Claire had her Spring ballet recital yesterday. Six months after the first one, we have made some big improvements, though our youngest little dancer in the class may still have a ways to go in recital readiness.
On the improvement front, she wore a tutu! And showed us, once again, the only ballet move we know she knows.
But she is still highly skeptical of the tutu and only kept hers on for the 2 minute it took to snap the pictures above.
At one point I found myself saying, "but Claire, all your friends are wearing them, don't you want to wear one too?!" As she shook her head and looked at me like they (and I) were all crazy, I realized, I'm using peer pressure on my 2-year-old daughter and she is resisting it. I am proud of her, less proud of me, and the tutu went back in the teacher's bag.
When it was time for the recital to begin, my cheerful, exuberant child who yells HELLO! to complete strangers in the grocery store turned into a bashful little flower. After some convincing, and much mentioning of snow cones, she made it on the stage. But we still think that 10 minute recitals in front of a small group of besotted parents, that we've been excited about for weeks, that we're being bribed with treats to endure are SO HAAAAARRRDD.
But still, on the stage = victory.
About a dozen times during the short performance, Claire ran off the stage to throw herself at me (a pregnant me who was on the floor trying to balance a D90 and video camera to capture the preshus memories of ballet recital magic for a daddy who couldn't leave the pool) and yell "I LOVE YOU MOMMY!" over the sound of the music. My videography suffered, but it was adorable.
I did manage to capture a ballet move! On stage!
Soon after this she left the stage again to ask me about the snow cones I promised after the dance, attempting to negotiate down the number of songs and poems that were left. By the time she got back up on the stage the music was done and she looked so sad, exclaiming, "but I didn't get to do it!". The other parents laughed politely.
At the end, she took her bow and then launched herself off the stage and into my arms, yelling, "Mommy, I did GREAT!".
And then we got snow cones.
I had taken the rest of the afternoon off, since the recital wasn't going to be over until 4, so I got to spend a more relaxed evening at home with the kids. I got out the water table and listened to splashes and giggles while I uploaded pictures inside the house. They moved to the front yard while I worked on dinner and once everything was simmering, I came out to join a fast-paced and confusing game of tag-soccer-gymnastics-baseball.
There weren't any rules at all, that I could tell, but everyone was having fun.
Fresh from her ballet success, Claire was at the top of her game.
And I deeply enjoyed getting to lay on the grass, holding a camera I hadn't even charged in 3 months, trying to capture their fun.
I adore that last out of focus picture I think I snapped while rolling onto my back. Adore. But just to show it wasn't all sunlight and giggle filled, right after the kids came back inside Claire threw up red snow cone all over the kitchen. I typed much of this last night, one handed, with a sick little bear wrapped in a towel snuggled against my side on the couch. That saga continues, but for now, let's just focus on the ballet.