Yes, inside the bling-wearing, f-bomb-dropping, makeup-stealing piece of work is a little kid who is timid in front of other people. It's true.
Last fall, we signed her up for her first ballet class. I bought her a little black leotard, pink tights and shoes that we had to go to a special store for because her feet are so tiny.
All decked out with her hair pulled back into a proper bun, we approached the classroom door on the first day. She walked in ahead of me and her dance teacher turned me away. "Sorry, parents wait outside."
What??? I wish I'd have known that before I signed her up. But the veteran moms assured me...it's OK.
An hour later she came out. I asked her what she'd learned. She said "I don't know."
Weeks went by...I didn't see a single dance move. One time, in an effort to get her to show me anything at all I pointed my toe and said "this is a toe point." Clearly, I never took dance.
"NO," she said, kind of disgusted with me. "That is tondu."
Well then... I YouTubed it. She was right. It was tondu. I stood corrected.
Then the last class of the session came. It was "parents class" when the moms and dads are allowed to watch. We were so excited because we'd finally get to see what our $150 got us. There we sat, I with the camera, her daddy with the camcorder and a huge smile on his face.
The class started their warm up. She turned around, saw our gear and started to cry. Full-on bawling that only stopped when she sat with us...no more dancing. Here we are that day before she realized what she was getting in to.
Fast forward to the next session's parents class. My husband and I agreed that only I'd go (he's good like that sometimes), she'd never dance with him there. This time I bribed her with some dolls that we bought the night before. We gave them names and she could only have them if she danced.
She didn't even make it through the warm up, she cried harder this time. And I was MAD. So mad I didn't even let her sit with me. She didn't have to dance, but I made her stand three feet in front of me. I'm sure the other moms thought I was a monster. And the dolls were packed away until Christmas.
We missed the next parents class (which we knew was a blessing).
So today. Parents class #4. I said to her "If you let me watch you in class on Saturday we can do something special. What do you want to do?"
"Nail polish." Then nail polish it is!
She picked out her hot pink outfit and I let her wear lip gloss.
I gave her a tiny little pep talk before we walked in and I took a seat. She made it through the warm up. And then there were tears.
Oh yeah, they were mine (but I made them stop within a couple of seconds and didn't make a fool of myself). She did it and I was so unbelievably proud of her. And I'm a big dork.
So I sat there, with my camera on video mode on my lap like I was shooting undercover for Dateline. I didn't get a single good shot because I was trying to be stealth. I only took pictures of the back of her because I surely wasn't going to ask her to smile and risk screwing up this breakthrough.
On several occasions, I looked away so she didn't think I was watching her. There were a lot of thumbs-ups, I mouthed the word "awesome" 10 times and every time I smiled at her, I got all weepy and had to take deep breaths...like a dork.
So she's not a natural showman yet, but she easily scored a grape slushee on the ride home and she's totally getting a mani AND a pedi.