Sunday, June 11, 2006

Is There Anything Worse?

Is there anything worse than being a 28 year old mother of three who is constantly being treated like a child? Ok, there probably is, but today, that is the worst possible thing that could, and did, happen!
I made a mistake, I'll be the first to admit. I was the one who "mistakenly" missed three of my daughter's dance classes in a row. And right before the recital that is a huge NO NO! Things get a little hectic and I lose track of time. I don't have my husband here every day asking me what the kids are up to, keeping me on task. Also, I still can't find my calendar since we've moved. I should really just break down and get to the dollar store and buy a new one. But I like MY calendar! Without it, I'm lost.
So after missing our 3rd class in a row last Monday because I spaced and my son had t-ball at the same time, I called her dance teacher. I asked if there was time we could come in so Louisa could practice her routine. I know she's not ready. She knows she's not ready, and the recital is the 16th of this month! There are no practices left, only rehearsals. She is expected to know the dance by rehearsal time. When the teacher asked if we could come in on Saturday, I was all for it! Yes, no problem, we'll be there! I KNOW the teacher said 10-11. There is no question in my mind she said "Saturday 10-11". I even wrote it down immediately after hanging up.
It's Saturday, 10:00 a.m. sharp and we're there! Doors are locked. Ok, maybe she's late. I had to drop off library books, library is right next door, we'll do that and come back. 10:05 a.m., doors are locked. Ok, she's a little late. That's fine. I parked and we sat. I gave myself a time limit. We'll sit until 10:15.
10:15, still no dance teacher. I, of course, forgot my cell phone, so we go mail a box to daddy and go home. I figured I should call just in case. By now it's 10:40 a.m. The dance teacher is there when I call and not very happy. We were supposed to be there at 10:30! What??!! 10:30? No! I wrote down "Louisa dance, Saturday 10-11" right after talking to her teacher the other day. I know it! You know how you just know something and someone else keeps telling you you're wrong? You feel like crap!
So we hop in the car, fly down there in 5 minutes flat. Meanwhile, the boys still haven't had breakfast. Luckily they're not complaining.
The dance studio is one of those that you see in the movies. Old building in downtown, you have to climb a lot of stairs to get up there. Hardwood floors, mirrors everywhere, several levels of barres for different sized girls. The teacher and another girl who apparently missed some classes are hard at work. Louisa gets her ballet slippers on and jumps right in. The boys and I have a seat and wait. I can never watch her. I get too critical of every little mistake she makes. So I sit and play with the boys and let her do her thing. At 11:20 the teacher is done with us, but has several other girls waiting to practice their parts.
With lots of girls and parents standing around, the teacher comes up to me and asks if we can come in on Monday also. Louisa needs a lot of work on the ending. I said yes, we'd be happy to. This is what I get, and how I am often treated by people both older and the same age as me:

Teacher: Can you come on Monday at 4:00?
Me: Yes, we'd be happy to.
Teacher: Can you remember to come in at 4:00?
Me: Yes, I can.
Teacher: Do you need me to write it down for you? Because we can't have another mix up.
Me: (face turning bright red, parents staring) No, I'll remember.
Teacher: Are you sure? You have to be here at 4:00. You can remember that?
Me: (mumble mumble) Yes...
Teacher: Ok, I really need Louisa here at 4:00. I can't get here earlier than that. Are you sure you don't need me to write it down? I really need her here at 4:00.
Me: I'm fine, thanks...

So I grab the kids, run out of the room trying desparately not to cry in front of everyone. Run down to the car, get the kids in and turn up the radio as loud as I can. Her voice echoing in my head, I need her here at 4:00, I need her here at 4:00...
In front of my kids, I'm reduced to a quivering pool of self-loathing. Hating myself for missing those three practices, hating myself for making a mistake or misunderstanding or whatever it is I did that made us late for this special practice, and mostly hating myself for letting someone treat me like I... well... like I treat my kids!!!


SusanB said...

Bless your heart!
(How'd the recital go, btw?)

Chaos Mommy said...

The recital was last night (June 16th) and went beautifully! If you ignore how painfully HOT it was in the auditorium and that it started almost 40 minutes late! Try keeping a 10 month old and two 5 year olds calm for 40 minutes in the sweltering heat!!!
Louisa was fabulous, though, so it was worth all the suffering!