Phoebe, the big one, loves to dance around. She’s always dancing. When music comes on the car, she demands we dance. When we’re in the grocery store and she can hear the store radio, she tells me it’s time to dance. There’s never not dancing in our house. So, it made perfect sense to me to enroll Phoebe into toddler dance class.
I knew it wouldn’t be a hard sell to get her to want to go to dance class. She’s happy to go anyplace. When we tell Phoebe we’re going somewhere she’s always excited.
“Phoebe, let’s go to the library!”
“Phoebe, let’s go to the doctor!”
“Phoebe, let’s go club some baby seals!”
When I told her she was going to have dance class, or “go to dancing school,” as she likes to put it, she was understandably stoked. She danced around the kitchen like a manic little fairy. Unfortunately, the prancing about also involved spinning like a ballerina and she slipped while twirling and landed on her face.
Once her fat lip healed, we procured the necessary dancing ballet slippers, tap shoes, leotards, and tights. She was bursting with excitement. She begged to be allowed to tap dance around the house in her leotard, and we were more than happy to oblige. Her tap dancing style is enthusiastic, to say the least.
The day of dance class finally arrived. We dressed her into her adorable little dance leotard and pretty pink tights and drove to dance class. In the waiting room a hoard of pink-clad little pixies with pigtails and french braids grew in number. It was upsettingly cute. When class was ready to start, the teacher told all the little 3 and 4 year olds to line up against a wall when their name was called to walk to the dance room together.
That’s when with dawning horror the realization hit me: She’s a wolfchild.
She doesn’t listen. She doesn’t take direction. She doesn’t do what she’s told. She does whatever she wants, whenever she wants, regardless of what you say. It’s not that she doesn’t understand your instructions, because she does. She’s quite bright and understand exactly what you want her to do. She just does not care. This is why I call her wolfchild. She’s a little untamed beast.
Dance class was no different. In the few instances I peeked into the dance class I witnessed the true wolfiness manifesting within Phoebe. The teacher had the little girls stand in a circle and do “I’m a Little Teapot.” Phoebe the wolfchild ran around the room. The girls all took turns hopping like frogs across the floor. Phoebe the wolfchild hopped by herself in the corner. All the girls stamped their feet like they were making wine. Phoebe the wolfchild scooted on her butt in front of the mirror.
After class I immediately went up to the teacher to apologize. I know she’s an awful listener. I know she’s probably going to disrupt the class when the other girls are trying to listen. I know the teacher probably wanted to throw a shoe at her, like I want to do half the time. The lovely dance teacher assured me there was nothing to apologize for, that as long as she is in the dance room and not crying it is a success. I suppose when you’re dealing with little girls who are barely out of diapers (or, in my stubborn wolfchild’s case, still in diapers) not devolving into tears and staying in the same room with the teacher is a win.
We have class again next week. Between now and then I’m trying to drill into Phoebe’s head that she needs to do what the teacher tells her and listen to instructions. As usual, she ignores me while tap dancing across the kitchen.