I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

On Being A Ballet/Soccer/Gymnastics Mom...

I never in a million years thought that I would end up a Ballet Mom. Or a Soccer Mom. Or a Gymnastics Mom. Or a Cricket Mom, a Yoga Mom, or a any-other-extracurricurlar-activity mom. However this past weekend, when I found myself saying things like, "Would you PLEASE hold still so I can get your mascara on?" to a SIX year old....so I had to wonder if the whole ballet Mom thing didn't creep up on me when I least expected it. After all, I didn't grow up doing sports/activities of any kind until I was old enough to get myself to/from stuff. (My parents ditched the swim team idea once they realised they would actually have to drive me to swim meets. I sucked at piano. I have no coordination. I can't sing. You get the idea.)

We've already established that being a Mom wasn't part of the plan. We've also established that I got here anyway, and I am pretty happy about it (although OPK are a whole 'nother ball of wax.) So having gotten to this Mom state, how did I end up a Ballet Mom? And a Soccer Mom? Cricket Mom, Gymnastics Mom, and so on? I was very, very determined that my kids were not going to be dragged all over town doing a million things. Let kids be kids, I used to say. Let them play outside with dirt and sticks and run around the local park. Who needs expensive classes? Who needs...mascara?!

Clearly, MY kids do. Mostly, it seems, because they ASKED to do all of these things, and I'm either too much of a sucker to say no, or because I can actually find reasonable justifications for these activities. So Gymnastics = another form of OT, necessary for DD1. Soccer, Aussie Rules Footy, Cricket et al = exercise, which DS will need in a big way if he continues to grow and eat as much as he does. Ballet = a natural progression from Kinder Dance, which started this whole madness in the first place. (Yoga? I just caved into the begging. I can't really find a good justification for that one.) Plus all of these things give my kids something to excel at which are clearly done apart from their siblings. As one who believes firmly in the importance of independence, I made the effort to give each of my kids a few things which are wholly and solely theirs. Not something they do with their sibs. Considering that at age six they still sometimes share (clean!!) undies, share clothes, share a room and often share my time, my attention and everything else - I think it's pretty essential that they do at least ONE thing differently.

Other parents of multiples don't feel this way. You know the parents who dress their kids exactly alike (even when the kids are fraternal). I've met several parents that, when their kids were babies, would CHANGE both kids if one of them got dirty. I mean, honestly - what are these people thinking?! Quite often I get asked, "But why doesn't DD1 do ballet?" or "Didn't the girls want to do cricket?" and so on. I'm not sure why these people believe that the kids should be interested into the same things, just because they were born 30 seconds apart. I've made it one of my unofficial parenting goals to ensure that my kids have an identity and a literal and figurative space away from one another. Lucky for me, they've chosen different activities. If they had chosen the same one (as for Yoga) - then so be it. But I'd like to think that I at least gave them the opportunity to find their own way.

This of course leaves me sadly lacking in a number of Mom skills, which I've had to learn in order to keep up with all these activites. I find myself spending one day trying to figure out how to put mascara on a squirmy ballerina, and the next I am learning how to tie up footy boots, and the day after that I'm applying hair glitter to a gymnast. Being their Mom - being their active, interested, involved, cheering-from-the sidelines Mom ... that's MY extra curricular activity.

If the smiles on their faces are anything to go by (and the glitter all over my hands, the hairspray in my eye and the dirt under my fingernails) I think I might even get the MVP award this year!


Uncle DAMATH said...

Michelki, It's sheer joy to read your blog - which I unearthed when I looked for your professional website. People from LA say that your new gesheft is a hit - so we wish you lots of success and hope that some day we'll hop over or you poh under.

Your loving uncle DAMATH and aunt Louise from Tel-Aviv

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. said...

As the official owner of the MVP trademark in Australia let me be the first to tell you that you have, indeed, been awarded the MVP Award 2007 for Most Valuable Parent.


Weinraub Family said...

In the end, you are a fab mom, with some seriously adorable kids!!

We love ya!

(oh and my girls start gymnastics next month, so I plan on turning to you for HELP!!)