This Week Doesn’t Count. Plus Dancing.

No, I’m serious. Between the holiday and the snow day and the other snow day and my cold, I didn’t get much done this week. I am a wimpy snow driver, so I kept procrastinating away errands. I wasn’t feeling too great and the kids were around all over the place, I didn’t knock much off my To Do list, and I skipped my workouts. And then, what’s the point of eating healthy if you’re not working out, anyway?

Yep, that’s right. It became a regular shame spiral. But the week is over now, so I’ll start fresh. You know, tomorrow.

We had Boogie Night at the girls’ school this evening, and I’d have to say it was the least unpleasant Boogie Night ever. How’s that for a ringing endorsement? Well, generally the scene is a gym filled with children and very loud music. Some kids are dancing and many are running around like maniacs while their parents ignore them. As a parent, you are officially supervising, which means that you have to stand around scanning the crowd while making idle shouted chitchat. This is particularly difficult for me because I really love to dance. I miss dancing like a maniac every weekend in college. I briefly contemplated attempting to organize a regular Family Dance Party in my basement because I yearn for it so. But parents are not allowed to dance at the elementary school because that would Humiliate My Daughters and Scar Them For Life. So instead I have to stand around. Actually, I did dance YMCA with J. Hopefully M didn’t notice.

The other generally painful aspect of these social occasions, for me at least, is that I fret about my children and whether they’re feeling lonely or left out or whatever. For the first couple of years, it felt like M would just wander around these events aimlessly, and yet she wouldn’t want me to approach her. And last time, all of her friends were dancing and she went into the library’s Book Fair and read a book. Which: yeah, okay. Reading books is good. But I was trying to figure out if there was Drama or if she just doesn’t like to dance. Tonight, both of my children were happily dancing with friends, which made it all much more enjoyable.

In fact, as the entire gymnasium did the Macarena, one of my friends sidled up to me and claimed credit for the enthusiastic and skilled dancing. It turns out that it was her idea to teach kids dances in gym class before Boogie Night. What a great idea it turned out to be! When I was growing up, we’d do a unit on square dancing in school, and it was fun but stressful, with much worry about partners and sweaty hands. But these basic line dances are pretty easy, fun, and they can be accomplished with no yucky touching whatsoever. Such lame-for-your-wedding but super-fun-for-the-elementary-school-crowd hits include the Electric Slide, the Cotton-eyed Joe, the Chicken Dance, YMCA, and the Macarena. It was clear that my children weren’t the only ones who’d been practicing their moves, and it was also a great equalizer, since obviously the kindergarteners are not quite as clued into pop culture as the fifth graders. Anyway, I thought that I’d pass it along, because I think it’s a good idea, not only for fun gym classes, but to drum up enthusiasm for school events.

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