Louie and Benny had their first practice for German dancing last night. Kevin had a baseball meeting so we left Charlie behind and headed out to the park where the practices and most of the performances would take place.
The way out was pretty entertaining. They had already asked if we were going to a wedding, because other than the silly dances we do around the house, weddings are usually where the serious dancing takes place. Louie asked if this would be a game. I said not really, but they would be on a kind of "team." They seemed OK with this.
When we arrive there aren't many people there yet and I could tell that the boys were a bit apprehensive about the whole situation. Probably because one was suction-cupped (is that a word?) to my lap and the other's chair was pretty much glued to me. This little girl was ogling them and Lou says loudly, "Who does she belong to?" She responds with, "I asked you the same thing." Oh, boy.
Soon the family I know walks in and the boys are introduced to their cute family. The one son, Gus, is so sweet and although he is older, he gives the boys all the attention in the world, asking them questions as if they were peers. Louie and Benny totally latch on to him, and slowly begin to warm up. To an extent.
The older kids begin to practice a dance (which Gus is a part of) and both of my boys are assuring me that they are not going to be doing that. Ben tries to explain to me that he is scared and I explain to him that it's fine to be scared when you're doing something for the first time, but that the more you do it, the less scary it becomes. He looks at me with a blank stare and I know he's thinking that I just don't get it. There won't be a next time!
The guy organizing the "team" has the young ones come together and the whole time we're standing there Lou is close beside me and Ben is gripping my hand, saying, "I am NOT going to do this" over and over, each time a bit louder.
Dave, the organizer/director/whatever, has one group out on the floor to do a dance they already know. Lou sees a few boys his age using their time to toss around a Super Ball and he asks if he can join in. I wasn't going to stop him. Louie is so quiet and can be very shy so there was no way I was going to say no to him making friends on his own accord. He ran over and, the way boys are, they accepted him into the game, no questions asked.
Benny was the complete opposite. At first he wanted to join the other boys, but after a few seconds, ran over and claimed that they weren't letting him play. Ben apparently needs to be coddled, his hand held and his turn given. I wasn't going to be the one to do this. If he wanted to play, he'd just have to join in like Lou or watch the dance.
Anyway, the time came for them to dance and these two girls were their partners who were head and shoulders over them (two heads for Ben). It was cute because the girls really wanted to help them, but didn't make a big deal out of it.
The dance wasn't too difficult, but the part they couldn't get used to was the when they were twirled by their partner. They'd just stop halfway, facing their partner in an awkward step. I laughed, envisioning their father in the same way. With all the refusal they were giving me beforehand, I was impressed at how they joined in the group dance. I could just see them on stage in their little lederhosen! For whatever reason, those two really like order and structure, and listen well (for the most part) to adults--adults other than their parents!
Then, the girls take the sidelines and the boys do a dance just for them. My boys sat out to watch. This dance is called the "Fight Dance" and yes, my boys got a "kick" out of it. They do a bunch of different things, but the part they thought was hilarious was when in somewhat of a domino effect, one by one the guy would kick the one in front of them's hiney. Lou and Ben couldn't stop giggling. Then Lou realizes that something is just not right and decides to call out loudly, "Mom! There's a GIRL out there!" Well, it wasn't a girl it was a boy whose hair is longer than most (or all) the boys Lou knows. And I guess it wasn't just that he called out, but he pointed to make a big deal out of it. We really need to work on pointing. I quietly told him that just because a person's hair is long doesn't mean that that person is a girl. (I guess we should start pulling out pictures of his father from back in the day, but I don't want him to start getting any ideas...) He seems satisfied with the answer (Louie takes everything to heart) and the moment passes. Kristine, my friend's sister who got us involved, is quietly giggling because kids really do say the darndest things.
Afterward the kids are rewarded with a pop. How fortunate that they find this to be a big deal. In fact, that is how I got them in the van to begin with. They each had a red pop. I was informed by some of the other kids that they used to only get root beer, but hit the big time when they started getting red pop. Good to know!
Again, as the boys were sitting at the bar drinking their special drinks, Gus had them engaged in a discussion and already had them talking about practice next week. They loved the attention from a "big kid" and seemed to be having a lot of fun. My worries that I was pressuring them into something they didn't need to do were diminished.
As we were driving home Ben calls out excitedly, "Mom! When's our next dance party?!" And all I could think about was that cheesy '80s show Dance Party USA. So, all in all, I think they actually enjoyed it!
P.S. On a different note, Kristine was asking me about the pregnancy and I was telling her about all the "tests" that I've done and how they almost all say girl. She is the mother of seven kids so I asked if any worked for her. She said that she didn't do any of the ones except for the Chinese Calendar, and it had been right for her. My Chinese calendar said boy for each of the pregnancies...just gotta keep you guessing :) And for those of you sick of me talking about this, there's only 90-something days left!