I Guess I’m the Mama Bear

I’ve heard that the mama bear is very protective of her little cubs…and today I realized that I am totally the mama bear (if the mama bear is also anal-retentive, slightly sarcastic and wears fabulous shoes).

Today we had to go to a workshop where two Teaching Artists taught us about Mariachi music. Next week, we are going to see them in concert. Cool concept, right? Totally.

We’re in the auditorium and my little cubs were all lined up and listening attentively. It was one of those moments when you look at them and are insanely proud and get a little misty (then you remember where you are and feel super lame?).

The Teaching Artist (after talking for 30 solid minutes without involving the children in any way…clearly we are using the term “teaching” loosely here because no one in their right mind would do that to 20 7-year olds right after recess…it’s almost like a ticking time bomb) then asked my children to get on stage to try dancing but requested that “the teacher stay seated”.

Um, ok. Sister friend, this is my world and I can make decisions for myself…but I remained quiet and did what I was told. After all, it’s about the kids and the music, right?

They get themselves all organized on stage and are looking particularly precious. The “Teaching” Artist then gave the following directions (in broken English I might add, but will not attempt to imitate here because I don’t want to offend anyone but really, it just made following these directions that much harder):

“Walk on stage like a performer. NO! Not like that…like this…no no no!! You look lazy…like this!!

My little cubs get on stage but aren’t sure where to stand (because of no direction) and are doing their best.

Um…(deep breath)…so she’s almost yelling at them…(deep breath)…she gave them no clear directions…(deep breath)…she told me to stay down here…(deep breath)…I’m going to let this go…but WATCH OUT friend.

“Boys and girls we are going to try this dance. Boys stand this way (She demonstrates). Girls, stand this way (she demonstrates). Ok, then we are all going to start on the right foot and stamp eight times. Rest for eight beats. Then stamp your left foot eight times. Wait for eight beats. Stamp your right foot four times, four beats, left for four, four beats. Right for two, beat beat, left for two beat beat. Right one, wait one, left one, wait one, right, left, right, left, right, left…then we’re marching, we’ll speed it up and stop. OK?”


At this point, my precious bear cubs eyes are totally glazed over, people are picking their noses, adjusting socks and tying shoes. Yea, this is going to be interesting.

The music starts and people just start dancing. There is random stamping, attempts at counting to themselves, and for some reason, a lot of snapping.

The “Teaching Artist” then begins to SCREAM: “NO NO NO! You are not listening at all…hellOOOOOO…what grade are you supposed to be in? You can’t even count to eight?!?! What are your teachers teaching you??”

OK, bee-atch, it’s ON!!! I quickly leave my place in the seats, jump up on stage and set her straight. Then I calmly model the dance for the students. We practice it slowly and then practice it slowly and SURPRISE!! they can do it (within reason).

And that’s when I realized that NO ONE talks to my little cubs like that…I am the mama bear so watch out!

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