Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How Ballerinas Are Made

As an expecting dad hearing you are having a daughter triggers many thoughts and assumptions. You assume it's a girl means dolls, dresses, tea parties, all the pink things, hair accessories, one-position potty training, toilet paper shortages, confronting hormonal teenage suitors, and some frequent, unpredictable, and indecipherable drama.

How hard can that be? Between my quick-on-think-feet-thinking and unflappable resolve (Note: neither of these are true.), and million of years of feminine instinct already programed into her, this little princess will just raise herself!

That is of course until mom is out of town and you have to take her to her first ballet class.

Apparently, they are NOT pre-wired to know how to assemble the ballerina uniform of leotard and tight leg thingys. At least not when they are only three.

Removing the assorted nylons and lycra from their wrappings, I realize I have zero idea how this all works. I've carefully planned an executed a tight window of school pickup, dinner, and car loading before dance class, and we are on schedule up to this point. With minutes to spare to get out the door and avoid the cardinal sin of showing up late the first time, I try to keep my cool. Like wild grizzlies, kids can sense fear and exploit if for their own gain. She's looking at me now, with her little judging eyes. Let's see where this goes...I can sense her thinking to herself.

I lay the outfit out on the table, trying to visualize it's final outcome like the pieces of an Ikea end table.


The ticking of the kitchen clock penetrates the silence - a subtle voice mocking me. It might have even yelled YOU"RE GOING TO BE LATE AND THE OTHER MOMS WILL LAUGH AND JUDGE YOU FOREVER, but it may have just been my imagination.

An idea hits me, one that's saved me many a time before. Where do to you go when you need honest, judgment-free answers ASAP? Why the internet, of course! As I start to type the search words prompt another thought; Sure you want to Google "little girls' and leotards" there Dad? May not turn out how you want.

I don't want to even imagine what may have resulted from that search. Wanting to avoid an inadvertent appearance on To Catch a Predator, I put the phone down.

But now officially desperate, I do what desperate people do. I emailed mom.

Can you please tell me how to assemble this leotard outfit? Does the top snap over the tights (in the crotch) or do the tights pull on over the top? Please advise.

That was my actual email. The wife's response was also helpful, but included "laughing out loud" which, was not.

After another brief mental algebra bout of underwear versus no underwear, I managed to get the whole ensemble together. I think. (I kept the underwear on.) (Also, leotards don't have snaps. This is helpful to know when putting the outfit together.)


Dad, I need to go potty...


*****Coming soon from A Man Called Dad: Adventures from the Dance Studio Waiting Room, featuring the Hooter's Waitress!