An Open Letter
Just for this week, if I forget your birthday/our coffee date/my under or outerwear, please know you were warned in advance that I am suffering from Defective Dance Mom Syndrome. To add insult to injury, this seasonal affliction often triggers acute Organisational Deficit Disorder which perfectly explains my current state of mental health.
My friends, don’t be alarmed if you find me walking in circles with a dazed expression on my face, while flapping my hands as I mumble incoherently. This is entirely normal behaviour and completely understandable given that I’ll be under the influence of Extreme Sequins.
The unreasonable pressure of being expected to sew costume pieces together without sewing my children’s leotard leg holes shut has put me into a paralysing loop of denial and procrastination. I have, in fact, managed to stretch the act of starting the costume alterations for four full days now. My pre-existing condition of Sewing Impairment is a contributing factor here, I do have to admit. Also, in a valiant act of defiance, I have yet to purchase the tan paint to change my daughters’ jazz shoes from the shade of tan they already are to the almost identical tan colour they absolutely have to be (or the entire concert will be ruined.)
The scheduling demands of Dance Concert Season (like Flu Season, but on an Ebola scale) take their toll on even the most administratively talented parents. I, as you may have noticed by this stage in our friendship, am ever so slightly organisationally challenged. Just a tad.
To drive this fact home, I’ll tell you about this past Sunday morning. As I proudly drove away from the dance studio in disbelief that I had actually managed to deliver two perfectly dressed and coiffed girls to their concert rehearsals on time, my phone rang. I answered, only to discover it was the dance studio receptionist calling to tell me that Baby G was crying in the lobby. Why? Oh, nothing… just, well, it seems she didn’t have a dancing rehearsal that day at all. Oops…
Do you feel my angst as I face the next three days? I have three more days (deep breaths, Michelle, deep breaths…) of intricate schedules ahead. In the upcoming 72 hours, there are seven costumes (between two children) which all need to be sewed correctly and paired with matching accessories. Someone (Why is everyone looking at me? Do they even know me?) must be responsible for ensuring that each accessory is placed on a pre-designated spot on the arm/leg/neck (some on the right, some on the left, no margin for error) of a specific daughter.
These feats of Precision Planning and Micro Management need to be accomplished by Yours Truly, using the powers of fervent prayer, distracted meditation and the administrative capabilities of a marshmallow.
If, by force of a series of miracles or dumb luck, I do manage to complete the sequin sewing/costume amending/shoe tanning/venue arriving without entirely destroying the most expensive piece of lycra ever owned by a six year old or losing my mind, I may find myself available for conversation.
In the unlikely event I am free to chat, you do need to be prepared to act nonchalant if, mid-conversation, I suddenly dive between rows of theatre chairs and leopard crawl into the shadows.
Contrary to what you may perceive at the time, this tuck and roll manoeuvre will be indicative of outstanding mental clarity and quick reflexes on my part. You see, having experienced severe pain in previous years, this is the only way I know to avoid coming into contact with (what looks, this year, to be a highly contagious strain of) Killer Dance Momitis.
Once contracted, Killer Dance Momitis causes normal moms to become deranged, wild-eyed versions of their former selves. This virus is easy to diagnose because the symptoms are extreme and are detectable by the naked eye. Symptoms include (but are not limited to):
- brandishing of the schedules and checklists pertaining to each and every child at the dance school, yet refusing to share information;
- loudly demanding the placement of Killer Dance Child in front and centre position in all numbers, sometimes even covertly offering cash for solos;
- exaggerated facial expressions of disgust and disapproval at the sight of other parents’ sub-par attempts at hair, make-up and sequin/feather placement;
- even more exaggerated expressions of smug satisfaction at the sight of disheveled, coffee-skulling parents suffering from Defective Dance Mom Syndrome.
As I type this, I am experiencing heart palpitations and cold sweats. These are brought on by the realisation that even though I have written seven checklists (not an exaggeration) as well as itemised lists per child as well as per costume, I will forget something.
Despite reading and re-reading the seventy eight pages of detailed instructions, I have no doubt that my children’s buns will be too low/too high/supposed to be ponytails.
I am also resigned to the distinct possibility that we will arrive five minutes later than the amended time that was in the final email that I still haven’t read because I was too busy wondering why my child’s make-up kit has more in it than mine. Not to mention the fact that I am pretty sure I just saw a seven year old wearing false eyelashes (a sight I fear I will never be able to unsee).
So, my friends, if you see me this week and I am frantically speed walking, cross-eyed with a needle and cotton dangling from between my teeth like an old toothpick, blame my children who chose to dance.
Yours, in a frenzy of tulle,
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This post is the part of my first attempt to take part in BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month). It is going to be a huge challenge for me to publish a post every day of the month of November but I will give it my all. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.
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