Saturdays suck. I dread them now. Why? Because it is dance day for my T Bear. You would think this would be a run of the mill fun thing for a four year old, but oh no, my T has been making it into a horrific spectacle of tantrums, fear, and tears. I don't think I have made it through a Saturday in the past few months without crying (except the week there was no class. Thank God for spring break!).
Since my last post regarding my naughty ballerina I have ensued three more heart wrenching, patience testing, Saturdays. Here is the rundown.
T was excited to go to class. She had a play date with one of the other girls in class and we had Miss S over for dinner (no we are not THOSE parents - we have been friends with Miss S and her husband for years!). T was fine getting ready to go to class, but threw a fit when we arrived. Miss S took her in and the hysterical screams continued. She worked herself up so much that she was borderline hyperventilating. I was listening with Mad Man and some other mommies in the waiting room. Thankfully one of the other mothers was very supportive and understanding, otherwise I probably would have broken down right then. Then the door opened and I was anticipating Miss S saying that T had calmed down and everything was okay. Boy was I wrong. She said that she had told T that I could come in and watch just this once. So, I gathered Mad Man and sheepishly walked in. T needed some comfort and told me she felt like she was going to get sick - she had cried and carried on so much that she was almost to the point of vomiting. Why am I doing this to my little girl? I have to wonder. She sat near me and participated in class. I had to chase Mad Man in and out of the dressing room. I was able to witness the joy on T's face during the various exercises. She really enjoys going across the floor. I know I am biased, but she seems to have some natural talent as well. I was also able to witness first hand the positive energy in the studio. Miss S is wonderful with the little ones. She has so much patience and understanding with them - I mean dealing with the various shades of preschool behavior is quite an undertaking! T was so proud of herself for making it through class. She was almost too excited at the end if class. It was evident that she felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Again, naively, I thought we had turned a corner.
Throughout the next week she mentioned again not liking class and not wanting to go. So, I brought reinforcement in the form of my mother, aka Mima. There are times that Mima can get T to cooperate when she won't for me. They also have a very special bond. T was excited that Mima was going with us. Mima even told her that she would peak on her under the door. Once it was time for T to go in things fell apart quickly. T freaked out screaming, crying, and throwing a big fit. Mima tried to encourage her and guide her to the door, to no avail. I tried. We both tried. Miss S tried. I gave up. I tried again. I had Miss S shut the door and she told T Bear that if she wanted to come in she could. I tried just having her sit there and listen to class; she continued on and off having fits. Mima tried, the fit continued and escalated. Did I mention there were several other mothers as witnesses? Oh yeah. Good times. I lost my patience and told her we were leaving to which she threw an even bigger fit. By fit I mean screaming as loud as she can, pulling on her little lip, tears flowing, and her begging to stay. A grandmother of another little ballerina tried to intervene in such a nice calm way, which helped to calm the fit, but she still refused to go in. We must have opened the door three or four times when T said she would go in, only to have the fit start again. Finally (I'm not sure how) she decided to go in and sit by the door. Aah. She then joined in class and did a great job. I was mortified. Not only by T's behavior, but also by the insane display of parenting that went on. None of this feels like my finest moments as a parent.
Then we had a week off. Thank God!! T was excited all week about not only missing class, but returning to class. She assured me that she was going to go right in and say "Mommy I'll miss you, but I'm going to have fun". To my utter dismay that did not happen. She wanted to wait until all of the girls went in then she would go. We made it to the door, Miss S greeted her and tried to talk to her and the tears began. She said she was scared. Miss S let her put her new Minnie Mouse doll on the shelf so she could "watch". That still wasn't enough. The discussion went on for a few minutes. Then Miss S scooped her up and I shut the door. I could hear her screaming; it was heart wrenching. Of course, there was a waiting rooms of moms there so I could not break down into hysterics. I'm sure some of them are wondering what is the point of bringing this child to class week after week. They do not know the back story. They do not realize that I am starting to fear preschool in the fall. They don't know how sad T was last year at the dance show wondering when she would be on stage. Maybe they are just thankful that their daughters are not doing what T is doing. Either way it is an uncomfortable feeling, probably for all involved (even as witnesses!). After the door closed I could hear her screaming and shouting "I just need to tell Mommy something!" It was heart breaking. At one point I heard her try to open the door. Then after a few minutes I couldn't hear anymore screaming, so I peaked under the door to see my poor little T sitting on the floor by the door participating in class - just not as a part of the circle of ballerinas. She made it through class. When the door opened she was the first out. I spoke to Miss S and she said that T had a huge tantrum, which involved screaming, crying, throwing her Minnie Mouse doll TWICE, and finally with a warning of a time out if she didn't start behaving. Then class was fine the rest of the time. Ugh. All I know is that I was saturated with sweat from all of the torture that dance class has become!
There are only five classes left until the recital. God willing this will get better and she will make it through. She keeps talking about being on stage and she is extremely excited. We shall see...
I have to add that Mad Man's reaction to all of this is priceless. He usually just stares at T when she is screaming. This last time he was trying to help push her through the door. Mostly he is quite unaffected...lucky little guy.
High: Saturday only comes once a week!
Low: Listening to the screaming and really not being able to comfort T or fix the problem!