Most of you already know that Carlsbad celebrated its annual Relay for Life this weekend, and many of you are also aware of the fact the weekend also featured a circus, a Cinco De Mayo celebration, the Mescal Roast and waiting in line to see “The Avengers.” However, only those of you with a daughter or granddaughter between the ages of 2 and 18 know that it was also dance recital weekend. And there are people out there who say there’s nothing to do in Carlsbad.
You can tell it was dance recital weekend because every single flower shop or grocery store in town looked like it was hit by a hurricane. Seriously, there would have been more flowers available the week after the Hooters convention came to town, which would force the members of the local male population who attended to subsequently need to find a way to appease their better halves.
I got up at 6 a.m. thinking I was a step ahead of the other flower-buying parents, but the only supply left by then were a few dying lilies, a cactus or two and some potted plants. I contemplated starting a dance-cactus tradition and then went with the potted plant with the prettiest flowers.
Victoria eyed the potted plant, which we planned to give Amelia to celebrate her potentially-successful dance recital, apprehensively. I stood my ground.
“You are thinking right now that this was the best I could do because I’m a man, and you or another woman could have found something much better,” I noted. “Stop thinking that. There was nothing better.”
And to be fair, Victoria did an excellent job of turning the flowers in the potted plant into a very nice arrangement.
Both of Carlsbad’s big dance studios were in full swing this weekend, but we were affiliated with the one that performed at P.R. Leyva. The rival dance company (Jets vs. Sharks, yo) performed at the civic center. Amelia was in Saturday afternoon’s “Land of the Littles” performance, and she was the littlest of the littles.
We generally believe 2-year-olds should just get to run around and explore (destroy) the world, but relented on the dance class thing because Amelia had to switch daycares and we wanted her to keep in contact with some of her friends. So we’re not those kind of parents, yet.
I’ve blogged about it before, but to catch you up- Amelia loved dance at first, then hated it, then loved it again, then hated it when the louder, higher-pressure official rehearsals started. It’s worth noting that level of spectrum also sort of describes her feelings about a grilled cheese sandwich over a 30 second period. We’d decided that if she wasn’t enjoying herself at dance then she didn’t have to do it. We’d see how the dress rehearsal went and make a last second call.
Only by then, we’d already waited in line for 45 minutes for tickets and grandma had flown in and we’d even purchased “monkey brains,” which is apparently some sort of crazy hair spray, so no pressure or anything.
Amelia nailed her final dress rehearsal. And daddy didn’t have to go up on stage with her and do the baby chickie dance to help. So there’s also that. It went so well that she didn’t even remember to ask for a Popsicle until moments after the performance.
And then she nailed it again during the final performance on Saturday afternoon. She elbowed her way to the front of the stage and delivered (in my humble opinion) the world’s best 2-year-old artistic interpretation of a baby chicken hatching from an egg, ever. Sure, her baby chickie costume lost an eye right before the performance, but I could have cared less. In fact, the entire rest of the auditorium could have been on fire and I would not have even noticed – I only had eyes for my baby chickie – and the fact that she seemed to really be enjoying herself.
I’m not going to lie, there were periods throughout this entire thing when I thought signing a 2-year-old up for a performance was way too much pressure to put on someone who still can’t figure out the rules to Candyland. But it ended really, really well, and now there’s apparently this thing called summer princess camp coming up in a month or so…
It’s worth noting, however, that you have to be pottie trained to attend princess camp, which may or may not be historically accurate. It also brings a lot of new meaning to the famous “princess and the pee” story.
I was originally opposed to “princess camp” because it sounded incredibly exploitive, but after this weekend’s incredible performance I may just be having a change of heart…