I know what you are thinking.. "Mrs F is finally getting recognized for her skills on the dance floor!" No. Sorry to disappoint. Kid is though. "Hmmm... I never knew Kid was in a dance competition?" Yeah... she's not.
When I went to Kid's Rec&Ed dance class this Friday I saw all the moms (and not to alienate anyone out there but it does need to be said.... I am at least 10 years younger then everyone else and I have the oldest girl in the class!) gathered around The Queen Freak Mom giving her five dollar bills and oohing over something in a plastic bag. Now we missed last week's class as we were in Disney and I had no freaking clue what was going on. It was clear that I owed someone money for something but no one was cluing me in on it. While I sat there holding a crying and sick Baby I gathered that The Queen Freak had taken it upon herself to order "Dance Medals" for the girls to be given at the end of class next week. Say What?!? I can't begin to express how infuriated this makes me. This is not a dance class taught through a dance school where you all gather in a local auditorium while little girls put on over priced tutus and dance for all their friends and families. This is an 8 week Red&Ed class... I love their teacher.... but let's be really clear this is the 1st step towards dance class. THe teacher has clearly had some dance training.. but she is not a professional dancer. This is the class you graduate to after you've taken the "Mommy & Me" dance class. This class is 45 minutes long and you drop them off... but... YOU DO NOT LEAVE THE BUILDING. And if you are the "other moms" you do not leave our side of the one way glass in the door to the dance studio. Seriously. For 45 minutes these 8 moms cram themselves into a 5 foot wide space and rest their foreheads on the glass so they can see through. Now I love Kid, and I think she is cute in leotard, but come on! You've seen 5 minutes... you've seen the class! This is not my first time around the block people. Kid is 5 and has taken at least that many Red & Ed dance classes.. I have never seen anything like this bunch of wackos.
So when I found out they were getting dance medals.. I was pissed.. and disappointed. First of all I just don't need anymore shitty ass "made in China" junk in my house. Secondly, I don't need to pay for it. And the most important reason of all... the girls didn't do anything! There was not a dance off. There are no judges. I have personally taken dance for YEARS and NEVER received a medal for it.. I've never even heard of dance medals. Call me a scrooge but I'm pretty sure taking the damn class was reward enough for Kid. I will watch her 15 minute performance at the end of her last class with pride and joy.. I will clap for her and give her a shout out... and that people... that... she would remember! The dumb dance medal, of which the Queen Freak was saying "you know they are going to be wearing that all around the house!", will have been taken off and thrown in the huge pile of crap she keeps on the floor of the backseat.. never to be seen.. much less worn again...within minutes of getting in the car.
Here's my opinion... but of course I'm just her damn mom and apparently I don't get a say, since they are giving the girls the medals whether I pony up for them or not (and in I don't I'll just look like an asshole!).....
I've got no problem with a "good job" or "nicely done" or "I'm really proud of you" but I don't think offering praise and rewards all the time is a very good idea. Not only did the girls NOT do anything... but what is going to happen at their next dance class when some freaky mom doesn't decide to order medals or trophies or tiaras? Won't that be somewhat disappointing? Aren't we setting them up to feel the act of doing something isn't enough that they need to get a reward for it in order for it to have been worthwhile? I don't know... call me crazy... but isn't it especially important that kids find a way to enjoy physical activity for its own sake and not whether or not they are *good* at it. And I'm not sure what message a medal is sending... if not "you're great". When you start getting medals at three, merely for attending a class, how much more difficult will it be for these kids to have any normal sense of ego regulation? When they are so used to *winning*, even if completely rigged by their over involved parents, how disappointing will the *real world* be when they find they are not quite as good at everything as they were led to believe. I know quite a few of these kids, now grown up, and the thing they all have in common is SEVERE DEPRESSION!
So of course I ponied up my money. If I had been there last week I like to think I would have schooled those motherfuckers! (Although most likely I would have just been outraged and come home and written this post one week earlier!) Towards the end of class The Queen Freak Mom says "I'm sure you all are doing this, but I just wanted you all to know I'll be bringing "S" a bouquet of flowers, I wouldn't want anyone else to feel left out." Umm.. thanks for the heads up, you overzealous freak! It is not like the class cost me $70 and now the damn poisonous medal has me out another $5... or that I... as a freaking adult... rarely get flowers... or that it is Christmas and we are kind of strapped for extra expenses... but sure I certainly wouldn't want Kid to feel left out.. thanks for considering that when you made your damn decision!