Last Friday, TD1 started ballet. She’s been talking about it for a while now. “Moooom, I have to practice my ballet!” “Daaaaddy, she won’t let me practice my ballet.” “She” being TD2 who sees “practicing ballet” as an invitation to tackle her sister.
Rewind to a few months ago, and we started having issues with TD1 flipping in class when she’s supposed to be sitting in a circle. While her teachers were amazed at her natural skill, they were concerned that she was going to hurt someone or herself. With me in school and it being the middle of holiday season, timing wasn’t on our side. Fast forward to last week, and we enrolled her in a Toes & Tumble class at our local park district. The description said that students would have a blast practicing their ballet moves while learning basic tumbling moves. The class meets once a week for 30 minutes. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was confident that TD1 would love it.
We were about 10 minutes late because T-Daddy thought the class started 15 minutes later than it actually did and traffic was not on our side. I started getting nervous that they wouldn’t let us in since we’d already missed one-third of the class. I was also worrying that TD1 would be clingy or start crying and I’d have to spend the remainder of the class trying to talk her down.
Boy, was I wrong!
We got in the class and I asked her if she wanted to take her coat off. She said yes, and before I could get her second arm out, she was already headed to the floor. I expected her to sit close to me. She went to the other side of the room and immediately joined in the exercises. The teacher asked all the parents to leave out the classroom, so they wouldn’t be a distraction. TD1 never even looked my way. I watched her through the window in the door and I couldn’t be more proud. Her excitement and joy was radiating out the room and all I could think was: “I’m glad that we did this for her.”
As we were walking to the car after the teacher released them, I asked her about her class:
T-Mommy: Did you enjoy the class?TD1: Yeah!T-Mommy: Did you…TD1: But Mommy, next time we can’t be late. I need to practice my ballet!
On Monday, she shadowed at the preschool she might be attending in the fall. We’ve been looking at our options for Kindergarten because her birthday falls after the deadline – by just two weeks. While it won’t be the end of the world if she’s 6 in kindergarten, I’d rather she not start in 2016 because she’s not ready and not merely because I didn’t get pregnant with her two weeks earlier. Illinois law has made this a very hard battle with very few options. We found a school that’s within our price range, close to us and is focused on teaching based on students’ personal development and interests, not just their age. They also were willing to let TD1 shadow to determine if it was a good fit.
I explained to TD1 that she would be visiting a school that might be her new school if she liked it. All she wanted to know was if TD2 was going to the new school too. I told her “Maybe, if she’s potty trained by September.” She said okay and has been telling her sister that she needs to go pee on the potty.
As we prepared to drop her off on Monday, I fully expected a scene when it was time for us to leave. We introduced her to the teacher and she ran out of my arms straight to the teacher. She talked to her for a few minutes before running off to play with some of the other students. She barely waved bye.
Drop-off was harder on TD2 who wanted to know “Where Pempess?” The whole ride to my job (and I’m told her daycare), she looked like she’d just lost her best friend. Here’s to hoping we can get her potty-trained in the next 4.5 months.
When T-Daddy picked TD1 up, the teachers said that she did well and they hope she comes back in the Fall. TD1 told him, “I like my new school. I don’t want to go back to my old school.”
When I dropped TD1 off today, she went straight to her friends to give them hugs and tell them “Hi!” She barely waved bye, again.
My big girl is growing up…