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Archive for the ‘eight years old’ Category

 

Dance,

even if you have nowhere to do it but your livingroom. -Mary Schmich

 

Ladies and gentlemen… today I am taking a small break from our regularly scheduled programming… but it couldn’t be more pertinent, even if I had tried.

 

I’d like to dedicate today’s post

to a very dedicated little girl.

 

Who has jazz hands, and pointed toes, and can stretch and extend and cartwheel and smile, smile smile.

 

My daughter.

Miss eight.

Who has her big  Jazz  Ballet Concert this weekend.

Brava Bella!

Encore!

 

 

 

 

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“Sing.” -Mary Schmich

Today I am singing the praises of small cheats.

Nothing serious of course.

A shortcut when doing chores, a quick cheats recipe when cooking dinner, time saving measures when you are short on… time.

And that brings me to my post today. Which is a cheat…because I officially did not write it today.

But from the first day I saw Mary’s word “sing” I could not get this post out of my head. It’s tune ran over and over in my mind, like a popular song that you just can’t shake off.

It was the fourth blog I’d ever written, before I learnt  how to add links or even how to socially let people know I was writing a blog.  I think it was read by three people.

But the reason I have chosen to repost it is because it really means something to me. And I think it is relevant to today’s topic of : “sing”.

So flame me if you like for cheating.

But otherwise, sit back and I hope you enjoy…

ps… I don’t think Miley Cyrus tweets anymore… social media… it’s damn hard to keep up with….

 

abba

Abba and Kiss and Maths and Mercurochrome

Miss 8 just told me that my way of doing subtraction was ‘old fashioned.” On a piece of paper she jots down a two figure sum and proceeds to demonstrate the modern way of doing math.

 “See Mummy’ she said, ‘makes more sense.” I need a cup of tea.

  “Now can we practice my song for choir?”

  “Sure.” I say with confidence. Singing. I can do that.

She pulls out the lyrics. It’s an ABBA medley. She starts singing Money, Money, Money.

 

When I was a kid you were either a Kiss fan or an Abba chick. Abba was the wholesome choice for a teacher’s pet such as my self. I sat at the front of the classroom and my arm went up lolly-pop-stick straight when I knew the answer. I couldn’t fathom all that heavy rock, men in makeup and skin tight, ball breaking stretchy fabrics. They were all sexed-up, jagged black and white and blood red tongues.

My sister and I, along with a gazillion other little girls, pretended to be the Abba lead singers whenever we could. My Dad bought us the album where they were all sitting in the bubble helicopter. That black vinyl swirled more times on our record player than any other disc we owned. With each song play I grew more mad for the blonde, with her smooth straight, yellow hair and whispy centre part. I dreamt of owning a white jumpsuit that zippered up the front- with sequined flare pants and maybe a braided white and gold belt hung low on the hips. I wrote in my diary that I wanted to marry a man who plays the piano.

When Kiss played at V.F.L park in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs I climbed onto the top rung of our back yard fence and listened to the low thrum of their rocked-out bass-beat float over my neighborhood. As night filtered through the dusk I slipped down off the fence and ended up with a wood splinter in my finger. Mum picked it out with a burnt needle (oh the agony) and then painted a smiley Mercurochrome face on it. In bed I pulled my pillow over my ears and hummed Abba songs until I fell asleep.

My daughter has an ipod that she likes to fall asleep with.  Her teenage cousin loaded it with songs from High School Musical and Pink and Demi Lovato. She doesn’t  know what the sleeve of the artist’s albums look like, but she knows how to Twitter with Miley Cyrus. I wonder what I would have said to Agnetha if Twitter had been around when I was a little girl?

Miss 8 has started singing the Waterloo segment of the medley. I stop to correct her melody and then look closely at the words,

…..The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself…

She’s singing with her sweet high pitchy voice, swaying in time to the beat.

I go get us two hairbrushes (after all- it’s the only honest way to sing Abba) and join in.

Wa, wa, wa, wa,

Waterloo

Finally facing my Waterloo

Ohhh Oh Oh Oh

Waterloo

Finally facing my Waterloo

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 DSCN7945My daughter had a homework

assignment to do.

 

Brainstorm a BIG list of all the words you can think of that represent Australia.

 

She started off strong…

Melbourne, Victoria, koala, wombat, footy, meat pie, kangaroo, southern cross, sydney opera house, Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock, boomerang…

the list went on and on… until we started faltering, scratching our heads and wondering what to put next. Suddenly my darling girl said:

“I know! Santa!” 

We all looked at her…Santa??

“Isn’t he Australian?” she asked, “Oh no silly me-” she said slapping palm to forehead, 

“He’s not Australian, he’s  North Pole-ian.”

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This afternoon we trolled through the garage (otherwise known as the repository for everything other than the car) looking for a case suitable for Miss 8’s impending camp.

Her first camp.

I finally found the one I was looking for, a snazzy-surfy one that her big brother had used on his first camp. I was elated. Phew! I never thought I would find it in all that junk. “But Mum…” Miss 8 said incredulously “it’s a boy’s suitcase.” I looked at it.

Yes.

She’s right it is a boy’s suitcase.

When her big brother went to camp he didn’t mind taking the old red sheet that had the rip in the centre and the Frankenstein stitches. He didn’t even mind that he had a non matching pillowcase. But now I have a whole new ball game on my hands. Don’t get me wrong she’s pulled out her old jumpers and jeans…but I’ve been firmly instructed that the pyjamas must match (tick) and may I please have new volleys (tick-and fine with me- I don’t want her taking her good runners anyway) and was it possible if I had a girls suitcase- please Mum pretty please?

Boy oh boy girls are different.

Part of me can’t justify buying another case, and another part of me wants to get the coolest-grooviest-girly-case I can find.

I remember the day my Mum told me we were going shopping for my primary school camp. I was elated. We were going to the biggest Kmart in town (the one in Burwood) and I felt like the luckiest kid on the planet- I was getting new stuff! Driving along my dreamy thoughts of new sleeping bags and fluffy socks abruptly screeched to a halt as we detoured to the… doctor’s surgery. There waiting for me was a big-fat-juicy tetanus shot.

Tonight I’ve taken a picture of the snazzy-surfy-suitcase.

Tomorrow it’s going on e-bay.

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According to my weeping daughter, who had flung herself across her bed, two girls, (count them fingers sticking up at me) two girls in her jazz ballet class got a grade higher than she did in her dance exam.

I make her sit up. We wipe the trail of snot off her pillowcase and closely examine her new trophy.

“Wow.” I said.

“I think that’s real gold.” big brother said.

“Is that my dinner in the oven?” Dad said.

 

Back last year my daughter did not have such high expectations. I had chosen this new dance studio because I didn’t like the one she had been previously enrolled in (errr the owner brings in giant dog-unleashed- to watch wee-little children dance and then says- “oh but it’s a friendly dog’…). She sat the first exam with the new studio and we were all pleasantly surprised when she received a top grade. It was very exciting. But little did I know what enormous pressure this would put on her small rounded pink shoulders the following year.

 

Her disappointment is palpable.

 

We tell her she’s great/gorgeous/talented/marvelous all to no avail. Tears keep streaming. I remind her that just because someone did better than her doesn’t mean her result isn’t fantastic. Commended does after all sound pretty impressive to me and it’s much higher than fail or pass or credit. I ask her to tell me how everyone else did and her story wafts around, facts are blurry. Clearly her perceptions are more important than reality.

I hold her close and ask her if I can facebook how proud I am. She brightens instantly. She’s social networking savvy at eight. She knows grandma and aunts and uncles and cousins will see my comment and go to her (very restricted) page and leave lov-er-ley messages for her. I show her what I write. I tell everyone how proud I am.

 

Later I creep into her room and watch her sleeping for awhile.

The mother-part-of-me wants to tell her not to be so hard on herself.

But the preparing-my-kids-for-real-life-part-of-me is proud of her for a reason other than how well she actually did in the exam.

 

 I’m proud of her for wanting more.

Sure aiming high will land us with disappointments and many reasons to blow our noses into countless tissues over the years. But it also means we don’t settle for mediocrity.

 

Last week during some random conversation I asked my daughter (who is only in grade three) if she wanted to be the Gold House Captain when she gets into grade six? She immediately answered “no.”  I was very disappointed as she attends the same school as I did and we are all mad for our Gold House. She looked at my crestfallen face and said “I don’t want to be the house captain mummy- because I want to be the school captain.”

 Stay tuned for an update in three years.

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