Daddy vs Chips X.
Today, Da-Da-Da attended his first dance class. This was something he never wanted to do, but was forced into by the terrible twosomes drunken pirouetting to everything from Nicki Minaj to In The Night Garden. Lacking any discernible sense of rhythm, Da-da-da was understandably nervous. It is hard being the only male at most baby groups, but when one explicitly states that it is ‘helpful for parents to join in with the dance routines’ the potential to stand out like a sore thumb is magnified exponentially.
Nevertheless, Da-da-da got the twins ready and made the short trip to the church hall where the class was being held. In an auspicious start, he bungled the twins into a room a tutu clad children, crashing the double buggy into the small doors twice as he went. His panic at having dressed the twins incorrectly subsided when he realised he was early and was catching the end of an older children’s ballet class.
The twins were mesmerized by the ballet dancers and, when the class finished, began to run round the hall with some older children. This is going fairly well, thought Da-da-da. His reverie was ended when he was asked to put name badges on the twins given it was their first time (and their names are hard for English people to say). Cillian barely noticed the badge being patted on his chest and quickly returned to playing with a radiator grill. Saoirse, however, threw a fit at the idea of being labelled. It would continue, intermittently, for the next forty minutes.
When the dancing started, Cillian pounded away from the circle of children and proceeded to sprint and scream his way round the room. After trying to escape through the fire exit, front door and into the kitchen, he settled down and played with a stack of folding chairs. He also miraculously found a toy car on his travels, which he proceeded to drive around the room making cute ‘brrrrruuuuming’ noises. Besides a few randoms claps and cheers he played no role in the dancing. He did, however, seem to thoroughly enjoy himself.
Saoirse, meanwhile, seemed to suffer an existential crisis for the first twenty minutes. She wanted to join in with the dancing, but also could not understand why Da-da-da had brought her there; or why he was performing strange movements whilst a recorded voice told him to shake his feather. When the children lay down for part of a routine that involved sleeping, she was terrified and tried to hide behind Da-da-da.
At the half way mark there was a break from dancing, during which the children could play with the prop box. At this point, Saoirse calmed down and found solace in a maraca and a tambourine.
Seeing his chance to send a ‘look at the great time we’re having lolz’ text to Ma-ma-ma as she slaved away at work, Da-da-da grabbed Saoirse for a selfie, something she normally finds very funny. The result sums up the class:
In the second half of the class, however, Saoirse started to join in more. She thoroughly enjoyed a Easter egg dance and an activity where she had to walk along a line of ‘lily-pads’. Despite this, the session ended badly when the pleasant instructor said ‘goodbye’ to her.THis lead to a full melt down which put this image into Da-da-da’s mind:
Sheepishly, Da-da-da exited the class, his ears burning at imaginary comments on his parenting skills.
And so to the result:
Daddy wins! Wait, how did this happen? As the instructor explained, it is fairly common for children to freak out or refuse to join in during their first session. Cillian, though he did not participate in the class, had a whale of a time exploring a new space. Saoirse, though one part terrified, was also one part fascinated and one part charmed. Da-da-da, meanwhile, went out of his comfort zone and braved his first structured class with twins. He also shook it like a Polaroid picture in front of a room of his peers. That alone is a big win.
For those keeping score, as we reach the tenth match the series stands at Daddy 6 – Chips 4. Go Daddy!