March 10, 2020

foot pain and performance team pain

In other news, events, and happenings that took place while I was in St. Louis (like a month ago before the shit storm of family drama hit):

Curly danced in two long classes.  The Saturday class is purely annoying.  It is called Performance Team.  Kids sign up to learn choreography and then they 'GET TO' dance in shows in the month of March with some spillage into Feb and April.  I hate performance team with every core of my being.  Curly knows this and still sheepishly, politely begs me to sign her up for it.  Her friends' moms and I all try to hold out and eventually we fold.  Why dance if you cannot do the fun part, right?

(Inserting two clips here because I am testing to see if one works better than another.  I posted both clips on you tube but one is uploaded as public and the other can only be viewed by people with the link.  Both clips are around 17 seconds.  Let me know if one works and the other doesn't.  The clip in the brighter space is in a tent.  In Chicago.  In March.  Chilly.  Crowded.  LONG ASS DAY.  Enough said?)

Why do I hate performance team?  It just leads to lots of racing around and jumping through hoops to perform in shows.  Yeah, yeah, it is FUN for Curly.  Dancing minus the pressure of competing is sweet and relaxing.  I guess - unless you are the driver who races to get to shows over an hour in advance so I can sit in the corner of some crowded gymnasium during some distant parish's St. Pat's party and wish I had a life of my own.  Dear God, will the torture never end?    

It starts with lengthy practices (hooray - more reasons to drive up to the studio an additional round trip on a weekend) where the girl running it lines kids up and picks a rock and roll song that the girls can dance the reel too.  Authentic?  Hardly.  Upbeat and timely, sure.  Back when Mini was still dancing, the lead girl divided the dancers up based on their competition level.  Mini did not have an impressive competition level.  She was still struggling to get that last first place she needed.  Remember that Chinese water torture?  Ugh.  

Anyway, the lead girl stuck Mini with all the less impressive dancers.  She towered over them and was unable to hold back the tears as her friends were dancing in the advanced section along with her little sister, Curly.  

Curly, who had yet to attend sister-sensitivity training and whose heart was in the right place, was legitimately concerned when she sensed that Mini was crying.  Curly was young, like maybe 8, so she did not pick up on the fact that Mini was bummed about performing with young, inexperienced kids AND that she was trying to wipe away her tears discreetly. 

Curly:  'Mini, what's wrong?'  

Mini:  speechless but offers her sister a death stare for outing her for crying and attracting people's attention when that was the last thing she wanted.

The ride home from that practice stands out in my mind as incredibly uncomfortable and tearful.  One of the few times Curly's dancing success wreaked havoc on Mini's demeanor.  

The only joy I get out of performance team is that I get to see other dance mom friends who I usually only wave to from my barely-slowing-down-white-former-airport-shuttle van as I speed by to pick up or drop off Curly at the studio.

Oh, you know what else was fun - buying leotards with scoop necks for the girls and then having the peeps in charge decide the next year that high neck leotards should be worn.  Guess who now owns more barely used leotards than she cares to count?   

EDITED TO ADD:  Um, THIS year they decided to have the girls wear matching black shirts with screen printed 'fake' embroidery in celtic knots on it.  Seriously?  It was only $25, but if I had a dollar for every dollar I spent on Irish dancing . . . well, shit.  This made sense in my head.  You get me, right?  Please come peruse the closet full of Irish dancing dresses (plural) that cost 3 times what my wedding dress costs that I CANNOT SELL due to the fact that current styles become last months styles in like, um, a month, the blink of an eye.  Here I go again.  

ANYWAY, I called from St. Louis to see how the Sunday class went.  It was a class that combines our dancers with another location's dancers and Curly gets another teacher's perspective.  Another teacher's perspective is key.  

Long story, but in May the 'teen' helper/dancer (who was really 28 and behaved like a 12 year old) quit.  While she was a magnificent dancer and offered great instruction, she was incredibly immature and I hated having to explain to my young daughter that living with a boyfriend, who dumps you a few days later, leading you to move in with another boyfriend IMMEDIATELY demonstrates a girl who does not value herself.  You follow?  

While I was not a fan, Curly loved Ms. Immature's dancing friendship/mentoring relationship.  She also felt the sting of Ms. Immaturity's nonsense at times.  Like when she was invited to stay with another family in their hotel room and then refused to give Curly a pump-up speech before dancing or even glance in her general direction because she felt beholden to this family and therefore focused entirely on their daughter who sadly is also in Curly's competition.  

Unfortunately the amazing, wonderful college girl, Ms. Wonderful, that my girls adored who was like a big sister to them left our school with Ms. Immaturity in an act of solidarity, because she had danced with Ms. Immaturity since she was like 4.  In April we will attend our first World Championship competition without the involvement of these two influences.    

Bottom line:  it sucked.  

Our school now has just the one teacher, who I love but who decided NOT to travel to Ireland for World Champs in April.  She has 3 students going and decided it was too expensive.  Oh.  Um.  I will try not to consider the fact that she probably never missed a World's competition featuring Ms. Immaturity and Ms. Wonderful.  Sigh.  Curly is crazy about her teacher and competes MUCH better when she is there to warm her up and talk her off the ledge, etc.  

Yes, this is a big chapter of my life and you now see why I enjoy it so.

The actual point to this post:  I learned on my call home from my tidy and quiet hotel room in St. Louis that Curly hurt her foot at dancing practice.  NO!!!!  (Suz, I apologize for the extra exclamation points).  When I got back home, I saw her play volleyball.  Then on the drive to dancing, I grilled her.  She shrugged it off, or tried to. 

Curly:  "It's fine.  It doesn't hurt that much."

Me:  "You need to be honest with me here, because it will not do you any good to dance on a hurt foot.  It will only make it worse.  No hiding an injury you need to be honest."  

Curly:  silence

Me:  "Why aren't you talking?"  I look over and see she is fighting back tears.  Oh my gosh.  

Curly:  "I don't want to be hurt!  I cannot be hurt right now."

I told her that she was to take it easy at dancing.  No birdies.  (Jumping in air with one leg extended in front of you and landing on the other foot).   I texted her teacher and explained.  Coach had looked at her leg the night before.  He hoped it was just a ligament, but she wasn't bothered by that test that indicates ligament issues.

Now that Big Mama was in town we were going to have a real conversation about what it could be when Daddy got home from work.  A few years ago Curly had a stress reaction, which is the thing that can happen before the dreaded stress fracture.  She was out for a few weeks.  Yikes.

He was too tired last night to examine it so I woke up yet again with a pit in my stomach.  Flights for Dublin are purchased, People.  

This morning he stretched it out.  He cracked her foot/ankle.  She presented with pain where her foot meets her ankle, so he decided that it isn't a stress reaction- which is more often on the top of the foot.  And we all rejoiced.  (any Monty Python fans out there?)  He still believes that it is a ligament, even though she isn't complaining about that when he tests her on it.  He decided three days of rest would most likely help.  

BTW - I love it when Curly directs injury related questions at me.  She came into the bathroom while I was showering this morning (privacy totally overrated) after Coach said no dancing for 3 days to ask me whether or not she was attending volleyball.  

"I am NOT the physical therapist here, Curly.  Go ask Daddy." 

Guess who loves a life that temporarily includes no round trips to the dancing studio for three glorious days?  I will love my life even more if the pain goes away and there really is no more issues with it.  

NOTE:  I did sort of tell God while I was praying about this:  "I can handle an injury, just not her!"  Um.  Trying to pretend that has nothing to do with my jacked up knee at the moment that occurred about 48 hours later.  


Busy Bee Suz said...

Yikes!!! (yes, 3)
I understand the stress of the injury completely; this is not the time (or person) to have an injury after flights are booked.
While it will be nice to have a break from the traveling back and forth for you, I hope she heals well and can continue on.
Pretty sucky about the teacher NOT joining her students on this trip.
My girls still call me with vehicle issues. Ummmm...that is your father's department; I handle sex, periods, mental health, and well, basically I handle everything aside from vehicle issues.
Your knee? Again? Ugghhhh.

FYI: both videos worked well. That girl can dance AND jump high. Very impressive.

Beth Cotell said...

Ugh!!!! (Sorry Suz.) :) I she heels quickly and I hope your knee heals quickly too.

Kari said...

I love watching my fellow Riverdancers. I really need to show her my moves.

I know how an injury can affect kids and sports. Ella has had eczema issues on her hand since August when she fell off of a skateboard and landed on the street ON her hands. Hands are pretty important to horseriding, so it was a thing for a long while. Thank God for horseriding gloves.

I don't know how you do all that travel by car, by plane, by train? I am exhausted just reading about it. Maybe you need to create a Planes, Trains and Automobiles sequel. With Irish dance.

Bibliomama said...

Both clips work fine for me. And I remember my shock at finding out the cost of Irish dancing dresses. My friend has been luckier at reselling hers, but holy crap!
I really hope her foot is okay ("too tired to examine it?" Get it together, Coach). And yes, your torment will end someday, and you'll probably even miss it a little (or maybe not), but that doesn't really help when you're in the thick of it. Sympathies.

Nicole MacPherson said...

Aw, poor Curly :( Hope she feels better soon.

Ernie said...

Suz - I did draft this post in mid February, so update on Curly is that the ankle does bug her a bit now and then. It seems to just be tendinitis. Coach has limited her to no dancing 3 days consecutively and that seems to help. In the meantime, I wonder if they will cancel world championships, and if so - will we get money back for our flights? My knee - hurt in November, hurt again mid Feb, so even though I whine about it here - it is technically on the mend. Still stiff. I do not get the teacher not planning to attend the competition - like ISN'T THIS THE POINT OF THE EXERCISE?

Beth - she seems to be doing fine. It flares up a bit now and then, but manageable and so long as it isn't a stress fracture or something similarly destructive, pushing on. Wondering if Worlds will be cancelled.

Kari - Ouch - her poor hands - yes, a hand injury can get in the way of so many things. Hell, I rip a nail off too short and I am crippled (and unable to remove a contact lens). Do you know that Planes, Trains, etc was one of my favorite movies in high school? The intellectual crowd I hung out with teased me relentlessly about this. They were into movies with deep meanings and well told stories. Um, don't mind me - I like to laugh not read into shit.

Ali - the dress resale thing is out of control. Too many dresses flood the resale market. In my opinion they should limit the new dress orders to kids of a certain age or dance level. Might be hard to enforce, but holy hell let's make this less of a money pit and more of an enjoyable past time. Please? And, no. I assure you - I will not miss a minute of it. I have plenty of memories and nightmares to keep me warm/or keep me up at night. I was all eye-roll-mode the night he didn't bother to look at it. That is in part his way of saying 'dancing is stupid'- agreed, but let's address the aspects that matter since we are in it up to our eyeballs. Her ankle issue has not completely derailed her, but I do wonder if they will cancel. I will be fine if they do - so long as I get my flight money back.

Nicole - sore from time to time, but she is like the energizer bunny - going strong. The question remains. 'will they cancel the world champ competition?' She is supposed to dance in Dublin April 5/6th.