Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let Them Dance

Dance has always been a staple of our family. When the girls were babies and I was only working afternoons, we would spend a good chunk of every morning dancing round and round their room. Sometimes, it was just Grace and I. Sometimes, just Claire and I. Often, all three of us. When Scott would get home, the four of us would sway and twirl and dip until our heart's content. 

When the girls were two-ish and they heard the theme song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog) they would let loose, bouncing and shaking and spinning. 

And now, we have pretty regular dance parties. We crank up the music and dance till we are all laying on the floor, catching our breath. 

So, last fall after we went to my niece's dance recital, the girls were begging to take dance class. We had to wait until they turned four (and the new session began), and tonight was their first class. 

Grace was to-the-moon-and-back excited about it. She couldn't stop squealing when she realized that it was the big day. 

Claire, on the other hand, was apprehensive. She asked several questions about where Grace was going to be, where Scott and I were going to be, who the teachers were going to be. On the drive over, after Grace once again exclaimed her excitement, Claire said "I'm not. I'm nervous." 

We talked about how it's OK to be nervous, but we just try to be brave. We walked through who would be where and how when I was four, I went to the same building and danced in the same room and that she could be brave just like Mommy. 

To avoid distractions, parents aren't allowed to watch, but I could hear everything. I was nervous for her -- was she feeling apprehensive still? Or loving it? Then I heard the teacher say "Are you girls twins?" They said "Yes!" and she teased, "No! I don't believe it!" Then giggles, lots of giggles. 

After the class, they both came running out, beaming with pride and joy. Claire ran right to me and said "Mom, I loved it!!" 

Tears sprang to my eyes. I was so proud of my nervous little girl who braved the unfamiliar and was pleasantly surprised. 

Grace, of course, also had sooo much fun. And they both can't wait to go back next week. 

Sometimes their milestones are bittersweet - a mix of joy for their accomplishments and nostalgia for the passing time. But this one wasn't. Watching them climb this mountain was so, so sweet. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Taking Nominations for Parent of the Year

The flu hit our family last week. It started with Grace, then Claire a day or so later. Then I got it almost immediately after Claire. The jury is still out on Scott, but with how fast and furious this thing seems to be spreading, I'd be surprised if he makes it out untouched. 

When it hit Grace, she was more than happy to take the Tylenol I was offering. Sometimes I had to bribe her with a chaser of pop, but most of the time, she was eager to take the meds. 

Claire, on the other hand, refused it every single time. Despite all of my efforts to convince her that she wouldn't feel nearly as bad if she just took it, she was adamant. She did not want, under any circumstances, to swallow that medicine. I even tried my best Mary Poppins impersonation. She wasn't going for it. 

This kiddo has never liked pop, so I knew that bribe was out. We didn't have any candy, cookies or donuts in the house, so my options were limited. 

Then it came to me. 

"Claire, if you drink this medicine for me, I'll give you money to put in your piggy bank." 

After approximately four seconds, she agreed to my terms. 

I just convinced my kid to take some much-needed medicine by bribing her with fiscal responsibility. Now, that's what I call a win-win.