Rants, raves, fiction, and laughs

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Monica IRL "Don't feel like Dancing"

Just when I thought I didn't have anything to write a story about, I had this little episode with my kids today. It's more or less verbatum.

“I’d like to sign up for the children’s dance classes,” said Monica to the petite woman at the desk. Sophia and Max clung closer to Monica’s legs.

The HQ for the Loudon Dance Academy was a bright cheery set of rooms in the back of the mini-mall. Cute little pixies were clomping in their tap shoes to a wood-paneled studio. Shortly after a sound system began playing “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Monica brightened visibly. There were no Stepford-wife stage-mothers in the lobby, only a normal looking woman in sweatpants reading Harry Potter.

The woman behind the desk, in a leotard and legwarmers smiled prettily at Monica, who tried to look confident.

“For both children?” asked the woman.
Monica shook her head. “No, only Sophia. Max doesn’t like dancing.”
Sophia squealed and began to bounce-up and down.
“It’s my birthday present! I’m four years old!” she cried.
Five-year-old Max looked up at his mother with a hurt expression.
“But I want to dance!” he moaned.
“What?” cried Monica in exasperation. “Since when?”
“Since always!” retorted Max.
“But this is Sophie’s birthday present, remember? You wanted to have swimming lessons!” explained Monica patiently.
Max’s face crumpled up.
“Uh-oh. Here it comes,” muttered the woman at the desk.
“BUT I DON’T WANT SWIMMING LESSONS!!!” bawled Max, rattling the plate-glass windows.

Panicking, Monica gently popped a hand over Max’s mouth and encouraged him to sob into her coat to muffle his noise. She handed the woman the form she’d printed off and filled out with a check paper-clipped to the top.
“Alright, you’re all set,” said the woman, with a sympathetic smile. She’d seen tantrums like this before, most likely.

“Does she need any equipment?” asked Monica.
“We have ballet shoes and tap shoes over here,” said the woman, motioning to a cabinet. While Sophie tried to stay still long enough to try on the ballet slippers, Monica pulled Max aside to talk to him.

“Mmmmm?” Max looked the picture of misery, his face red and blotchy from his tears as he tried to reign in the desire to scream and throw a tantrum.
“Honey, the reason I didn’t sign you up for dancing lessons is because you don’t like dancing. You never dance at home to music. Your teachers say you won’t dance in class either.”
“But I WANT to!” wailed Max again, grasping Monica’s coat for more emphasis.
“If you want dance lessons, you have to SHOW me you love dancing, Maxie. When we get home, lets try dancing to music a little, okay? In a few months we’ll see if you still want to dance.”

Max didn’t answer. He merely flopped onto the floor like a dead sea-star and refused to move.

While he lay there, Monica finished paying for new shoes and a leotard and prepared to leave.

“Do I have to wait until I’m a girl?” asked Max’s voice behind her.
Monica turned to look at her son, now upright again. She stifled a laugh. “You don’t have to be a girl. Boys can dance too. You just have to like dancing.”

“But I LIKE it!”
“Show me. Then we’ll see,” said Monica plainly. A thought suddenly occurred to her. “I’ll talk to Daddy about this,” she said.

Monica smiled to herself as the woman gave her the pink bag full of Sophie’s new things.

After trying to foster a love of dance in her son for five years with no success, she’d overlooked the power of blind envy. This might just be the carrot Max needed. She fervently hoped this was the start of something good. A man in the dancing world could go far.

“Helloooooo, free college,” said Monica to herself.


Danielle La Paglia said...

That is hilarious! I can see it all playing out so clearly. And his question made me snort Diet Coke up my nose. A girl. Too funny. Thanks for sharing, Mon!

Monica Marier said...

@Danielle Thanks! Glad you liked it. I had a hard time keeping it together too.

Angela said...


Oh yes. Blind envy for the win, every time.

FARfetched said...

Heehee… and how did it turn out? Did he dance when he got home?

The Boy was never really interested in dance class. He took karate (and I did too for a while) while Daughter Dearest did clogging.

pegjet said...

Ahh. I spent the money time and time again because I believed my first son when he insisted for the fortieth time he liked something. Course, I kept forgetting to ask him to SHOW me...Monica is ahead of the game.

This made me smile.

John Wiswell said...

Maybe the daughter will take up swimming. There are scholarships in that, too. I'll bust out for lessons if it lessens tuition!

Monica Marier said...

@Anji Thanks for stopping by!

@Farf Nope. Still can't get him to get up and grove.Clogging eh? If this takes for lil girl, we're looking into step dancing.

@Peg kids are capricious, but by watching them everyday you get a feel for some stuff

@John The playing field for scholarships are so skewed sometimes. I just hope my kid likes whatever he wants to do.

Icy Sedgwick said...

We have an all-singing all-dancing brother/sister duo in this country called Same Difference. There's a market for that kind of act!

Monica Marier said...

@Icy Don't think I haven't thought of it. We have enough performers in this family to be a bizare mix of the Partridges and the VonTrapps.

Sam Pennington said...

This really made me laugh! It's the same in our house, nothing is tempting until one has something the other doesn't.....sigh....

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Funny, funny story, Monica. I've totally been there. When he was young my son WANTED to play hockey... it costs a FORTUNE to play hockey. Eight hundred dollars worth of equipment and fees later, he spent all season at centre ice making snow angels. Eight years later, he desperately WANTS to try it again.
I'm not convinced.

Eric J. Krause said...

Too funny! Sometimes truth can be funnier than fiction, eh?

ganymeder said...

Hehehe... too funny! I can just imagine. Nothing like turning a potential tantrum into free college - eh? Now THAT's great parenting! :)

Shelli said...

Darling! As a mother, I can relate. You captured it perfectly.

Anonymous said...

excellent fun! Really enjoyed this, and with last week's twitterpolcalpse story (sic) you are on the funny roll! Much mirth for all.

Mari said...

Where's my comment? I was sure I had left one. O.o

Mon, I think the whale got hungry and ate it up, after all, it was just a post away...

Anyway, loved this story! Fave line is: “Do I have to wait until I’m a girl?” LOL LOL