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Nora as fishWhen you are a five year old ballerina, you dance a little and wait to dance a lot.

First, you stand around in your frilly fish costume looking adorable. You preen under the adulation you receive. Then you stand in line waiting for it to be your turn to pose for a formal picture that your mother will pass out to grandparents and other relatives who are missing your debut. You’re unable to contain yourself and start jumping up and down. Your other fishy friends think this is a great idea and they start bouncing up and down too. Someone starts a game of tag. Soon you are racing around the “holding pen” giggling madly.

Your mother thinks her head might explode.

A ballet instructor chastises you, your friends and your mother who is the group monitor, for un-ballerina like behavior. You mope. You wait around some more. At long last, you are lined up with the other ants-in-their-pants fish. You are brought backstage where you must wait for the big-girl ballerinas to finish their routine on-stage. You are enthralled by their grace and beauty. Some of your little fish friends are wriggling again but now you are all business. “Stop moving my body!” you hiss in a very loud stage whisper when the primary offender bumps into you. “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!” she retorts indignantly. Your mother ineffectively shushes the group and pleads with all the little fishies to be patient “just a teensy bit longer.” The music rises in a familiar trill. Your grand entrance!

Two minutes later, your dance is over and you exit stage right. The audience applauds madly. You are thrilled. Your mother hugs you and says she is proud of you. Your smile tells her everything. She escorts you and the other fish back downstairs to…wait.

Curtain call in just 58 minutes.


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