For Christmas, the quads received a generous monetary gift from a dear family friend to be spent on activities. Originally I intended to buy a family membership to the zoo or children’s museum. I did some preliminary research and decided memberships weren’t prudent since the quads have free admission most places until their third birthday, which isn’t until July. When I found a dance studio offering summer dance lessons buy one, get one free I decided it would be a fabulous way to use the gift. Long before the quads arrived, I hoped to one day enroll my own children in dance lessons, and recently I’d begun thinking of enrolling the girls when they were ready. Though I’m not planning on keeping the boys in dance lessons (unless they request them), I figured it would be a fun summer activity for all four, and an excellent opportunity for them to practice gross motor skills, following directions, and being separated from us while also being away from home.
In the weeks leading up to the first dance class, I rummaged in the attic and unearthed my first pair of tap shoes, which I wore at about three years old. I was delighted when they fit Rylin perfectly. I managed to find a secondhand pair of tap shoes for Sydney at Kid to Kid, and surprisingly we had hand me down shoes from my cousin’s kids that fit the boys. Though the dance studio indicated tennis shoes would suffice, I wanted the girls to have their own classic pink ballet slippers. Being short on time, I ordered ballet slippers and black leotards from my favorite go-to retailer, Amazon. The quads proudly schlepped their dance shoes in toddler backpacks given to them by my grandmother,
I allocated about 30 minutes to get everyone ready for class, and felt accomplished when everyone donned dance garb in 15 minutes. That pride faded when I noticed Harper removed his shoes and Rylin pulled her hair out. At times like that, I feel as though I’m in a constant game of Whack a Mole. As quickly as possible, I put Harper’s shoes back onto his chubby feet and re-styled Rylin’s hair before ushering everyone to the van.
Much to my surprise, we arrived at the studio in ample time for me to complete registration and pay for lessons. Once everything was settled, the quads waited with me for their class to begin. More importantly, they did a stunning job staying seated the entire wait.
Sydney is fascinated by taking selfies and snapped this photo during the wait. She really has a knack with the camera, sometimes snapping better photos than me.
When it was time for class, the quads were called by name and given a name tag. Then, they were led into the studio and were assigned a cubby to house their backpacks. Once they were settled, I made a quick escape so they could attend to the teachers. Rylin was notably hesitant to participate, and I knew if I lingered she’d cling ferociously. I didn’t hear any screaming or crying, which I figured was a good sign. Towards the end of class, parents were invited to the studio to watch the kids demonstrate the “freeze dance”. Of the four, only Mason and Sydney were willing to partake in this demo, and they seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. Rylin outright refused even with me cajoling her and Harper seemed oblivious as to what he should do. At the conclusion of class, each of the students received a sticker. Rylin wasn’t keen on dancing, but she was rather articulate about which sticker she wanted, and where it should be placed (sigh).
Though I was responsible for getting the crew to dance lessons, George met me at the studio after work and helped me load the van for home. As we approach the next dance lesson, Rylin’s been telling me she has no intentions of going. I sincerely hope she’ll fall into place when she sees the other kids. The boys are humoring me with these dance classes, but on several occasions Harper blatantly stated, “I’m doing baseball in the fall!” I’m not sure he knows what baseball, or t-ball entails, however.
What extracurricular activities did you enjoy as a child? Did your parents force you to participate in any?