It is Day 34 of Monchichi wearing ballet outfits. Days 1-3 were off the charts cute. Day 16 was mildly cute but the novelty was gone. Day 29 was tiresome but I still flashed obligatory smiles to people in the grocery store who stopped us and oohed and aahed, exclaiming how cute she looked. Day 34: eh.
It started a little over a month ago when Monchichi napped through a ballet performance in town and I didn’t have the heart to wake her up for it. Even though she had never seen a ballet performance, she was so disappointed upon waking that I suggested we could go to a ballet class the next day. Monchichi was satisfied and excited. Pleased with myself for coming up with a brilliant solution to ease my daughter’s disappointment, I was unaware of the Pandora’s box I just opened.
During the class, I was so proud that she concentrated and followed the ballet instructor closely, intent on pointing her toes, or reaching up high. She had a smile the entire time, with pure delight on her face as she tippy-toed and leapt around the room. I was in a perpetual state of “aaawwww” watching her and the other little tutus. As soon as the class ended, she burst out of the room, with sticker in hand, squealing “mommy, mommy!! I did it!” and ran right into my open arms for a big hug. That is how we got here. Day 34.
I know many kids go through obsessions and as far as obsessions go, this one is manageable. Mondays are blissful because she has ballet class that day. The day starts and ends with a tutu and there’s no struggle. If it’s a school day, we have the same discussion every morning, that the activities in school require that she wear school clothes. I then pull out the ultimate zinger: there’s a huge risk that her ballet clothes will get dirty at school, which means I have to wash them, and then she’ll be without a ballet outfit until they’re dry. That always makes her pause, and she readily puts on her school clothes. (This is where heavy-handed lawyer negotiation skills come in handy.) But the minute I pick her up from school, she says she can’t wait to put on her ballet clothes when she gets home. And she does. She even wears a leotard under her pajamas some nights to bed.
No matter if she wears “other” clothes to the playground, parties, or other activities, there has not been a single day in the past 34 days, when a ballet outfit was not worn for a portion of, or most of the day. 34 straight days.
I know this will peter out, but when?? I can’t imagine doing this for 3 more months, much less 6 months to a year. When do we hit the point when this becomes abnormal? I’m still dumbfounded at how this happened – one ballet class and now here we are. Is this how the Black Swan got started? Better yet, do I need to watch the Black Swan?
On the one hand, it’s cute, harmless and allows her to have control over something in her life. It shows that she knows what she likes and takes comfort in being a creature of habit. But on the other hand, I’d like to see her in other outfits for more than 2 hours a day. Plus the constant washing of her ballet clothes is a pain. I just hope this intensely focused interest doesn’t get too crazy. If we hit Day 90, you’ll be hearing about it, if not sooner.