Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ruby's First Lesson

Today was Ruby's first Tap/Ballet class. And before you start thinking what a terrible thing it was for Ruby to be the only one in regular clothes (and the only one without ballet shoes), please let me explain that it was expressly suggestd by Ms. Deidre, the teacher. She said that with this young age, mothers often get over-excited and buy all the bells and whistles, only to find that their children aren't ready to take lessons. Her advice was to wait until the first class to decide whether we should even sign up for lessons and THEN get the necessary items. The awkward thing about it was that I was the only mother who actually did what she suggested. (I didn't want to literally throw away almost a hundred dollars!)
There's a bonus to Ruby wearing regular clothes: it's easy to tell which one is her!

I am not die-hard into dance for Ruby. But I do think some sort of class will be good for her in many ways (like learning the importance of listening and following instructions from someone other than Mommy or Daddy, and that no matter what others are doing, she must do what she knows is right). I believe this will also provide the opportunity to learn that Mommy does not have jurisdiction over all children, and will not be able to fix certain problems, and that other children may be allowed to do things that she may not do. This is a fundamental lesson for her whole life, I believe. Therefore, it is not "simply" a dance class to me. It is a chance to learn and practice several different things besides dance techniques.

In the tap video, you'll notice Ruby holds on for dear life to the barre. Can you guess she's slipped a few times on the tile at home? (By the way, these are very short videos, mostly for the viewing pleasure of Ruby's 'Lita, who sent her a garage-sale find of tap shoes and a Shirley Temple movie--ingenious!)

Watching Ruby, I think about how I struggle to follow an aerobic exercise video, and hope that she will do better than I in the coordination department. She reminded me so much of myself when she had to stop doing one thing before doing another, and couldn't quite manage to both "fan" and turn at the same time!

And by the way, she didn't seem embarrassed to not be dressed like the others. Thankfully, she's young enough to not notice it too much (and the other girls only noticed for a split second).

So, after class today (after getting an affirmative that she's ready) I asked Ruby if she'd like to take the class. She said "Yes, I'm happy. No, Mommy, I LOVE IT!"


  1. Hey Sarah! I posted a response to your thrush questions on my blog comments...hope that is okay. I can't wait to check you blog out. :)

  2. Sarah -- You don't know me, but I just finished reading both of your birth stories. I want to thank you so much for posting those. I had a prodromal labor too, with my first child. I was in labor for nearly three days, and the only real difference between my experience and yours was that my water broke right at the outset of labor, so I was pretty sure that this was "it." I was fortunate to deliver our son in Japan where I had a God-send of a midwife and a doctor who was very hands-off and a true champion for natural childbirth. Had I delivered here in the U.S., I am certain I would have ended up with a C-section. Our second child is due next spring and I am literally petrified of what may happen if history repeats itself (as I have been told is a possibility) when I deliver at a hospital in the U.S. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your stories. It has helped me not feel so alone and "weird" in my labor experience. -- Laura

  3. Oh, she seems so grown up in these videos! I love them!

  4. Hi, Laura! I'm so glad to meet you! You and others like you are the main reason I started a blog and posted these stories. Do you know to what state you are moving and when? I may be able to get you in touch with someone who knows practitioners that are birth-friendly (as opposed to "deliverers").
    Also, as to the water breaking, it is my firm belief that the only reason my water doesn't break until well into labor (with all 3 labors so far) is because I eat 80-100 gm of protein daily while prego--especially toward the beginning and end. I don't have scientific proof, nor have I researched it (that's on my list!), but I've heard the amniotic sac is primarily protein, and in my small circle of knowledge, I have yet to hear of a woman who A)kept track of protein intake and B) ate 80-100 gm daily, whose water broke early on in labor. It's not too late to start! (I wasn't aware of this "fact" until I was 6 mo. prego w/my first, and she very well may have been born "in the caul," were it not for amniotimy.) And you're right about U.S. hospitals. I believe the biggest key to avoiding an unnecessary c-section is to not go to the hospital too soon (in the case of prodromal labor, too soon could be the first day)!
    Ever considered home birth? It can releive the stress of knowing "when should we go?" when you're already "there!"
    Thanks for finding me, Laura. You've made my day!

  5. Sarah -- Thanks for your reply. I am always nervous leaving a comment on someone's blog that I don't know. My husband was actually the one who found your blog. He just googled prodromal labor, and your blog came up (I think on the second or third page), and he said "You need to check out this lady's blog. I think you guys have a lot in common!"

    Thanks for the tip about the protein. It was something I had not heard before, and it makes sense. I have found, with both my pregnancies so far, that I crave carbs more than anything else, so it is likely I was not getting enough protein. I will definitely try to make it a point to eat more, in a hope to avoid my water breaking so early. Before my son was born, I read that the bag of waters breaks at the outset of labor in only about 5% of women. So, I was surprised it happened that way, to be honest!

    We currently live in Memphis, TN. My husband is finishing up a master's degree and will be done by Dec., at which point we will be moving, but don't know where yet. It is more than likely the baby will not be born in Memphis, which is a good thing since the birthing climate here is not the greatest. Midwives don't have hospital privileges, so if you want to use one, you have to have a homebirth. I am not diametrically opposed to that, but I AM somewhat uncomfortable with the idea. I would love to have both a midwife and doctor who work together, as was my experience in Japan. Unfortunately, I don't see that that is the "norm" here in the U.S.

    I'm sorry for the book of a comment. Feel free to email me at rustyandlaura at gmail dot com! And, yes, I would love to look at the link you mentioned.

    You have a beautiful family, by the way. Thanks again for your advice and encouragement. -- Laura

  6. Laura, the address is smoochy4life.blogspot.com/2006/07/sonnys-birth-story
    and her 2nd baby's birth story is smoochy4life.blogspot.com/2008/07/georgias-birth
    Becca and you are two of the only people I know who have had unmedicated prodromal births. I think the reason for this is almost entirely due to the fact that when labor slows or shows no signs of progressing, the hospital whips out the Pitocin (or even worse--a scalpel)! I actually wonder if practitioners stood back and let things be, if the incidence of prodromal labor would go up. Maybe we wouldn't be such weirdos then! Maybe prodromal labor isn't so rare, it just isn't "allowed."
    But Yay for unmedicated prodromal labor! It CAN be done!
    If you have the ability, I would strongly recommend taking a Bradley childbirth class from a knowlegable, experienced teacher. There are some things about it that are just odd (I may even post about it someday), but I am NOT joking when I say that were it not for our teacher, we would have had a highly-interveined, medicated up-the-wazoo, c-section of an experience the first time; and possibly NO MORE CHILDREN (okay, so maybe I'm being dramatic, but I wonder...).

  7. Hey! So I need to write or call you about some Bradley questions and tell you about my experience with Washington midwives! IT's WAY easier to find them here than just about anywhere else in the country, in my experience. Anyway, our former commander's wife gave us a ton of clothes and what do you know, there were tap AND ballet shoes in the box. I will keep my eye open and send them if I find them. What size is Ruby? I hope I didn't get rid of them before the move! Love, Adri

  8. Hi Adri!
    That makes sense about midwives in WA. The #1 midwifery school in the U.S. is in Portland, so that follows that surrounding states (like CA, too) have a great "selection" of them! I think parts of the east coast must be a little more progressive, too. If Karin's birth had happened here in NM, she would have ended up w/a c-section, but they worked well with her situation (at least in my estimation; care to weigh in, Kar?)

  9. Oh, sorry, Adri. Ruby's size is 8-9ish right now. (She has sz. 9 taps and 10 ballet shoes. I can't believe I'm THAT mom who buys specialty shoes too big so they'll last all dancing season!)