Yesterday, I volunteered to watch some of the younger dancers for my daughters dance school. My daughter had her recital the day before. There were about 5 groups of dancers in this room. They ranged in age from 3 to 9. I was in charge of some 4 and 5 year olds.
First off most of the kids were adorable and well behaved. I brought a blanket for them to sit on, Barbies, My Little Pony and some color wonder coloring books. Crayons are not allowed. Most of the kids played and there were no issues. Of course with anything there has to be a few that act up. I had to speak to one of my 4 year olds because she was squeezing the life out of another girl. I asked her to stop and she said she wasn't doing anything. She was still squeezing the child as she said this. I moved the other child away from her, but continually this child kept trying to bother this other girl. I felt so bad for the sweet little one who just wanted to do her dance and go home. One of the older girls had a tie from a costume and thought it would be fun to wrap it around the younger ones. Seriously have no idea what that child was thinking. These kids were mostly good little troopers. Many of them were stuck back stage for a good 3 hours. They go out to dance, but that only last a couple minutes.
Personally I think all the parents of the little ones should come and get them at intermission and go home. These kids are just too little to be stuck back stage not allowed to eat anything and only having water to drink. In the end they were all hungry and tired and wanted to go home. The only thing they waited around for was to walk out for the finale and take a bow. I know parents want their kids to experience the whole thing, but give me a break. We had to hunt down one mother because the 3 year old kept crying. She would calm down and then cry again. It was so sad and completely unnecessary. Her mom came scooped her up and you could tell she felt bad. She took her right home. It was just a long day and she had enough and let me tell you I had enough by the end as well. I did many potty runs. I fixed headbands nonstop and retied tap shoes all day. When I got home I cracked open a bottle of wine and enjoyed a nice glass. It was good to be home.
My advice for moms who have recitals. Know your child. If you have one 5 and under check on them at intermission. Ask them if they want to stay. If they do great, but if not go home. Oh and send them with something to do and a sweater. The air conditioning was cranked and they were freezing in their costumes. Many of the older girls came over and let them borrow their stuff. I'm not sure I'll volunteer in that room next year, but you never know. I like to help and since I've already done it. I know what to do. I just have to have the wine chilling at home.
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