We decided a little while ago that we really wished for Ruby and Ava to have some activities outside nursery and home, where they could make additional friends and learn something new. After a scout about our local area, we decided to sign them up for a tots' ballet class on Saturday mornings (reeeaaally early on Saturday mornings, it's quite a commitment on our part).
Now, I wasn't sure how this would go. Ballet, or the idea of it, is right up Ava's street – but Ru is more of a gymnast, or a climber. She does have poise and incredible balance but, well, she also does everything at great speed and if I was listing her many wonderful attributes, grace (so far anyway) would not be anywhere near the top.
As much as we would like to get Ruby rock climbing, classes for small children tend to start at around age five from what I can gather. So, for now, ballet it is. Of course, tots' ballet classes are not actual ballet per se – they're more about games, imagination and creative movement. And the lady leading the small class (which sadly had not one single boy in it) was just brilliant.
She engaged the children with 'magic dust' and invisible fairies, she encouraged them to do tippy-toes and skipping, and it was all very sweet. Especially, I thought, Ruby's own special input to the proceedings.
When the teacher took the magic dust from her pocket and blew it towards the children, so it would help them make a series of funny faces, Ru grabbed hers mid air... and ate it: "HYUM!"
And when the teacher whispered in hushed tones that she had seen some fairies, and the children should have think about where they might find them, Ruby obviously took the anticipatory silence as something to be filled, by her, with a little more excitement:
"RAAAAAARGH!" she suddenly yelled, making bear claws with her hands (I think the poor girl next to her actually jumped).
"Don't scare the fairies!" the teacher whispered, trying to keep a handle on the imaginary creatures in the room.
But Ru was getting right into it now: "RAAAAAARGH! Issa BEAR!"
"A bear! Oh! Right, let's go and find the fairies..." So off they all tippy-toed, to look behind curtains and under benches.
But then Ruby saw a 'puddle': "SPLASH! Issa puddle!"
Immediately the others gave up tippy-toeing and instead began splashing and crashing, Ruby-style, around the floor.
To say Ruby hijacked the class would be unfair – there was still a good dose of elegance during the half-hour class. But I do sort of love that Ru's own imagination saw to it that tots' ballet can also include big old grizzlies and muddy puddles.
She's not even three yet. Grace can wait.
Have your children gone to threes and up ballet classes?