It’s that time of year again: The time when your sister drags you to the community center to watch your eight-year-old niece, Amy, dance dressed as a tulip, a daisy, or a duck. Let’s be honest, you’d rather be at home right now watching The Wolf of Wall Street on Netflix instead of watching nine-year-olds perform to an edited version of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” So in order to save yourself from just sitting there picking the dirt out of your fingernails with the paper program, boost your mood by owning how much you hate those out-of-sync little shaking butts.
Take a drink every time a kid screws up.
The rec room you’re in most likely does not serve alcohol, so a flask is a must! Take that thing out every time a kid makes a major OR minor mistake. Screw-ups include: falling, facing the wrong direction, a butt in the air when a butt is not supposed to be in the air, clapping off-rhythm, and whenever little Kasey accidental smacks her face while trying to put her hands above her head. Chugging enforced when a child cries or runs off the stage. If anyone pees their pants, finish the bottle.
Imagine how many failed jobs the teacher demonstrator went through before winding up on that stage.
You know that grown woman on the side of the stage, doing all of the choreography with that giant smile and “please get this right” eyes? She’s the assistant teacher and recital demonstrator. Undoubtedly her childhood dreams didn’t include being the tallest person on stage, so use your extra downtime thinking of the Segway tours, painting pottery studios, and Thai restaurants she must have been fired from in the past. Come up with fun nicknames for each of her failures like “cry Thai.”
Figure out which 8-year-old has the body type to actually make it as a pro-ballerina.
Don’t sugarcoat it, 9 ½ out of 10 of these girls will fail at a career in dance. Eight out of 10 of those failures will be attributed to their lack of a “classic ballet line,” which is a euphemism for “thin as a sick bird.” Any little girl who doesn’t have a thigh gap is out. Chubby legs signal a definite no. Secondly, you should be able to see the exact outline of their collarbones. Preferably the collarbone is so pronounced that you could pour apple juice into it without spilling a drop. If all else fails, just remember: No baby fat = you’ve got a ballerina. What you’re left with is the little boy in the back whose parents are about to pull him out of this class in embarrassment.
Brainstorm a list of colleges that the little girl who puts her hands through her tutu will get rejected from.
The tutus may change, but the little girl putting her hands through them sure doesn’t. No matter how many years go by, there’s always a five-year-old who just can’t keep her hands out of that tempting elastic. Odds are, that little party animal is just a short nine years away from watermelon vodka shooters and wearing a bikini top as a bra. Dozens of state schools will jump at the chance to stamp a giant “NO” over her file. Bonus points if you can come up with her essay topics. Examples include: “My Summer Learning about Charity in Michigan,” “The Government, Just Like My Parents, Shouldn’t Tell Me What to Do,” and “How My Boyfriend Is the Biggest Influence on My Life.”
Tweet at the children’s parents every time their kid has a wedgie on stage.
Tiny butts! A staple of any child’s sporting event. Do your research and find the twitter handle’s of every parent in the room. Proceed to tweet at @JulietsRealDad every time Juliet turns around to show us her butt eating her leotard. Bonus points if @JulietsRealDad tweets back – we heard @JulietsRealMom isn’t in the picture anymore, and he’s looking good.
If none of those strategies work, cheer up with the fact that they’ve got their whole lives ahead of them and you’re 29, single, and watching your younger sister’s daughter work toward her goals while shoveling concession stand peanut butter M&Ms into your mouth. Happy Recital-ing!