1 I’m bored – this of course if the one I’m most used to, because of course my children have no toys, get brought nowhere and do nothing!
2 He/she’s doing . . . The endless telling tales on each other
3 It’s not fair – nope it’s not fair I wouldn’t let you eat a bar of chocolate 5 mins before dinner
4 That’s mine – nope it probably isn’t if your shouting it at the top of your lungs it’s probably mine
5 I don’t want to – well tough tities you have to
6 Do I have to – yet again yes, because believe me if you didn’t I wouldn’t put myself through this
7 Can I have – No no no . . .
8 Can I have a drink? – yup between the time of 7.30 am and 9 pm any time after that the only place serving drink is the pub and your to young for there
9 But Johnny down the road is allowed – well go live with Johnny I’ll pack your bag
10 ahhhhhhh wahhhhhh ehhhhhhh – I’m going to my happy place when the tantrum is over hand me a glass of wine
I danced for over 20 years and if coerced enough I may still do an olde 1,2,3 so naturally I brought both my kids to try out Irish dancing I feel it’s a fun active sport that you can gain life long friendships from and use anywhere you go. Only one of my children has taken to Irish Dancing and that’s fine and as long as they work hard when their in class and have fun I’ll keep paying for the classes, I’ll bring her to the Féis and yes I’ll buy her a dress.
Because as long as my child is happy and knows that what she does in dancing is first a foremost about the dancing but that she must also present herself in a clean, well put together package, then I will continue to fund her dancing.
Now before I continue I need to point out Mini Miss is 5.5 years old and only in dancing a year, she has done two Féis loved them and wants to go back ASAP. But to get to the expensive dresses the tan the wigs and so on Mini Miss has a lot of work to do a lot of dances to win grades to pass a lot of hours to put in.
It seems that those who speak about Irish Dancing don’t realise that it takes years to get to the standard where u kit yourself out head to toe, it takes hours of practice, many many Féis and a love for the sport. If your child becomes an open dancer then it means they’ve worked hard you’ll not lose out spending the money on the dress or waistcoat as they are striving to be at the top.
Ok so u may be screaming at the screen currently thinking I’m Abbey Lee Miller’s spawn, but nope I just think Irish Dancing is given an awful bad rep. Over the past year I’ve had many a conversation with parents about why wigs are brilliant, that the tan isn’t an issue and I’ll always say one thing you don’t have to put your child into Irish dancing if it concerns you this much and secondly it’s not the only sport that requires a full package. I’ve done ballet where a tub off hair gel was used to sleek down every last rib of hair and was told I’d loose marks in my grades if my hair wasn’t correct, my seem of my tights had to be perfectly straight and run parallel down the back of legs. But for some reason when people speak of their child doing ballet lessons all you here “ah isn’t that lovely”. It is don’t get me wrong but people are naive to think that a refined certain look isn’t expected in many sports.
‘But it should be about the dancing not tan and wigs’, my answer; it is about the dancing the look of the child is minimal marks on the grand scheme of things. The wigs came into dancing when I was in my teens and they where the best thing as before that I’d have rollers in my hair for days before a big Féis. The tan I can take or leave and do feel that plastering on young girls is a little much and if or when mini miss wears it she’ll wear one shade darker not ten shades where if you look at her she looks like two halves of a different person. The makeup is again personal choice and can be as much or as little as you and your child feel is needed, Mini Miss currently wears clear lip gloss on stage that’s it. I’ve being at many a Féis where the number 1 potion spot is adorned with a dancer in a black skirt and top and straight hair, because that dancer was the best because of her football Orkney to her outfit.
I’m not naive to the message I may be sending my child but my feelings towards body confidence is very strong and I feel I can instill a positive feeling towards Irish dancing and all that comes with it.
So is Irish dancing all about the wigs, tan and the fancy dresses NO, but when your child gets to a certain level is the total package taken into account while your child dances YES! Does it mean Irish dancing is evil and should be banned NO. Do you have a choice if to put your child on stage in full on dance fashion YES. Will your child loose if they aren’t in a wig, tan sparkly dress NO, Because Irish dancing is a sport a skill a talent that your child has to work on and be dedicated to, to achieve in.
I’ll leave you with this; at a poem reading competition or a singing competition do you not pick out the smartest outfit for your child so as to present them in a well but together fashion to represent themselves and their talent . . .
We all do it wish away each stage, well at least I do and at times I look at my two with a huge sadness to know that that’s the last time i’ll make a bottle, that’s the last time i’ll change their nappies but as your doing these things you never stop and realize that that actual time is the last. While i’m not overly sad about the stingy nappies there are other things that i look at with a heavy heart.
1 Both my two can now dress themselves and I miss that interaction you have with them as you dress them. One of them even goes up to the bedroom to get dressed. Mini Miss still lets me choose her clothes but that wouldn’t last long.
2 Toys, toys, toys; my sitting room always looked like an aisle out of a toy shop but after this Christmas I seen a huge dent in the mess, while good, still very sad. Little Red Head and Mini Miss are getting more more into playing in their own bedrooms.
3 Plastic, while yes this is a good thing giving the issues our planet is having with plastic, but to see my cupboards emptying out of plastic cups, plates cutlery and the like just highlights yet again how my two are growing up and can be trusted with the “good delph”.
4 The dreaded changing bag is now no longer, gone are the days of a change of outfit for both children, drinks, bottles, wipes, dummies, toys the list goes on. Now its simply one pair of knickers in my handbag and wipes in the car; for the mucky hands and face.
5 Walking, you know when they were around one and all you wanted was them to walk well now I just want them to sit in a buggy. Little Red Head is to old and Mini Miss is just out of sitting in the buggy and to be fair she has only sat in it a hand full of times in the last year, mostly when id be rushing. The buggy was like my security pushing it in-front of me was like a shield protecting me, its gone now.
Independence is an amazing thing and growing up learning is a gift that not everyone has. I am grateful that both my kids are growing, developing and moving on in life, but goodness its hard sometimes.
Each event we attended had its unique theme from learning Martial Arts, Fun & Splash , Dance workshop to Drumming workshops the possibilities where endless. My sons favourite activity was the Reeling in the Year’s Workshop, with The Jackie Clarke Collection. Little Red Head got to amerce himself in the excitement of a newsroom setting where he created a newspaper, cutting pasting and writing. He came out buzzing with all that was from years gone by, and he continued his newspaper at home making sure it was accurate. Mini Miss enjoyed the fabulous Birds of Prey on the infamous Heritage Day, but her favourite event was the Disco in the Stephenites sports ground, where she boogied for hours meet up with her friends, made new friends and her favourite part, came home with a massive goody bag filled with treats and gifts.
While the Mardi Gras isn’t on the Children’s Event calendar it is well worth keeping the children awake for, what’s one late night . . . For the past two years my then 3 and 5 year old loved the parade and last year they loved it even more. As the anticipation build “Mammy will it be as good as last year?” It didn’t disappoint I love seeing the look of wonder and pure happiness on my children’s faces.