Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Ballet exam

It is the day of the ballet exam. Squirrel's exam is at 10.00, so we are all told to be there for 9.00. This is inexplicable to me, because all she needs to do is have her hair up in a bun and put on a pink skirt.

But apparently it is all much more complicated than Grit thinks. The foul Miss Tuzy is there, ordering everyone about, and making sure the whole process is the ballet equivalent of 'medicalised'. Now me and Miss Tuzy have quite a history of mutual loathing. It is difficult to know when it started. Perhaps Miss Tuzy thinks I am a cold insensitive cow, while I think she is a prissy affected airhead.

For example, I am not allowed to adjust Squirrel's pink skirt. No. That's the specialist job of Miss W, who also attends to Squirrel's socks and shoes. Being only the relative of a ballet exam candidate, I can no longer deal with socks and shoes, despite having put on socks and shoes some 5,000 times in my short child career.

And then there's the hair. Grit cannot possibly be trusted with that. The loathsome Miss Tuzy calls out to Squirrel 'Have you brought your hairclips? And your hairbrush? And your band? And your net? And your hairspray?' Squirrel looks horrified at this list. Meanwhile, Grit would like to shout some very naughty unballet words at Miss Tuzy, preferably along with a couple of sticks sharpened into spears.

Of course Squirrel is not going to answer, and of course Grit hasn't got that load of crap, so everyone just stands there for a few moments in some sort of silent face off. Miss Tuzy makes it worse by pointedly smiling a frozen wasteland of a smile at the cringing Squirrel while Grit hunts through a handbag in search of a comb.

Well that's all there is. That and the value hairclips bought at 11pm last night at the 24 hour shop down the road. For a start we never buy hairspray and I'm not effing well going to start now so prissy meringue head Miss T can squirt it about, polluting the environment for a ten minute show. Second, we couldn't find a net. Quite frankly, because I couldn't be arsed to look. Third, I have brought the wrong hairclips. Miss Tuzy shouts this out when Squirrel takes them over, then adds for public benefit 'Never mind, you can use some of mine'.

At this show of munificence, Grit would like to go over, wrestle Miss Tuzy to the ground and give her a jolly good thumping. I have to do that, and the Chinese burn and headlock, all in my imaginings. By then, Squirrel's head is getting extra ballet bun torture, probably for being the inadequate daughter of the menacing Grit in the corner.

Next, Squirrel gets her shoes re-checked, and her ribbon attached. So my little Squirrel is, by degrees, wrestled off me and turned into a ballet exam candidate, complete with tight bun, identifying ribbon and Miss Tuzy clipboard. And at five to ten, off she goes, up the steps, ready to get her left and right mixed up and to gallop right through the tinkle-tinkle bit. And I sit downstairs, fixing an upturned drawing pin on Miss Tuzy's hairdressing chair with Blu-tack.

Only in my imagination, of course.


HelenHaricot said...

giggle. and is ballet not supposed to be fun????

Allie said...

How hideous is this whole ballet exam business?! My beloved is now recalling the whole business of nets, grips, bands, tutu and so on from her childhood. I suspect it is some kind of stitch up between the schools and the ballet supplies shops... Oh, she's on to the stories of tap exams now. Apparently she had to have fish nets for the tap...

grit said...

we are quietly hoping squirrel's present career choice of ballerina drifts away...

Helen said...

I went to ballet and my mum had a similar attitude to you Grit. Thankfully so did the ballet teacher. I had short hair so thankfully no bun trauma; my mum didn't "do" hair!