As frightening as it sounds, on Saturday night MooBee and I settled in for a night of watching Toddlers and Tiaras. There is nothing we like more, as a mother and daughter, than sitting back and feeling somewhat superior to all of those poor children and their Stage Mothers who take part in Beauty Pageants. Would we ever indulge in something like this? NO WAY!
Let me take you back about six weeks. MooBee and I attended the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championship. MooBee loves gymnastics and I thought it would be a great opportunity for her to see how the big girls do it. The minute we walked in to the arena foyer we were assaulted by glittering leotards in every colour under the sun. It was a true SQUEEEEEEE moment for MooBee. I thought she was going to explode being confronted by so much glitter and textile colour. AND they came with matching scrunchies! After checking the price tags of a few of these wondrous outfits I quickly diverted MooBee's attention (Goodness, was that Hannah Montana?). I was being the responsible one (of course) and making sure she was here for the sport - not the glitz.
Best intentions as they say...
We did watch all of the finals and MooBee sat still for four hours - however there were moments when critiquing the leotards and hairstyles snuck their way into the conversation. Why did they choose that colour? What were they thinking when they used a sunset as a background? Orange??? To pony tail or not to pony tail? The endless important discussions of the day.
At the finish after dragging MooBee back past the leotards, I thought the glitz side of things would be forgotten. But no. I found myself googling bling leotards - imports from the US - could I get them cheaper over the internet? Is bling OK if you don't have to pay $200 for it?
And then a pivotal moment in MooBee's life. I entered her into her first invitational competition. This would mean a club leotard and hair. For the last three weeks MooBee has put that leotard on at any given moment to parade it for friends and family. Silver and aqua glitz - what more could you want?
A matching scrunchie!
With a week to go MooBee decided that she must have a matching silver scrunchie to go with the leotard. Could it be any silver scrunchie? Oh no. It had to made from the same fabric as the leotard. This meant driving to the factory where the leotard was made and asking for a scrunchie to be 'created'. I experienced my first 'Stage Mum' moment when I made them find the exact fabric match for the scrunchie - "I don't care that it's silver, I want the right silver."
For the next week I found myself turning into Coach, Fashion Consultant and Sports Pshycologist leading up to the competition. Point those toes, you know you can't win everything and pony tail, don't hold the hairspray!
Well, it all happened yesterday. My future Olympic Gymnast was cool, calm and collected for her first competition and I was going through the routines in my mind. Remember to hold for two seconds, don't flap your arms, remember to present properly to the judges and so on. Fortunately MooBeeGran was there to place an arm across me as I prepared to sprint out onto the floor to demonstrate the move that should have come next. How will she go? Will
I MooBee cope if she doesn't win a medal?
And then the competition was finished as quickly as it had begun. Level 1 gymnasts were awarded their medals and my MooBee ended up with not one medal but FIVE! Five third places. One for each of the apparatus and one overall. MooBee was beside herself. And then I learned a lesson. My little girl applauded every single recipient of an award. She hugged the little girls who came first and those who came sixth. She smiled through the whole competition and was beside herself by the end of it all. When I asked her about what the best part of the day was she said:
"Watching everyone have fun mummy."
Not the hair, not the leotards, not winning. Having fun. I have now retired my Toddlers and Tiaras Stage Mother Crown and have learned a lesson from my seven year old. I'm going to make some leotards (I do sew after all!) and from now on it's about enjoying the experience :)
By the way, MooBee competed against two other teams ;-)