The Aftermath

So today is spent relaxing.

Yesterday was the Mayhem that is a Competition Day. And now today we recover.

I'm not kidding, we, as in all of us, need an entire day to recuperate from that insanity. Especially the kiddos who give up routine, rest time, naps and any semblance of a healthy meal.

Yes, they do give up meals, because I can never remember to bring cash to the dang place and even if I did, its only gross concessions and when your husband gets a super close parking spot and refuses to move the car, the only options you have to eat are the ziplocs of Cheese-Its and a box of Mickey Mouse Fruit Snacks I smuggled in. Oh and the Hi-C Juice Boxes that not only the kids drank but even Zach in desperation enjoyed one.

Can I just say. That my child is in one dance. Just one. Yet somehow we end up being there for eight hours at a time!

I guess it makes you feel like you're getting your money's worth though. And the kids don't complain.

Well, Stella doesn't complain. She eats up every second.

Scarlett only complains because she herself cannot go on stage!

Anyways, regardless of how exhausting the day always turns out, we all still love it! I'm not kidding, even Zach.

He even remarked himself when we left at the end of the day, that he was amazed he didn't get irritated or angry the entire time.

Which is an accomplishment, considering your surrounded by Crazy Stage Moms and Overly Excited Tweens.

At one point, we were in between Stella's Dance and waiting for Awards and Scarlett was getting a little stir crazy. So, we thought it would be a good idea for Zach to take her up and down in the Elevator. Or as she calls it, the Alligator.

They only made it up and down once though. Because we weren't the only ones who had had the idea. A group of five middle-schoolers had beat him to it, and when they walked on to the elevator the girls tried to convince Zach to guess who had farted.


Ok, so Stella did a fantastic job! We were so proud of her! She's the reason I can watch Toddlers and Tiaras and understand exactly what the moms mean when they say that its really their child who wants to do it.

I don't think it makes sense to outsiders. Or you just assume the child is a complete spoiled brat. But not being the type to need to live vicariously through my child, reliving some non-existent dream of dancing on a stage and/or winning trophies, and also knowing that although Stella may be a little spoiled, she is still the sweetest, most gentle and reserved child ever. (No mother's bias there at all....)

Anyways, I noticed a huge improvement from her between last competition and this one. Before she knew all of the dance steps but was reluctant to do them unless someone else did them first. She would even follow if it was wrong, just because she was afraid to do it on her own.

This time, she had more confidence and didn't wait for the others to go first or just followed whatever move someone else was doing. She actually did what she knew she was supposed to do! I was so proud.

No. Proud doesn't even begin to explain how a parent feels when they watch their child come into their own with all of the confidence and poise you have prayed they would have since birth.

Ok, but lets also be realistic. She's only four. And the rest of her team is only three. It wasn't perfect. And the rest of her team did amazing. They just sometimes have trouble sticking together and remembering every single move and they really have trouble counting out 8 while doing a leg hold. But personally I thought it was the best they ever did!

At this competition, that was HUGE by the way, there was another 4 and under group. And they had a boy.

And they beat us.

I think. If I understand the points system right. Which I barely, barely do. I think they beat us.

But let me just say, they were not better than us. And all they did was move their hips back and fourth. And we had a way better prop, plus actual technical moves.

Um, after Zach and I discussed this same thing last night, And he agreed with me. I looked at him and said, "This is it. This is my first taste of the bitter, jealous Stage Mom, isn't it?"

He just laughed.

But we both know its true.


Ok, speaking of Awards. I have a really, really funny story. I am thinking that this is one of those, You-Had-To-Be-There-Stories, but I am going to give it a go anyways!

So in between the several hours of Stella actually dancing Splish Splash and the Awards Ceremony we hung out with Lindsay and Jason and their kids in an upstairs lobby away from the chaos downstairs, the lobby selling all manner of sparkly clothing and hats and the moms wearing their bedazzled t-shirts and matching what were once expensive designer jeans, but I imagine once you've rhinestoned the buttons and pockets they lose their value...., and the dressing rooms that are literally what I imagine the world would be like if Justin Beiber Obsessed Tweens ruled it. It was definitely more relaxing.

And we could still watch some of the dances if we wanted to.

Although some crazy lady did try to tell us our kids couldn't run around up there. And we were like, fine you take them for the next four hours and ask them to sit quietly and very still.


Ok, but upstairs, I told Lindsay, I was like, "If our girls win anything who is going to get the award because I don't want Stella to have to do it. I just don't think she will. And she will be petrified and as soon as the announcer asks her a question she will just break down and cry."

I've been very worried about this since I realized one of the team had to go up and accept the award.

I just couldn't imagine my little Stella who is afraid to talk to everyone! Who is terrified of strangers. Who most of the time refuses to talk to any adults, including friends of mine who have been in her life since before she was born, who at some times even refuses to talk to her own grandparents and Zach. My little Stella who will even shy away from other children!

Ok. I just couldn't imagine her in a scenario on stage, with a microphone shoved in her face, surrounded by two strange men whom she had never met and in front of an auditorium packed with people, able to spit the answers to questions out without having a panic attack.

So I wanted to make sure no one pushed her into a situation that would scar her for life.

This is how much I know of my first born. This child that I carried for nine months and gave birth to and has been my constant sidekick for the last four years.

And as it turns out, I knew nothing about her.

Because as soon as they were on stage, she is the one who stands up with all the confidence in the world and accepts the award!

I wasn't paying attention, because Scarlett was a little out of control when all of the other kids were on stage and she wasn't allowed. But Zach tapped me and said a little bit awed, "Look." So I did.

And there she stood. In the middle of the stage, flanked by two grown men, whom she had never met before answering questions.

And what I mean by that, is that when the Announcer asked her if she knew who her teacher was, expecting her to say the name of her teacher, she responded by just shaking her head yes, as if to say, of course I know the name of my teacher!

So he gave her the plaque and showed her where to go stand.

Splish Splash had just made the Top Ten as number Ten so Stella was the first one to go stand in the line.

She walked proudly down to the far side of the stage and then with all of the pride in the world took a wide stance and held the plaque high above her head, arms straight and high, the biggest smile on her face!

It was totally like one of those moments at the end of an inspiring sports movie where the lead character thrusts the trophy high into the air, claiming the final victory and letting the world know they won.

That was Stella!

And the audience burst into laughter. I was crying I was laughing so hard and Zach was doubled over.

She just stood there despite all of the commotion holding it high and beaming!

Even after the number nine spot came to stand next to her and held their plaque at the normal waste level, she only brought it down for a few seconds before pushing her arms high above her head again.

That was her proudest moment.

And probably mine too.

Who knew she would even want to go up there in the first place?

Oh my word.

And that is why we do Competition. Not only does it let my child figure out who she is, but it gives us this rare insight into more of her than we would ever get to see at home!

It was a fantastic day over all. And as soon as we were all finally loaded into the car and on our way home, every single one of those kids was passed out and asleep ruining our plans for a celebratory dinner.

Even when we got home with take-out they still couldn't wake their tired little selves up to even take a bite.

Well, Scarlett eventually woke up, at midnight, when I forced her to eat a banana because I knew she was starving.

Oh and then Stella had to go to the bathroom.

And then, due to changes in our routine, I was suddenly exploding with milk and had to pump. Even though there was a baby right there, but he was sleeping.

That is until I was done pumping. Then of course he was ready to eat.

Ok, and finally in the wee hours of the morning I was able to get to sleep.

For two hours.

When Stryker got up again.

Ugh. So this morning, when the kids woke up and my body was actually sore from the day before and I still hadn't found a solid REM cycle, my husband got up with the kids.

And let me sleep!

And not only that, but he cleaned the kitchen and the rest of the house and started on dinner.

What a man.

Of course, if you remember I actually cleaned the whole house on Friday, but somehow in the complete chaos that is Me trying to get Stella ready to leave the house for Competition the entire thing got destroyed again! And I had planned on spending the whole day repairing the damage.

Best Husband Ever!


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