Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dancing Queen

One of the things I love the most about The Dictator is her dancing.

No, she's not a great dancer or anything. She doesn't have rhythm or anything. But I love the fact that The Dictator will dance anywhere, and at any time, she damn well pleases.

I just love that.

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I took The Dictator out for a long walk. We decided (or, rather, I decided, because I'm bigger than The Dictator and so she has to follow me) to buy some burgers and fries for dinner from The Burger Inn, about a 20 minute walk from our house.

Yes, The Burger Inn is one of those hidden gem take-out restaurants that has the cranky old smelly men flipping burgers. But so yummy. The burgers, I mean, are so yummy. Not the men making the burgers.

I put in our order and, as we waited for it to be ready, over the loud speaker the song Sweet Home Alabama started to play loudly.

And The Dictator's hips started to move. And she looked up at me with that look - you know those adorable eyes.

I knew what she needed. She needed me to say, "It's Ok. You can dance." So that's what I did. I said, "It's ok. You can dance."
And The Dictator started boggying and and galloping in circles and kicking her legs and, I'm not sure, attempting to do the splits in the air or something.

Whatever she was doing, she was dancing like no one was watching. But they were.

Even the two all-dressed-in-black Mod girls with eyebrow piercings who were also in line, who probably hadn't cracked a smile in two years, started laughing (not at her, but with her.)

And The Dictator kept saying, rather, yelling to me, "Dance mommy! Dance like this! Shake your bottom! Like this Mommy! Like this!" as she shook her hips.

I almost cried tears of embarrassment. Joking. I almost cried because it was so fucking cute.

Don't get me wrong. Sometimes I feel like dancing too. And I'll dance around my living room and put on bad strip tease shows for the fiance.

But if I danced like The Dictator dances at restaurants or on the street, I'd be taken away and institutionalized. Which would suck.

So The Dictator and I have started to have "dance parties," where I'll blast the radio and we'll dance around her bedroom. The only other person allowed to come to these parties is "Ruby the Dancing Dog," as The Dictator says.

I don't know. Sometimes a gal just has to dance. And, sometimes, I want to be two years-old.


Blogger Heather said...

I think those moments are what makes parenting so worth it. Keep on dancing...I bet those greese monkies in the kitchen secretly wanted you to shake your bottom too!

2:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rowan is too cute. You need more pictures of her on here! And Ruby too!

2:57 PM

Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I love that!!!
Kids are so funny when they dance. It's like they can't stop their bums from wiggling.
My son does ballet (or Ba-way as he says) and puts his hands over his head and dances. I love it.
If only I had so few inhibitions.

3:17 PM

Blogger Annie, The Evil Queen said...

I tend to at least bop around a bit if there is music on. I often do just dance a bit. Sometimes people laugh. But I figure I've made their day. At least they are smiling now. But no jumping kicks. I don't need a lawsuit.

4:08 PM

Blogger Irish Eyes said...

I like this "ask your Mom before you do anything embarrassing in public" tactic. I maybe should still employ that one. . . I mean she's only ever a phone call away, right? : )

4:08 PM

Blogger Wendy Boucher said...

We still have dance parties and Girlie is seven. When she was two, she favored Prince's 1999 album. The Dictator sounds adorable and perfectly uninhibited.

5:19 PM

Blogger Mega Mom said...

We live across from an elementary school and tonight there was a big outdoor ice cream social with a DJ. My kids love to dance, but the older 2 get a bit embarassed now. We had already come home from eating our ice cream and somehow we ended up dancing in our driveway (I think they thought no one could see through our "invisible driveway shield" :))

They did the limbo and had a conga line. Very fun!

I can just see your daughter. Too cute!

5:49 PM

Blogger York Region Baby said...

Liam loves to dance - he's crazy about it. And tonight he danced to the sound of the printer as I was doing some dance parties are the best!

6:31 PM

Blogger bubandpie said...

I second the vote for pictures - couldn't you post a face-hidden pic? Or a blurred dancing queen action shot?

I loved this post. Having grown up around certain representatives of the "dancing-is-wrong" villains-of-Footloose sector, I've been amazed to discover how natural dancing is to children - from such a young age they start dropping those butts, bobbing those heads, picking up those little feet... there's no better sight.

7:34 PM

Blogger Blog-o-licious said...

OH my GAWD, that is so cute. I ask my step daughter if I can chaparone her high school you and dad dance weird. yeah (homer voice)

7:38 PM

Anonymous Nancy said...

That post totally made me smile. She sounds adorable, I can almost picture her shaking her booty!

Thanks for stopping by my site. I will be back!

7:48 PM

Blogger Sara Bingham said...

Oh my goodness - tears in my eyes Rebecca! I love it! Sabrina is exactly the same way...when her hips start wiggling and she starts her "freestyle" I tell her to go get a spoon cause mommy's going to eat her up!

8:52 PM

Anonymous chelle said...

hehehe...note to self make sure toddler understands that mommy only dances at home!!!!

Awesome story!! My daughter loves to dance too!! Not quite kicking in the air yet, however she always expects me to join in!!!

9:22 PM

Blogger Cindy said...

little kid dancing is the cutest. Much better than me dancing anyway.

One time I was grocery shopping with Adam and he wandered off to get something and a totally awesome song came on and I started dancing (Shakira- hips dont lie, so yes it was recently). Nobody really knows me anyway, so I didn't care. I was beginning to wonder where Adam went when he didn't show right away. Turns out he came back and saw me dancing with the cart and left until the song was over. I haven't heard the end of it yet.

11:53 PM

Blogger Kristen said...

I love when kids dance! Sometimes I feel like you do- I wish I could just bust a move any time, any place. I used to really go for it in the car to see how many people I could get to laugh, but now I don't want people to think "How did that crazy lady get to keep her daughter?" LOL. So I dance at home with Leah.

6:33 AM

Blogger BoDog said...

All of my children dance...from the almost one bulk to the 4 year old hyper boy. The best are the girls...2 and 3 years apiece. The 2 year old just kind of bounces in place, but my 3 year old, never dating 'til I'm dead girl dances like she's some hoochy-mama!

And I dance with the great embarrassment of my wife. I don't even wait for them to start dancing...I will do it on my own...To the great embarrassment of my wife.

6:48 AM

Blogger Jenn said...

Thats cute. I bet she's adorable.
I admit that I laugh when my boys tell me to dance and "shake it like a polaroid picture".
It's cute when they're little.
Not so cute when they're a grown up rap star.....

10:14 AM

Blogger tomama said...

Baby Girl likes to dance. And sing - especially when she hears someone embarassingly serious about singing like that Groban dude on Oprah. She closes her eyes and sings her heart out and shakes her thang. It's adorable and tragic all at the same time.

11:50 AM

Blogger Wendy Boucher said...

Thanks for your visit to my blog, writer friend. To answer your question, my novel that's out is a comedy about a social-climbing obsessed mom and the quirky family that saves her from herself. The next one is a stand alone sequel about the small steps required to move from shame to pride (her mom's in a lesbian wedding, her hubby's on a reality tv show, etc.) Both have very funny mother/daughter relationships at the center of the story. And your books?

12:04 PM

Blogger Michele said...

I was quite the dancer once, when I was young and single and childless.

The only time I dance now is with my kids but it is worth every minute of their tiny butts wiggling and arms flapping. Yea for The Dictator. If only we could all dance with such abandon!

12:49 PM

Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Dance like nobody's watching. Hell yeah.

We dance in the living room in the evenings (where the turntable resides). Sometimes we dance to Grease, sometimes to West Side Story, sometimes to the Go-Gos. But everyone dances and has a great time.

12:59 PM

Blogger Not Jenny said...

It sounds like your girl is a real gem, Rebecca. We watch a show put out by the BBC called "Boogie Beebies" and my boy will dance along to all of the singing and dancing kids. Too cute.

2:14 PM

Blogger Christina said...

I love seeing kids dance with wild abandon, not caring what anyone else thinks. At what age do we suddenly start to care what others think and get embarrassed?

You should get some video of her dancing. I bet it would be great!

2:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When she was Rowan's age, my now seven year old daughter used to just bob her head side to side, just like the two dorky brothers in, "A Night at the Roxbury". Now she forces us to crank up, "Sorry" by Madonna when it comes on the radio. She is convinced Madonna is a new artist no one but her has ever heard before, and that Madonna is the new messiah in some form. (Yikes!)

9:46 PM

Blogger Jennifer's Encouragement Blog said...

Wow, It sounds as if she is a special girl. Do not let her lose that spark. She sounds fun. I have a fun daughter also. She and I sing in the car and we catch people looking some times. It is funny. i
s our favorite station.

12:14 AM

Blogger Bahar said...

I am not crazy or anything (ok, my hormons have been messed up lately) but this post put me all in tears.

When a little kid dances, she is happy, full of love, full of hope, full of innocence.

You should dance with her. My mom and I sometimes do that.

We were waiting for the Subway 2 weeks ago at Bloor and the guy in the corner started a great spanish songs. Before the train arrived, my mom helped me do a double spin (salsa) and we laughed.

It is a mother-daughter thing. You should feel care-free every now and then and dance with your little angel.

(I am not sure what is wrong with me, but even American Idol made me cry last week and my boobs have grown one size! and no I am not pregnant!)

7:40 AM

Blogger claire said...

burger in rules!

7:44 AM

Blogger Gabriella said...

dancing babies and kids are the best! Samantha is only 9mths but she also has been bopping away to music since 5mths it's hilarious!
The innocence and carefree nature of kids are wonderful!!!

8:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it when my daughter dances -she hears her fav song (right now anything by Ralph Shaw, king of the Ukelele) and gets a glazed look in her eyes that says "watch out, and watch me!" usually followed by "let s get naked!" and she's off in a blurr.... (she's 3 1/2 ). I'm so proud!

1:55 PM

Blogger Karla said...

Love the dancing babies. I try to get up and dance with her. It really takes away the stress.

2:02 PM


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