Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Little Ballerina

Emma Rose has ballet every Monday. She's been having some issues with going in to the class and staying by herself. For the first 4 classes, I had to stay in the room with her. Last Monday was her first day staying by herself. It was forced. I know being a mommy is all about creating little people who grow into independent adults, and I know that takes a lot of hard work on the part of parents. I had no idea how many times my heart would break and ache as I helped my babies on their journey to independence.

Last Monday was one of the toughest days for both me and Emma Rose. Staying by herself started with me telling her she was going to ballet by herself with a milkshake reward after ballet. She cried for about 15 minutes before we got in the car, for the entire 35 minute ride to ballet, for the 15 minutes before the class, and most of the 45 minute class. She tried desperately to get out of the class and back to me. Through the door, I could hear her calling, "Mommy! I want my Mommy!" I held back tears so that I wouldn't totally scare Anabelle and so that I could I could put on a happy, 'you-can-do-it' face for Emma Rose. The good news is there was an assistant in the classroom who lovingly consoled her and helped her to participate.

Today was a lot better! Emma Rose cried for about 10 minutes before we left and mercifully fell asleep on the way there. She did cry when we arrived, but that was brief, too. When I put on her ballet slippers, she threw herself in the floor (it was very dramatic) and cried. I told her she is my big, brave girl, but she insisted she was not. I took her in the class room, handed her off to her teacher and left. Her teacher is wonderful and very understanding. Emma Rose stopped crying much sooner this time, then started quietly watching her classmates. Ms. Heather, her teacher, has made name cards for the floor, so the students can stand in the appropriate place. They are arranged in a traditional class room format facing the teacher. When Emma Rose was ready to participate, she collected her name card and moved it to the front of the classroom beside her teacher so that she could look at the rest of the class. She sat for a while and also wandered around the classroom. At one point, a little girl came out to go potty. Emma Rose saw me, and expecting her to make a break for freedom, I gave her the thumbs up sign. She just looked at me and smiled!

When it was time to change from her ballet slippers into her tap shoes, I again expected a flood of tears. She happily walked out with the rest of the girls and declared, "I can go back aaalllll by myself. I'M a big sister. And IIII get a milkshake." She did get a strawberry milkshake on the way home. Hooray for Emma Rose!

In Anabelle news, she is now saying "baby." We also think she might have said "tree" a couple of times, too. Her favorite word is still "cat." Today, I finally got her to use the sing for more. Emma Rose was sharing her milkshake with Anabelle, and that reward was just what she needed to make the sign!

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