Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cultural Differences

We had a very nice Easter. Except for that part where even though we woke up at 5:00 in the morning, we STILL couldn't get to Mass on time. We were about ten minutes late and stood in the back the entire time. NOT the ideal Easter Mass of my fantasies, but whatever. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

The girls had new dresses and new haircuts, which is something we splurge on twice a year, and they looked all matchy-matchy and darling. Greta is four now, which is very different from being three. She's a completely different person than she was a few months ago, and mostly in a good way. The stories about her aren't quite as funny because they aren't nearly as ridiculous, but you know what, lack of stories is totally worth the new found normalcy of our household. She still wears bowie dress 24 hours a day, but she no longer cries about being wet when she's in the bathtub. Well, not usually anyway, but there I guess there's been an occasional relapse.

Elka wants to be outside ALL. THE. TIME. Today I opened the window, and she scrambled as fast as she could to the window, then climbed on top of the dollhouse so that she could get her face right against the screen.  She stayed that way for a long time. We're all happy Spring is here.
It's funny when you live your life within your home and don't have much coming in from the outside world. It's funny what you don't know. It's funny to hear your own conversations that wouldn't make sense to anybody else who might be listening. "Mama, can Amy have one of your Nutcracker books to give to Thundersnow for her birthday?" This was something I was asked today, and of course I understood that Amy is the little stuffed kitten that had just come out of the wash and the Nutcracker books are these little books within an advent calendar that Anja is completely obsessed with, and Thundersnow is the stuffed cat who has a birthday almost every day of the year. These things are talked about regularly in our house. I'm sure other houses have the same kind of conversations that to outsiders are just complete nonsense, and it's funny.  And maybe at other houses too the children come up to their parents and seriously ask, "What kind of animal are you?" and you are expected to choose. And you might be asked to change three times in ten minutes, but that's just how it is, and you have to be ready for the switch. That's just how the day goes.

Anja and Greta are in ballet right now and it's HILARIOUS to watch them. They're kind of clueless. They try, and they LOVE it so much, but they just ("they", being especially directed toward "Greta") are just so bad at it. Last Tuesday she spent probably 1/3 of the time admiring her round tummy in the mirror while the rest of the class was practicing the dance they're learning for the recital. (Our girls won't be in the recital. I'm sure the other ballerinas are beyond grateful.) Greta spends a lot of time hopping. I don't know how familiar you are with ballet, and I admit that I am not a dancer on any level, but I know for a fact that "hopping" is not a regularly rehearsed ballet movement. (Nor is "belly admiration.") They do this thing at one point in the dance called "run and leap" from one side of the room to the other. It happens during the instrumental part of the song they dance to and you can imagine how graceful and beautiful it's supposed to be. I wish I had a video of Greta, bouncing and spinning from one side of the room to the other. If I didn't know that what they were doing was called "run and leap" I would never, ever, ever guess that's what she was trying to do. She doesn't run, she doesn't leap. She's like a little bouncy ball. And just like a bouncy ball, you never know where she's going to end up, and often she arrives at a place where she isn't supposed to be. Luckily, the teacher is very sweet and redirects her kindly.

And I have to wonder as I sit there, stifling my laughter, am I expected to talk to them about how to dance? Am I supposed to encourage them to stop admiring themselves in the mirror and follow directions? Because I don't really want to. I LIKE the way they dance. I don't care if they are a step behind everyone else! They are having so much fun and they feel so beautiful! If I were to tell them to try harder and keep up with the rest of the class and stop making faces in the mirror, that would totally kill the joy. There's no way I'm doing that! I have never thought of my kids as being especially "spirited" but compared to the other little ballerinas they are pretty.... hyper. Which is funny because I've seen hyper kids, and my kids are not hyper at all. Anyway, all the other little girls follow the directions and do the moves at the right time and start their run-and-leaps at one side of the room and end up directly on the other side. Just like they are supposed to.

But my kids don't. And that's okay.

I'm thinking of homeschooling. Actually, I'm thinking of moving to a cave, far away from civilization where our only friends are stuffed cats named Amy and Thundersnow.

But I'll come back into Reality on Tuesdays, for ballet!

And this is my "Lark Rise to Candleford Shawl" that I just finished and that is now a permanent part of my body I love it so much Elka is crying I have to go


Mrs. H. said...

Don't you dare ever tell them their dancing is anything but beautiful!!(I know you never would). Those other little ballerinas would probably dance right off the cliff if the teacher told them to! I absolutely love their wonderful and imaginative free spirits!!! Who else would play Grandma Mouse with me??

Anonymous said...

ahah you are hilarious in every way. I HAD to read Dan a part of it and he was cracking up.

PS - I just told Anne I bet Annie will homeschool. When you talk about Anja and kindergarten, your face tells how you fell about it AANNDDD when you talk about homeschool your face also tells how you feel about that too!

Clare said...

So sweet! Isabel is the same in dance! I had another mom say, "your daughter is in her own little world isn't she?" I was like "yeah and its a very nice world too!" Its the best ever watching them with no inhibitions. And yes, you should homeschool! I hate to say it but at some point they will have to "conform" or become a problem for the teacher. And then it will become your problem. Plus I think you would be a wonderful homeschooling teacher!! :) but that is only my opinion.

And that Shaw is WONDERFUL!!!!!

Anna Hatke said...

Annie I hate to say it but you are already homeschooling. . . And doing a fabulous job of it, might I add.

Anonymous said...

As if you can spend frivolous hours on your blog like I can, I tagged you for the Liebster Award. See my blog. but don't feel obligated in any way. ; )