if we could just get a handle on the constant flow of paperwork coming our way, I think we might be ready to face week two. Wish us luck!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Daddy stuff, Greta stuff, Mommy Stuff, School stuff

Greta’s Ballet Recital (2014)

Greta’s third ballet recital was a couple of weeks ago and, as you can see from the pics below, it was another smashing success. This year Greta’s class danced to “Octopus’s Garden” by The Beatles and though some of the kids struggled a bit with the choreography, Greta was spot on the entire performance. I know I’m supposed to say stuff like that, but, I really mean it…she was awesome!

My Dad put it best when he remarked that this year was the first time you could really see a big improvement in Greta’s dancing. “It’s actually kind of cool to see the growth over time.” he said, adding that “If I hadn’t seen all three shows, I don’t know if I would have noticed it. But, I can definitely see it!” Wow. Those of you who know my Dad know that he is not very free wheeling with the compliments, so, if he says that…he means it. So, thanks, Dad, I totally agree!

Enjoy the pics!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Girl, Mommy Stuff

Greta’s Dance Recital: The Pics

As I think I mentioned already, we took loads of pictures of Greta before, during, and after her recital yesterday, but, as usual, the best pictures were taken by my brother, Greta’s Uncle Guy-Guy. So, here, for your viewing pleasure are the best of the best of his pictures.

And, yes, until the edited video footage arrives sometime down the road and I post it here with big, sappy tears in my eyes, I promise to stop blogging about Greta’s dance recital. Sorry, but, it was kind of a big deal in these parts. Anyway, enjoy the pics!

Leave a comment

Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Baby, Mommy Stuff

Greta’s Dance Recital: The Event

OK, first off, let me tell you that dance recitals are worse than children’s birthday parties on the exhaustion scale. Seriously, Mrs. Yeti and myself felt like we went to war this weekend. Thankfully, Mrs. Yeti is off today (Monday), so she can relax while she, you know, catches up on last week’s laundry and shit. I’ve got a ton of stuff to do too. But, if I could, I would totally sleep all day, not just sleep in, mind you, but, all day long. That’s how tired I am.

That said, the dance recital was incredible. All the dancers were great, everyone showed up on time (even us!) and the show went off without a hitch…until the intermission, when, the announcer said in a very calm voice: “There is no emergency, but, could Cindy Kim’s mother please come to the stage.” I’m not kidding, man, you could actually hear people’s hearts sinking as poor Cindy Kim’s mother hurried backstage. Thank God it wasn’t my kid, I thought.

So, I headed to the bathroom and took my time coming back only to find Mrs. Yeti hurrying down to the backstage entrance in a panic. WTF? Did I miss the non-emergency announcement for Greta Yeti’s parents? Yikes! Stopping at our seats just long enough to grab my backpack full of Greta-sentials, I took off running down the aisle after Mrs. Yeti and found her on the other side of the backstage curtain in a flood of tears.

Mrs. Yeti was holding a sobbing, hysterical Greta while her teacher, Miss Sommer (more about her later) tried in vain to calm her down. Now, I should stop here to say that Greta rarely, if ever, cries that hard. This was like, maybe the third time in her life that she’s been that far gone and with the intermission clock ticking down (her performance wasn’t slated to begin until after the intermission) my heart filled with dread, and as terrible as it is to admit, all I saw were dollar signs. A $150.00 dress she’d never wear onstage, the $25 admission price everyone in our group shelled out to be there, photos, videos…oy, my head was swimming with wasted cash at the thought that she might not take the stage at her first recital. And then there was my second thought (which, most people would say should have been my first) which was, what the hell happened? Why is she so upset?

That answer was easy. Greta was playing and coloring with the other kids backstage and got a little bored, so, she laid down and fell asleep. Yes, she can and does sleep anywhere. It’s a gift and a curse. The problem was, when she woke up in a sea of strangely-costumed-toddlers, puffy foam stickers and coloring books, she didn’t know where she was and she flipped out. Luckily for her, mommy and Miss Sommer were there to save the day.

Sure, I provided provisions from my backpack (“You need a Kleenex? Got it! Cuppy? Right here!”) and did my best to make her laugh, but, those two did the heavy-lifting in the child calming department and what do you know? Greta actually stopped crying and calmed down. Then I jumped in with a little dance parent pressure: “You know, if you don’t dance, your friend Fiona might not know how to do the routine.” Almost instantly, Greta looked up like: “Oh, wow, I can’t do that to my friend. The show must go on!”

And then, to really slam it home, I told her that her beloved Uncle Guy-Guy and Aunt Laura were videotaping the show in the balcony and wanted desperately to see her dance. A professional toddler-whisperer from way back, Miss Sommer put it a bit more eloquently: “Look to the sky when you dance, they’ll be up there watching you, Greta!” And once again, that brave “show-must-go-on” look flickered across Greta’s face as she wiped away her tears and told us she’d stay and dance. Which was great, because, the way Miss Sommer said it, I was ready to get up there and dance in Greta’s place myself.

Anyway, the lobby lights flickering on and off outside, Mrs. Yeti and hurried back to our seats and waited to see if Greta would, in fact, take the stage with her class. And four sets later, she did. And she was beautiful. I told her later on that I thought she was very brave to go up there on stage in front of all those people after she’d been crying and she just shook her head and said: “I’m not brave, Daddy. I’m Greta.”

She most certainly is…

Leave a comment

Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Baby, Mommy Stuff

The worst stage parent EVER!

OK, so on Monday, Greta had her first trial ballet class. I say trial because the dance school here gives you one free session to see if your kid is ready for the teacher-student environment of the classroom before you sign up for regular classes. Pretty cool, huh? Especially considering how much the classes cost! Whew…

So, I get her all “balleted-out” with her favorite shirt and tutu, her favorite ballet slippers, a big flowery headband, the works…she looked adorable, seriously, the cutest kid there by a longshot. The minute we walk in, Greta meets the teacher and is all smiles as she follows the other girls into the studio to warm up. I tired to take her hand and walk her in, but she was already gone. Good sign, I thought, she knows what she’s doing…no hand-holding necessary for my little superstar!

So, then the class begins, and all the parents in the lobby lean close to watch the closed-circuit TV feed from the classroom. Actually, I was probably the only one “leaning close” as the other parents seemed to be seasoned dance class veterans.

Then my brother and sister-in-law and Mrs. Yeti arrive to watch Greta’s “debut”. It’s a big moment, we’re all terribly excited to see Greta decimate her peers on the dance floor (um, actually, maybe that was just me again) and guess what happened? Nothing. Literally!

Instead of flitting through the air like a tragic, love-struck swan, Greta just stood there with her head bowed and her arms at her side for almost the entire class. I know I should have felt nothing but compassion for this shy little girl staring at the floor, but, honestly, all I could feel was mortified. Seriously, I wanted to run in there, pull her aside and shake some sense into her: “You dance at home, you dance at Target, you dance pretty much anywhere we go, but you can’t do it here, where it really counts?! What’s wrong with you, kid?!” Yes, I know, I totally suck as a parent. But, I’m sorry, that’s how I felt at the time.

Of course, no one there would have known that. I just kept smiling and laughing nervously as she stood there sucking the fun out of that roomful of cute-ass kids. My brother described her best as looking like the dude from “The Blair Witch Project” in that final, spooky-ass shot in the movie. And, sadly, that’s exactly what she looked like, just standing there completely still with her head bowed. All she needed was some long black hair to hang in her face and she could be the next great Japanese horror film monster. Oy, it was a nightmare…

And then, maybe halfway through the class, she started to move. First her feet, then her hands, and then she actually followed the teacher from one end of the studio to the other, imitating her moves the entire time. One of the seasoned vets nearby turned to me and said: “Wow. She’s doing really good for her first time!” To which I responded in total disbelief: “Really?!” Urgh, I’m such a prick.

Then, the funniest thing happened. The teacher left the room for a moment and Greta suddenly stood up and dramatically twirled up and down the line of her peers. Sure, she looked a little crazy and yes, the other kids looked at her like she was a little crazy, but, hey, at least she was moving!

Of course, the minute the teacher returned to the studio, Greta stopped dancing. And when the girls took a break to change into their tap shoes for the second half of the class, Greta left the studio never to return. It was like: “Cool, I’m done. Let’s go to the park.” Still not sure of what to do or say, Mrs. Yeti and I just told Greta what a good job she did and then made her wait till the class ended so we could talk to her teacher about what to do next.

The teacher and the other people working at the school assured us that, in fact, Greta did really well for her first time and suggested we try the free class one more time next Monday to see how she does. I was still skeptical of the whole thing — and it’s not just the money talking, because my Mom is paying for the class — but agreed to bring Greta back next week for another session.

And then we went to the park where all I could do was think about what I had done wrong. Did I over-hype the class to Greta? To others? To myself? Did I push her into this? Was she ready for a ballet class at two-and-a-half? Did she even care about any of this shit as much as I did? Yikes…my head was spinning and like I usually do when my head spins, I fell asleep. Yep, right there on the park bench, in the middle of a really good story my brother was telling. Sorry, hermano!

And when I awoke a couple of minutes later, I realized that the problem wasn’t Greta at all, it was me. Again, I think my brother said it best when he asked me: “What did you think was going to happen today?” BAM! Good question, man. I came clean and admitted that I thought Greta was gonna burn the place down with her mad ballet skills, and even as the words flowed over my lips, I knew how wrong my entire approach had been.

This class was supposed to be about and for Greta, not me, and my role as a parent was to shut my big mouth and bring her back next week for our second free class. If she likes it, cool, if she doesn’t, well, that’s cool too. And if she wants to stand there like a character from a freaky Japanese horror film, that’s also totally acceptable. I brought her to the well, my Mom paid for the water, but that doesn’t mean she’s gonna drink it.

And you know what? That’s fine. Seriously, nothing good ever grew in the shadow of a nasty-ass stage parent. So, from here on out, no pressure, kid. Be yourself. Love yourself. Dance or don’t dance. We’ll be there to cheer you on no matter what you do.

But, seriously, can you try and decide if you like this stuff before we invest in the real tap and ballet shoes? That shit’s kinda pricey…

2 Comments

Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Baby, Mommy Stuff