Lucy had her first dance class yesterday. She was SO EXCITED. Truthfully? So was I.

Ready for her first dance class.

I’ve been working hard to keep up with Kindermusik and (at least try to) enroll! enroll! enroll! despite my pending due date, nearly unnavigable belly and doctors advice to stop, mainly so I can afford to keep my girls in activities like this.

It had been suggested to me that I shouldn’t worry so much, that I should just take it easy. Lucy wouldn’t know the difference if I put her in class or not. “She’s only two,” people have told me.

And I have said, “ARE YOU KIDDING?” This child has been begging to follow a leotard-clad Julia into the studio for at least a year. She’s been playing “ballerina” in the mirrors in her playroom alongside her big sister since she could stand. She wants to take dance class. It means so much to both of my girls. And I won’t lie – it means something to me, too.

Arabesque...kind of.

Lucy wore Julia’s old ballet shoes for class. There was a time when this would have bugged me, because, from my “only child” perspective, I was convinced that Lucy deserved her own shoes. But, as the girls have grown and I’ve witnessed the bond of sisterhood, I now realize, wearing Julia’s shoes made it even more special for Lucy. There’s no one she’d rather be like. And though this may not always be the case, it is right now. So, I’m going with it. It’s sweet and it saves me $15.

Let's go to dance class!

Lucy dove right into class, jumping, twirling, bouncing and smiling. She reminded me so much of Julia that I had to go back and read what I wrote on Julia’s first day of dance:

Julia wasn’t hard to find. She was the bouncy one. The one that, when the teacher walked around helping the kids get into their positions, walked after her, straightening arms and adjusting feet, too. The one that had to run out into the waiting room about fifteen minutes into the class to declare, “Mommy! I’m doing it! I’m doing ballet!”

The difference? While Julia jumped in to assist the teacher, Lucy actually told the teacher that she’d like to teach the class and proceeded to shout out instructions while the girls played with a parachute.

Little ballerina

Julia sat on the sidelines with me, fighting the urge – and my death grip that was holding her back – to join in, watching her sister.

“Lucy’s really cute, Mom. I can’t believe she’s so big now,” she told me. I could tell she was proud. I wished I’d taken some photos or videos the night before when Julia showed Lucy how to plie after bathtime. But I was stuck sitting on the floor until Dave made it upstairs to help me up and they were naked, so it would have been weird anyway.

Dancing girl

When class was over, we came home and celebrated with popsicles. Julia toasted her sister saying, “Now, we’re both ballerinas!” and they clinked their frozen treats together like champagne glasses.

Ah, to be the mother of little girls!

Julia's First Day of First Grade

I’m not sure you know
how incredible she is
this girl in your class

passionate and smart
brilliant and hilarious
so eager to please

you’ve done nothing yet
she respects you already
you are the teacher

So, please, take good care
not just of her head, but her
heart and her spirit

she will look to you
for answers, validation
make her feel valued

even when you feel
underappreciated,
tired, underpaid

and she’s annoying,
talking and not listening,
or picking her nose

even if my child
is the dark spot in your day
she’s the light of mine

So, please, dear teacher
won’t you remember, you’ve got
my world in your class

Showcasing your child’s work in your home sends a powerful and positive message. It tells her that what she does is valuable to you, that she is smart or creative and that a job done well is something to be proud of. So what do you do when you run out of space on the fridge? Hang a clothesline! You can place it flat against the wall or across a room. Since it isn’t permanent, you can try different locations around the house. The clothespins make it easy to rotate school and art work without damaging them with a hole or tape. You can even have your child personalize the clothespins to make it extra-special, like we did.

Name Pegs

Here’s what you’ll need:

Name Pegs Supplies

Supplies:

  • string
  • clothespins (one for each letter in your child’s name)
  • art supplies

Directions:

  1. Decorate your clothespins. We used paint, because that’s what my kids like best, but you could also use markers, stickers, paper and glue or whatever you have on hand.
  2. Name Pegs 1

    • Tip: I fastened the clothespins around the edge of a paper plate and balanced them on top of a cup so the kids could decorate both sides at the same time (and without painting the clothespins closed).

    Name Pegs 2

  3. Attach a letter to each clothespin to spell out your child’s name. We used pre-cut foam sticker letters, but you can easily cut out your own letters from the supplies you have and glue them on.
  4. Name Pegs 3

  5. Hang your clothesline and display your child’s work.
  6. Name Pegs 4

The way you choose which pieces to display is up to you. You can choose them or ask your child which ones should go up on the line. You may be surprised at the things that make her the most proud!

How do you display your child’s work?

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.

The Truth Revealed

by Leslie

It turns out Lucy did not cut her hair. And Julia’s conscience can only handle about seven hours of deceit.

Her confession came amid a flood of tears, which isn’t nearly as shocking as the fact that Lucy – at 28 months old – never gave her sister up. I questioned her all day about her hair. She was adamant that she did nothing to it, but she never ratted Julia out. The kid was as cool as a popsicle.

I’m not sure what to think of this.

Should I be impressed? Proud? Maybe a little scared?

Here is Lucy just a few days ago.

Beautiful bangs!

This is Lucy today.

NO BANGS!

And this is what she had to say about where her bangs went.


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