I’ve come to the conclusion that, just because your kids really want to go somewhere, doesn’t mean that they’ll make it easy for you, the parent, to take them there.
Say you came up to me, like “Yo Mike! I got an extra ticket for the Toronto Raptors game tonight. You down?” I’m a big hoops fan, so I’d be down, no doubt. However, once we got to the Air Canada Centre, I wouldn’t suddenly drop to the ground, and need to be dragged to my seat, kicking and screaming the whole way. That’s ridiculous.
And yet, with my kids, I can usually expect to be given a hard time, when trying to leave the house with them. Doesn’t matter where we’re going; there’s going to be an unnecessary struggle. I don’t get it.
Take dance class, for example. Like I said in part 1, J really enjoys it. Once she walks into the dance studio, she has a blast. Actually getting her there, though?
Lemme explain. Here’s a typical Saturday morning:
♦We wake up. I tell J that we are going to dance class. Even though she loves it, she will refuse to go. She’ll throw a fit because, well, toddlers.
♦ Time to get her dressed. Depending on her mood, this varies in levels of sucktacularness. If she’s feeling like a mommy’s girl, she’ll freak if I attempt to change her, because I’m not her mom. She’ll insist that K get her ready, instead (It’s all good. My feelings aren’t hurt that badly when she does this. She’s only choosing mommy over daddy. No biggie………… Sniff. No, I’m not crying. My eyes are just secreting liquid!)
If she’s feeling like Destiny’s Child and wants to be an independent woman, then she’ll freak if I attempt to change her, because she wants to dress herself. Now, I’ve never tried to squeeze my body into tights and a leotard before. I am pretty sure that I would struggle, if I did, though. It’s a lot of cramming/pulling/ stuffing. Normally, J is more than able of dressing herself, in everyday clothes. As such, after spurning my offer to help put on her dance stuff, J will start off all sassy and confident. Eventually, she realizes that she is in over her head . She will then suck up her pride, and come to me for assistance (tights hanging loosely off her butt, leotard around her ankles). I can then get her dressed.
♦ I get her ready, but only after much effort. One time, she started doing pelvic thrusts on her back, while I was trying to change her diaper.
If B’s around, he’ll play the role of big brother to a T, and bug the heck out of her. As if putting on her clothes wasn’t challenging enough, try adding in some arguing and squirming.
♦ I style her hair.
Just kidding. She likes her hair loose and unruly. Most of the time, she has that Albert Einstein look going on, if Einstein was a toddler girl.
Even if she did let me touch it, I’m not much of a stylist anyway. I’ll admit, I may have gotten confused
many times once trying to take the elastics out of her hair, and ended up using scissors to hack them off.
♦ We grab some breakfast. After that, we make sure that her dance bag is packed with all of the required items. One item will inevitably be missing, which requires a time consuming search for it.
♦ We hit the road. Usually, we crank some jams in the car. We also have conversations about whatever is on her little mind. Lately, she is concerned about what she is going to take for lunch when she goes to school in a few years. Yep.
Sometimes, she cracks jokes. Like this:
J – Knock knock.
Me – Who’s there?
J – John Cena!
Me – John Cena who?
J – UPTOWN FUNK YOU UP!
Me – (confused silence)
J – Oh. That’s not John Cena.
♦ We arrive. When I go to open the door, to get her out of her car seat, she’ll lock the door with her foot. While I mutter under my breath, fumbling in my pocket for the keys, to unlock the door, she laughs hysterically.
♦Once we enter the studio, everything is awesome.
And that’s our routine.
I mean, yeah, it’s a bit……… annoying, but it could be a lot worse. As long as she gets there, tries hard and has fun, then really, I can’t complain. I’ve been wrong about a lot of this introductory dancing stuff (hey, did you know that they don’t teach little kids the Shmoney dance? Go figure. ) but on this regard, even I know that it’s all just part of the job as a dance dad.
Or, I guess, job as a dad, in general.