Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Day of Firsts

Today was Claire's first day of tap & ballet lessons. And let's face it, this is all about me, right? I took tap from age 4 to age 8 and I have some pretty strong memories from those classes and recitals, so as I dressed her in a black leotard and tap shoes and then later watched her walk into the room with all the other girls I felt highly sentimental. The lump in my throat proved it. Some other mom leaned over and said "awww, this is too cute for words" and I thought I would burst out crying (which surely would have caught the attention of all the other chatting and unsentimental moms) but I kept it under control. Barely.

And then, Claire proved me wrong. It's not all about me. She tentatively and shyly took her place on an "X" on the dance floor (and tentative and shy aren't words normally applied to Claire), and I had the joy of watching her face light up like I've never seen when she found her best friend from summer camp in her very same class: Lauren. Ah, Lauren. Lauren was in the fanciest white leotard and huge white tutu and tights and looked downright dreamy. Those two girls hugged like crazy and Claire was all smiles and excitement from that moment forward. The parents enjoy a view from benches outside the dance room through windows into the room, so I kept my eyes glued to the absolutely hysterical movements of these little 3-year-olds in the room. Coordination? Nope. Cute as anything? Yep. OK, yessss, so it's still just a little about me too.

I did unglue my eyes for a few moments to finally meet Lauren's mom (which we never did at summer camp) and she seems like a neat lady, who lives amazingly close, so we traded numbers and we have a playdate in our future. I'm not a big playdate type, but I know how much Claire loves Lauren so we will definitely make the effort. I had kicked myself for never seeking out Lauren's mom during camp days to discuss a possible playdate so this was pure luck that our paths crossed again. I wasn't going to let the opportunity slip again.

Claire and I had a mother/daughter lunch afterwards and then we joined Kyle and the twins at home. I then packed up the kids to go look at .... gulp .... a minivan .... while Kyle did some work, so I had to keep the twins in the carseats and the A/C running while the car salesman brought over a couple vans for me to view. He was very accommodating. I wasn't able to test drive, but I found a great configuration for three carseats which might be far more practical than my 3-across in the Volvo. Not to mention the minivan would be easier on our budget. I can't believe I might become the suburban mom with the minivan. I swore I'd never be her. And here I am, almost.

I rushed the kids home for our first nanny interview. The girl seems nice and qualified, but I have two more girls I want to talk to before making a final decision. I'm still missing the summer nanny though. And with our childcare gap this week, I did make a decision to take a whole week off work. Woo-hoo! No work this coming week! I haven't taken one vacation day since my maternity leave ended - so for almost 9 months - so it's well overdue. I'm burned out on work right now, and I'd like to enjoy my kids for a week before preschool starts and everyone gets sick. The preschool cooties are set to invade our home starting after Labor Day and I'm dreading it.

While the nanny was here, Lily stood on her own, balancing for just a few seconds. So there's our other first for the day beyond the dance lessons. That means walking will be following in relatively short order. Kyle swears that Lily tried to take two steps the other night, but because I didn't see it and she hasn't repeated it, I can't verify the report. But I can positively state that she stood and balanced on her own today.

Tomorrow we've got tickets for Claire to see "Hot Peas & Butter", a groovy kids band. This will be Claire's first concert and I think she's old enough to appreciate it now. Unfortunately we haven't located a sitter for the twins so I think Kyle or I will have to stay home with them while the other gets to go with Claire. This is the usual parent split - one with Claire, one with the twins - that is not always particularly easy on the parent's quality time together.

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