I love Hollywood musicals, and subject my family to them regularly. Why not? They are usually suitable for even the smallest of kids – with some explanation - “Mummy, why is that child smoking?” (‘Show Boat’) “Mummy, why can’t she say no?” (Oklahoma) and maybe not ‘Rent’, but as a general rule, my four year old dances in front of the TV during the songs and cracks me up.
We were more or less happily watching ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ when I noticed my 13 month old bobbing up and down in her playpen a little more enthusiastically than normal. She smiled at me, with her special eyes-closed smile that means she is doing something particularly brilliant, and I looked at her feet. There she was, tapping away like she was in Riverdance; not holding on to anything, just kicking away on her bare little feet, grinning.
- by Kakinsky from morgueFile
We all looked. It was real.
She stopped and ate a cracker.
“Dance! Dance!” I said, flapping my hands at her like a demented crane, and she started up again, in perfect rhythm, smile plastered on, bopping away in 3/time like a tiny metronome.
I took a film and posted it on my private Facebook account. People (not many, but those who actually watched it) were overwhelmed. This talent was not in my head, she was a veritable Ginger Rogers in a nappy.
- by mzacha from morgueFile
Suddenly I get stars in my eyes and see…..pageants. Not the makeup ones, the talent ones. And only if she likes it. With tasteful costumes. And no forcing. Then I see TV show roles, record deals (?) and, just as my husband puts his foot down I see her name in lights on Broadway.
So much for that.
- by KatMyStiry from morgueFile
But it makes me think about pageants, and what drives mothers to let their kids participate? We see ‘train wreck’ shows like ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ and think we could never, ever be that mother. I know have watched, smug in my second hand clothing and post-hippie minimalist house and thought “How vile, materialistic or what?” That is, until I realised that somewhere in my second daughter’s gene pool lurked a pair of teeny weeny tap shoes and some Fosse moves to go with them.
I have not seriously looked into pageants for my daughter, I don’t want her being exposed to competition based on looks, or everybody getting a prize just for showing up, or sticking things to her with tape, but I sometimes feel her there, lurking around the corners of my mind, the sequined, movement coaching, vaselined lips of the Pageant Mother whispering in my ear “She could win it all……”
With so much public scorn directed to 'stage mothers', would you ever consider putting your child in the spotlight? I'm still not convinced.....