Pre-pre-ballet nostalgia/anxiety and benefits of kid activities

I may or may not have a bit of anxiety right now, having just signed up my 3yo (K) for pre-pre-beginner ballet; how can I have a kid old enough to participate in dance classes? I can’t even right now… I’m freaking out about this more than I did when I dropped her off to daycare the first time three years ago.

Also, there’s an element of nostalgia in having her start ballet, since I did that for more than a few years when I was little. I remember being so excited to wear my tights and leotard and ballet shoes… I bought those things for her already. I completed her registration paperwork and have the check ready for the teacher – it’s so surreal – my baby’s not a baby anymore (but at least she’ll always be MY baby)! I’m so glad she has this opportunity – even if I’m a bit anxious/nostalgic about it. Even her daddy (my husband) is getting in on the action, at least for her first class, which makes me even more excited.

So aaaaaaanyway… I was thinking about all of the benefits that resulted from having her in daycare as opposed to my staying home with her (which is different from the list of reasons that it was better for her/them that I go to work instead of staying home full-time); I see similar benefits from having her attend this class:

  1. Providing some semblance of structure – Home has some structure (time to wake up, time for nap, time to go to bed, etc.), but kids crave structure, and this atmosphere will provide that.
  2. Allowing her to socialize without me – I’m so excited that she’ll get to make friends but I won’t have to engage in too much “social intercourse,” as my husband says.
  3. Learning to listen to and follow instruction – Maybe because I’m “just mom” and therefore void of any and all real authority in her mind, K has a tendency to ignore my insistent instructional demands until I’m nearly screaming and ready to blow up the world.
  4. Introducing some routine to our lives – Once a week, at the specified hour (during nap time, thank you so much for that one, ugh), we’ll get all dressed and ready, drive to the dance studio, and dance; then we’ll come back and resume our normal, not-as-structured lives. But for that short period, we’ll have somewhere we need to be, to do things we need to do.
  5. Joining forces with a teacher to enforce rules – “Obey the rules,” “Don’t jump,” “Listen to me” – all the things that she does inconsistently with me (and her daddy), I’m hoping that having a secondary person say them will reinforce those ideas, and if she obeys them there, she might do the same at home. Maybe…
  6. It’ll be a fun, exciting challenge for all of us! Is it all three-year-olds that love to dance the dances from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, or just mine? She even instructs me to do what she’s doing. So this new realm of learning dances from a real live person will be a challenge. Also, see #3. Plus: patience. Always a challenge. And burn off some energy so she’ll FINALLY FALL ASLEEP!
  7. It’ll give her confidence – and maybe me, too – Isn’t that what extracurriculars are supposed to do, anyway?

What activities do your kids do? Any successes, failures?

I’m worried she’ll last for two minutes, run out of the room crying and never want to go back, even though I’ve invested more than $100 before she even walks in the room. I can’t wait to be that soccer mom whose kids, dressed in uniform, cleans, shin guards, etc., sit on my lap the entire game because they’re too shy/scared to kick or even run next to the ball. Ugh.

Words of advice, encouragement, frustration – these things are always welcome!

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