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.
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!