Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ballerina, you must have seen her
dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me,
a tiny dancer in my hand
Elton John -- "Tiny Dancer"

Whew...the week of Never Ending Ballet Rehearsals and Performances has come to an end.

India is not a diva; she is not dramatic or attention-seeking in the way of many of her funny little friends. At times she is quite shy. So it is quite a surprise how much she enjoys the performances. I'm thrilled for her; I think ballet is a great way to learn poise and discipline.

With that said, the process of reaching the performance is looong. Arduous. Exhausting. Painful. Imagine a small high school classroom cram-packed with 40 excited, hyperactive children. Mothers scurrying around armed to the teeth with hairspray and bobby pins, attempting to wrestle their child's hair into the requisite tight ballerina bun. Costumes flying, cameras snapping wildly, and our own little hole in the ozone from the cloud of Final Net.

Scary, right? But even more horrific are the surroundings. The School Gods wisely chose the nursing students' room for our green room. Looking like something from "Silence of the Lambs", it is outfitted with no fewer than four hospital beds, three of which are the resting place for Resuscitator Annies. In one corner is a plastic life-size skeleton. There are models of teeth, eyes and ears strategically placed around the room. Medical equipment and charts of breast self-exam instructions as far as the eye can see.

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???? Preschoolers and medical equipment? Give me a break. Let's just say that by the end of the first dress rehearsal one Annie's hospital gown was pulled down with breasts exposed to the world and another was sporting a jaunty pink hair bow. Poor Mr. Skeleton had lost an arm and the hospital bed controls were being used as stethoscopes and defibrillator for tiny budding physicians.

I valiantly tried to keep the Short People clear of the defacement of thousands of dollars worth of medical equipment. I pressed crayons and art paper on these girls like a drug pusher. Success! The Short People and a handful of friends were ignoring the rampant exploration of human anatomy! I was so proud. Little did I know danger was lurking at the art table.

As I sat watching someone else's child playing with a box labeled "Vaginal Swabs and Anal Probes" (I kid you not) I overheard one of India's friends whisper, "Girls...I've brought some body glitter!"

What the hell? What is a preschooler doing with body glitter (for that matter, what does anyone need with body glitter)? As sweet little Molly Kate whips Sex Appeal in a Bottle out of her ballet bag, I successfully steer India towards a potty break. Whew! Another crisis averted. Or so I thought.

At the bathroom I find another of India's friends. Several of us moms had agreed to take turns waiting backstage for our children so the others could rush out and watch the performance from the audience. We traded off duties so the others could watch the next night. It was my night in the hole, and I was responsible for this little darling who, three minutes before going onstage chose to URINATE IN HER COSTUME!!!!!

The poor thing had completely soaked her leotard, tights and slippers. I was paralyzed with indecision. What do I do? All the other girls, including India, were lining up in the wings for their cue. This girl's mom was waiting in the audience to see her child on stage, so no help there. Thankfully another friend had a spare pair of tights. The skirt of the costume covered the wet leotard so we quickly cleaned her up and sent her on her way.

Oh, am I exhausted. Ballet is not for sissies!


Jean-Luc Picard said...

You have a very tough job there. Some problems there are totally unexpected. Well done for staying on top of it.

Michele sent me here.

Blue Monkey Jammies said...

Oh boy I so feel your pain. It's a case of been there done ALL of that!

Wait till they're up on point and they're feet look like they were whacked with a mallet a few times after each recital. Be prepared to carry them back to the car then!

Thank you for sharing this delightful post.

Delane said...

Wow, that makes the karate tournaments seem like a piece of cake. I just realized when I saw the anniversary post that you've now been blogging for over a year. Congratulations on 15 years! and congratulations on the 1 year in the blog world.

Deana said...

Now that was an entertaining post! How funny. Nothing beats the backstage when wee ones are involved. I think it is wonderful your daughter is a ballerina. I also love the song "Tiny Dancer". Sounds like you are the perfect backstage mom and handled everything just right!

panthergirl said...

LOL!!! That's one of those "you can't make this stuff up" stories. HIlarious.

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