Today was a long day. After getting in late with a tired Ballerina, I washed her tights and leotard by hand in the sink and climbed into bed. I spent the first half of the morning volunteering in my daughter’s dressing room. There were 20-25 girls with costume changes, hair style changes, make-up retouches……lost shoes, lost head bands….she’s wearing so and so’s leotard. And then, there was the talking. Trying to keep this many girls quite backstage was a challenge, to say the least. The morning lagged on, but finally the first performance of the day was over and we took our little Ballerina out for lunch. She only had an 1 1/2 hrs in-between her shows.
The husband and I had both been volunteering and looking forward to a relaxing and romantic date night during her 3rd performance. (There were four performances. We went to the opening night/Volunteered on the second day/going to the finale, tomorrow (Sunday).) We dropped Kay off for her 3rd performance and the Husband and I walked down to a pub on the water overlooking a marina. These kind of moments are rare. Even though our kids are old enough for us to go out on dates without a sitter (our oldest will be 14 this summer), we rarely do so because we are spending our time together as a family. These moments are so special. We requested a table along the pier and ordered a drink and some delicious food. As we waited for the food, my phone rang with an unknown number. I hesitated, which was obviously foreshadowing. I answered. . .A very sweet, yet frantic sounding woman stated that I was supposed to be volunteering (now) in the little girls room at the theater. I explained that there was a mix up and I volunteered this morning….I could hear the disappointment and worry in her voice. . .So, I told her that I’d be right there. I looked at the husband and explained that our date night was over. My french onion soup came quickly and I tried to savor it as I slurped it down. All I could think of was, the little girls room??? Thank goodness I’m getting to have a glass of wine. My gut told me I was going to need it.
The husband walked me back to the theater and I arrived 10 mins before the curtain went up. I walked into my room which had 10-15 4-6 yr olds and another 10-15 6-8 yr olds. All the “little bits”, as I lovingly refer to them quickly became my BFF’s. They. Were. Adorable. Adorned in blue sequins and fluffy stiff tutus, they were a sight in all their glitter and ruby-red lips. I lined them up to take them to the stage and announced, “You all look like BEAUTIFUL Ballerinas!” One little girl with the cutest round face exclaimed, “We ARE Ballerinas!!!” I laughed and replied, “You are so very right!”
Their cuteness made my night easy, until life started to happen. After dancing, one little girl came up to me and asked for her Mom. I explained that she was out in the audience and that she would be back here very soon to see her. She looked sad…I said, “I’m a Mom! I can be your temporary Mom!” She looked at me with a sweet smile and said, “Will you hold me?” “Of course”, I replied.
That started the domino effect. I then held and rocked a couple of girls and laid one down to sleep. Then, I stopped three from climbing out a window, wiped tears, iced a smushed hand, found myself saying odd things like, “Put your foot on the floor, they are not meant to wave out a window!” ,”Please do not stand on her…”, “No, I can’t make you popcorn”, and my favorite, ” No, I didn’t know your dog pooped green stuff.”
The highlight was a little girl with a wiggly tooth. She came up to me and showed me how it was coming out. It was literally holding on by a thread. She stood inches from my face, pushing it in…and out….in….and out….side…to…..side….blood was running out of her mouth (lovely) from the self-torture. Finally I couldn’t look at it any longer and went to my purse for a tissue. I asked her if she wanted it out and she said, “YES!” So, I gave her the tissue and explained how to grab it and just one quick pull and it would be out. She did it and stood in awe. It was only her second tooth lost. After showing all the girls, I wrapped it up and kept it for her parents in my pocket.
Just as I thought the evening was winding down. One of the little ones had to use the restroom. I offered to take her downstairs to the dancers bathroom. We get down to the door and I told her I’d wait right outside for her. Within seconds, she comes bursting out of the door and all I hear is water….like a fountain or waterfall, or Niagara Falls…Water is rushing towards me and I learned that I can really book it in a skirt. I tell the little one to run back up to the room. She yells back, “But I still have to go!!! I didn’t even get to GO!!!” I tell her to go and I’ll help her in a minute. I run down the hall to find SOMEONE to help.Quietly, of course, because I am directly behind the stage. After running back and forth, I find help, water is shut off and an entire bathroom and hallway are flooded. The toilet had water spraying out of the top…not overflowing, but spraying out of the top!? Of course it did. Because, I was there and it happened on my watch. This is my life.
At the end of the night, after all girls were safely with parents and the floor was being mopped, I went through and picked up all the trash in the room while my daughter gathered her things. It’s now getting close to 9pm and we are both exhausted. I take the large bag of trash up to the front and asks a young woman where it needed to go. She looked at me, then the bag with discontent and said, “Most of that isn’t trash…it’s recycling. You have to separate it!” My left eye began to twitch. Trash was not part of my job, I just did it because I am a Mom, and that’s what I do. I pick up after children….it’s a habit that apparently I need to break. I wanted to keep my eyes locked with hers and slowly push the bag down into the large trashcan beside me, but I couldn’t. I was too tired to be, “that woman.”
So, I slowly opened the clear trash bag and sorted water bottles from wrappers and 15 mins later I was able to wash my hands and leave.
Once we arrived home, I washed tights and a leotard once again and climbed into bed. Tomorrow, we do it all again.