It’s a Gru World

Like so many other families, our kids have loads of activities during the week AND the weekend.  Anything from gymnastics, ballet, horse back riding, dancing and musical theatre.  As a parent, you are doing your best to support the kids by driving them around the country, making sure they attend what they’ve signed up to … or should I say what we’ve signed them up to.

Our daughter has ballet in the weekends, normally Saturday mornings, so my wife and I alternate when to drive her.

The little ballet swan has to, in order to move to the next level, take an exam – and here I’m not referring to the mental Black Swan stage.  My little princess is only 6 years old, so surely the pressure of exams and strict diets is too premature.  However, this exam is not an ordinary exam.  It determines if she can learn new steps and movements. She will also need to get a new skirt.  Big league here we come.

So, in order to prepare for the exam, extra classes have been organised for every Sunday for 6 weeks.

Sunday morning arrived sooner that anticipated and I had been chosen to bring our daughter to her ballet class.  Not much of a vote really.  My wife just pulled her dictator stunt and declared that I was the lucky winner of being the driver that morning.

And, with my luck lately, Sunday morning was the first morning in ages where we all slept in.  So, despite having to be at the ballet class for 11am, we woke up so late that we suddenly had to rush.

My daughter, who’s only 6, takes all the time in the World to get her hair done, select the right coloured clothes and matching shoes.  I’m more like go for what’s nearest, especially when in a hurry, and then a cap.  So, these two strategies totally clash when we have to get to ballet on time.   When I attempt to help with her hair, she simply rolls her eyes and walks over to her mum.  What?  I know how to do a pony tail!

Tip of the day.  Avoid wearing jeans when dropping your child off at the ballet studio.  The instructor does NOT approve of jeans.  And, to make matters worse, she doesn’t really like to have dads entering the studio either, as it is a girls only class!  How am I supposed to drop off my girl?

For those noveaux dads out there much like myself, who have only just been introduced to the World of ballet, pony tails are not standard hairdos for upcoming ballet stars.  The look of anger you get from the teacher, probably because the pony tail looked like a squirrel’s tail, is something any dad should fear.

While the little ballerinas were tiptoeing around to classical music, I went across the street to get a double expresso and a tabloid newspaper.  10 minutes later I was back at the studio, staring at a few other dads, who in turn were glazing aimlessly at the brick-wall.  The amount of freebie / over-the-shoulder newspaper readers that suddenly gathered around me was amazing – like bees around Danish pastry.

The majority of adults at the dance centre were yummy mummies, all in their designer gear and attempting to look like a million.  It even looked like a few of them had been to a Botox party the night before – all stretched skin and over-sized lips. It’s a strange phenomenon.

Every time they saw a dad enter the parent waiting area (a bunch of sofas against the wall), they all went “aaaaaahhhh” and smiled kindly, tilting their heads slightly.  I guess they thought it was adorable to see that dads actually take interest in their own kids’ activities.

I bet they didn’t find it cute that I hadn’t showered for 3 days, as I squeezed down beside two spaghetti sized women who were sharing an armchair.  It must have been the longest 30 minutes in their lives.

Suddenly the doors to the dance studio was opened and kids came running out, only to be stopped abruptly as the instructor yelled to them to return to the studio.  All parents were called in too.

Each parent was given exact instructions as to what to buy for the exam: new skirt, stockings, shoes, hair clips, etc.  And, she also informed each parent, with extra eye contact for each dad, that we had to arrive 1 hour BEFORE the exam, so we could do their clothes and hair correctly.

She must have seen the horror in my eyes as she mentioned doing the hair since she quickly added that she would be there to do the hair on each child.  The relief ran through the studio as wild fire and all dads relaxed.

The special ballet practice class was over and each yummy mummy went to their over-sized SUV and went home.

See you all next Sunday!

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