Scenes from a Dance School Waiting Room

Every Saturday, I trundle my tiny ballerina off to dance class. While she pliés, I sit in the waiting room and have an experience straight out of Sartre.

Cat dancing

Not my kid, but I think this is how she looks in class.

Racing at the speed of light to make my daughter not nearly as late as she is, I toss her into the classroom and take my seat. By then, Dance Dad has already started talking.

Dance Dad is the token male in the group. He has a baby with him, and he expects everyone to want to know all about his kid’s milestones. Did you know that his son is learning to walk? He is a little unsteady on his feet and is very hesitant about being upright. He’s also big for his age, but the doctor’s not worried.

Oh, do go on. Please. This is all so very interesting to me since I’ve only been through parenting babies twice.

Dance Dad’s magic baby crawls all over the place, eats other kids’ snacks and generally has a free reign. Why? Because when Dance Dad isn’t ignoring his kid by talking to everyone, he is absorbed by his iPad.

The first object of his soliloquy is the Trapped Mother. She has a baby roughly the same age as Dance Dad’s, so of course she wants their babies to play together and hear all about Dance Dad’s baby.

No, no she doesn’t.

Poor thing has a deer caught in the headlights look. She probably wants to give her kid Puffs and walk the baby around the room on her tiny spaghetti legs.

I am smarter than Trapped Mother. I buried my head into my Kindle as soon as I could whip it out. Of course, the kids had the volume cranked up, and it was blaring Candy Crush music for a good minute before I could figure out how to silence it. I guess there is no real accounting for my intelligence.

Dance Dad has a little assistance from Nosy Grandma, who is no relation to Dance Dad, but as her name implies, she works her way into every conversation. It started innocuously enough; commenting to her husband, who never uttered anything more than a grunt, about the other conversations going on around her. If Dance Dad talks about a large baby, Nosy Grandma talks to her husband about some baby that she knew who was very large.

Eventually, Nosy works her way in to the conversation, and by that I mean a one-sided stream from Dance Dad, and they have a fanciful volley of one-upmanship. Poor Trapped Mother was now doubly screwed. It was a tractor beam, and she was sucked in. She didn’t even notice when her daughter dropped Puffs on the floor and started eating them.

I gagged a little, but didn’t want to draw any attention to myself by letting her know that her child was contracting Ebola from a dirty floor.

Dance Dad and Nosy Grandma discuss the state of Ohio’s schools and how they each know a school district worse than the last, and kids with even less education than the other. I almost passed out by how far my eyes rolled up into my head.

To distract myself, I looked around the room. One poor mom was so far gone that she let her sons run up and down the hallway screaming at the top of their voices. Another spread out her work on three chairs so no one would get close to her. Poor things. They looked like the walking wounded. Their souls crushed from their encounters with Dance Dad.

The smartest was the woman talking to her daughter in Japanese. At least if she pretended to not speak English she wouldn’t have to be caught in Dance Dad’s tractor beam. I must learn how to do that by next week. Maybe I could be mistaken for French. Or at least French Canadian.

Parlez-vous la danse? Oui! Oui!


Filed under Partying with the Ponies

10 responses to “Scenes from a Dance School Waiting Room

  1. I can imagine that entire scene!


  2. OMG – what parent hasn’t lived through that scene? … more than once?
    Wait … I was trapped in one yesterday … at a memorial service. No place is safe.


  3. I sometimes wear earbuds with the plug tucked into an empty pocket to make it look like I’m listening to something. Anything other than….

    I call my earbuds into air my “idiot repellents”. They work too. All you have to do is pretend to hear nothing around you. You can’t startle. You certainly can’t make eye contact because that will doom to a conversation. I hate making conversation with people who try to make you feel inadequate as a mother because either you work, or you’re a SAHM, or your kid’s not in this accelerated program, or that afterschool enrichment program, or isn’t overscheduled in 45 different sports.
    My kids have inherited my “Spaz Genes” and are the last to be picked in gym class for anything. One of my kids is a social butterfly and the other has difficulty with social interactions of any kind. I force that one into Boy Scouts to make him do something. Anything.

    Fortunately, the dads in Boy Scouts are awesome. We talk about how to let the boys make mistakes without interfering so they learn.
    Or, if the dad see that I’m in a “mood”, they just leave me the hell alone. They’re kind of awesome that way.

    I highly recommend the earbuds into nothing and a good book as repellents. Good luck with that!

    Love your blog.


    • I will definitely have to remember the earbuds, because if you so much as look in Dance Dad’s direction, you get sucked in. Terrible!

      I do like the Boy Scout dads too. The moms are OK. Maybe that’s another blog post… 🙂


  4. Sarah (est. 1975)

    Earbuds? Naw man, go for the huge honking “DO NOT EVEN TALK TO ME” Beats by Dre. I kid, I kid.

    I *loved* this post, mama. Totally cracked me up laughing.


    • It’s true that nothing says “leave me alone” like a set of Beats. I’ll put them on my Mother’s Day list and if I get them, I can wear them when the kids start acting up.


  5. Ariel Bernstein

    This made me laugh! People sometimes complain that always checking our phones have made everyone anti- social but sometimes, just sometimes, that’s a good thing 🙂


  6. A.PROMPTreply

    No one ever even thinks about the perils of parents when we’re taking kids to one class or another, do they? But I know of whom you speak for sure… son’s preschool field trips always had the ever-present, over-involved Dad that we all avoided……OMG. Memories like that just never go away…came straight back when I read this!


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