Don’t take the F Train

Don’t take the F Train

One of the problems of being a dance mom is actually finding the time to dance.  Between taking care of the house, the child, the husband, and running a business from the other side of the planet, sometimes taking a dance class, or getting to an audition or making it to a show is all but a mere luxury one only fantasizes about while simultaneously drafting emails, and cleaning up lego. So it came to pass, that after a week of playing the single mother while my husband was away on a conference, I decided that I would take the risk and bring my child to a class where he would sit quietly at the back playing on his Ipad.  Anyone with a toddler, a potty training toddler mind you, will understand the fear and trepidation with which I was undertaking this task.


So what class could be so phenomenal that I am willing to risk my dignity and my sanity? A hip hop class taught by the incomparable Lenaya “Tweetboogie” Straker, aka Tweetie.  Tweetie is without doubt one of the few dancers in the world today preserving the traditions of hip hop culture through dance (did I mention she’s been on Oprah?).  As well as being a lesson in history, culture, music, and of course dance, Tweetie’s classes are a workout and more.  She has you doing drills, you’re on the floor, up in the air, your quads are burning, your heart rate is up, your glutes are throbbing, and meanwhile you’re actually DANCING to one of your favourite hip hop songs. It’s not an aerobics class to good music, I can’t stand those, it’s an actual DANCE class.  A few years earlier (prior to a husband and child) I had brought Tweetie out to Australia for a workshop residency in my hometown, so I was anxiously waiting to take one of her classes again. This class was my reward for a full week of being a single mom with no help, and my child still being alive to prove my maternal skills aren’t so bad. So after a well-planned out morning of visiting Saint Nick at Macy’s, giving my son his favourite lunch of “chippie nuggets” (chicken tenders), and juice (now he’s really being spoiled) we make our way to the dance studio. He knows what’s coming, we talked about it on the train all the way there. “Mommy is going dancing baby. You’re going to sit at the back and watch Peppa on the Ipad ok.  No crying. No grabbing mommy’s leg.  If you’re good you can have a chocolate after.  Do you understand?” “I stand mommy”.  He had been a good boy all day, doing everything that was asked of him (all but sitting on Santa’s lap), so I thought we’d be right. Well, I was wrong. After the first ten minutes, it started.  The long drawn out loud whines “muuuuuuuummmmmmeeeeeeee”.  Standing up and following me. He was potty training at the time and so told me he needed to “pee-pee” at least 3 different times over 45 minutes.  At this stage not only was I embarrassed, I felt like the annoying disruptive “mature age” student in the class. So I made my apologies and left halfway through the class with my child screaming at the top of his lungs. My eyebrows furrowed and me totally disheveled carrying bags, coats,  toys and a two year old. Finally, we’re on the F train, heading home. Four stops, swap trains, three stops and we’re home. The day is coming to an end. Somewhere between the second and third stop, my darling angel whose screams have now stopped, grabs his crotch and says “I need pee-pee mummy”.  Really? We had gone pee-pee three times already less than 15 minutes ago, he needs to go again? “You need to hold on baby”.  Too late.  I could feel this warmth on my leg.  The warmth was spreading down and around my thighs.  Oh good god, my child was peeing on me.  Deep breath. I think to myself ‘no problem, he’s wearing 2 layers of pants, I’m wearing 2 layers of pants, they’ll absorb it. We’ll get home wash up and all will be over.’ Then I look down. There is a stream. Nay, a freaking river of my child’s pee flowing down the car of the F train. It wasn’t an empty car either, there were about 10 people in the car; enough to know where the source of the river was coming from.  I freeze for a second, and can feel the stares and gazes of the people on the train. My son starts crying now, he can probably see them staring and shooting daggers at us through their eyeballs. What do I do now? The wet wipes I have on hand aren’t enough for me to mop this mess up on the train. I do the only thing I can do. Hug my child closer to my chest, close my eyes and do not make eye contact with anyone.

Fast forward a few hours, when we’re sitting at home, dry and not smelling of “pee-pee” when I realize I left my child’s Ipad at the dance studio. Thank god for Uber Rush.

ash and tweetie
Tweetie and I, 2010 in Perth, Australia during her dance workshop residency

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