Arkie Mama: Breaking up is hard to do

So I decided to move my daughter to a new dance studio.

There was nothing wrong with the last one, really. It just didn’t seem to be a good fit for Tootie.

I initially enrolled her in dance for several reasons — to build her confidence and, more importantly, I thought she would enjoy it. At home, the child loves to tap into my iTunes list and dance. I’ll walk by her room and see her twirling and leaping with wild abandon.

But Tootie didn’t seem to find dance classes fun.

“It’s boring,” she complained. “We only dance to one song.”

I knew what she meant. This particular studio seemed to focus primarily on recital and competition, hence the one-song monotony.

The intensity seemed to intimidate my daughter. Whenever I peeked in on her class, her dancing was, well, half-hearted.

So when Moody Mom told me she’d heard about a studio that was more laidback, I decided to check it out. I liked the teacher’s philosophy — that kids should find dancing fun. She doesn’t do competitions, and I get the impression that her recitals are more scaled-down affairs. And, she assured me, the kids would dance to many, many songs, not just the recital one.

I plan on starting Tootie there this week.

Today, I pulled into the strip mall where the old studio is located. I wanted to pop into one of the stores for a few things. And then I noticed all the cars in the lot.

Oh no. I forgot it was registration day.

I grabbed the children’s hands, hoping for a quick, unseen dash across the parking lot. Once on the sidewalk, however, I saw the studio owner coming out the door.

“Quick!” I whisper-shouted to the children. “Over here!”

And then I peered into the window of a clothing store, hoping the dance teacher wouldn’t see me.

“Mommy, what are we looking at?” Tootie inquired.

“Oh, that dress right there! Isn’t it cute?” I chirped.

“No,” my daughter replied bluntly.

I peeked around a column. Coast was clear.

“C’mon, let’s hurry!” I said, urging the children toward our destination.

“Mommy, I can’t run that fast,” my little E-man protested.

With one more panicked glance at the studio, I flung open the door and hauled the children inside.

Our trip back to the car was just as fast and furtive. I am happy to report we weren’t seen. I don’t think.

This isn’t the first time I’ve hoped to dodge a potential awkward encounter. I have a hard time breaking up with anyone — hairdressers, doctors, dentists.

Back in my dating days, I more than once gave thanks for the fact that I worked in the transient world of newspapers, where reporters come and go with regularity. Most of my boyfriends worked with me. At some point, either I would move or they would move. The relationship would peter out on its own. Nobody had to be the bad guy.

An editor/friend who once witnessed one of my “breakups” teased me relentlessly.

“You’re the only person I know who breaks up without actually breaking up,” she laughed.

So it’s official. I have broken up with one dance studio without the breakup scene.

Now I just have to figure out how to end things with my hairdresser.

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