Friday, April 4, 2008

A Vote of Confidence

Well, maybe I'm doing something right...  a few nights ago we headed out to Princess #1's ballet class.  Normally it's a very busy day and we usually arrive exhausted, flustered and a few minutes late.  Sometimes (most of the time) my husband is able to come with me which helps with the child wrangling, but every once in awhile he has to work and I have to haul all 3 by myself.  Then I have the fun job of occupying the younger two while #1 is in class.  This is no small feat.  The ballet studio is in a strip mall and the waiting area is very very small - only room for about 4 to 5 adults to sit comfortably.  In addition the waiting area is open to the main studio where usually a breakdancing class or private lesson is taking place.  The shiny, expansive dance floor proves to be too much temptation for my newest walker and I spend most of the hour trying to keep her off of it most days.  And to top it off, the 4 year old daughter of one of the dance instructors thinks she owns the place and has a serious problem with understanding the meaning of "personal space".  Perhaps my own hang-ups, but annoying nonetheless.

So, at the most recent class, husband and I were sitting in the waiting area, doing the usual child wrangling, personal space blocking and adult small talk with the other parents.  The father of a little girl in #1's class was talking to us about our family and asking the typical questions of someone who has just met us (it was his first time to accompany his wife to ballet): how many kids we have, how old, all girls, going to try for that boy, etc. etc. etc.  The topic turned to ages, and we were asked how old we were, which as of yet I haven't figured out a good way to get out of just answering honestly.  At our response my husband and I were both pronounced as "SO YOUNG" - which is good I guess.  At least they didn't look at us like we had one foot in the grave already.  As we were answering I jumped up to prevent Princess #3 from joining in on the private lesson in session on the main dance floor.  At that point the man's wife, who has been to every class and has seen my child wrangling on a weekly basis, made the comment that she was SO impressed with how I handled my kids.  Saying something about how at my age she didn't even HAVE kids yet and wasn't sure she would have been ready for them  (Let me point out right now that I'm not 17 or something ridiculous like that and many people my age DO successfully raise children, so I don't really consider myself to be an exception or anything.  But anyway, I digress...).  She continued on about how patient I was with them to which I mumbled some lame response about how she must have just caught me on a good day, blah blah blah.  But honestly, inside I thought to myself: did she REALLY just catch me on a good day, or am I really maybe just a better parent than I give myself credit for 95% of the time?  Oh I know I have my bad moments, more than I'd like to admit.  I lose my patience, I yell more than I'd like to, I don't engage in frivolous play as often as I should.  And yet, maybe, just maybe I AM doing something right...  I'm beginning to think that maybe I should be a little easier on myself.  Maybe it's time I start cutting myself some slack.


  1. Beautifully written T! You are certainly a wonderful parent and full of patience and kindness!

  2. I know you need to cut yourself some slack, you are a great parent, espeically in this day on let your child rule mentality. ;)

    And what is it with these types of places and the owner/instructors kids, our gymnastics place in Bend was like that, the owners kids were always right on top of us, and went so far as to steal snack out of our bags!

    And I hope someday you too get your vacation! :wub:


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