Monday, January 11, 2010

Ricki and the Bride (a VERY Visible Ricki)

[Image: Ricki trying to edge in to dance with the bride at a different wedding....]
Our downstairs neighbor’s daughter was married last night, and both Ricki and I were invited to the wedding. The bride had for years been Ricki’s steady babysitter, and she requested specifically that I bring Ricki. I wondered if she realized how problematic that can be.
Ricki loves a kallah (bride). What younger girl doesn’t? But in years past, that love translated into Ricki wanting to dance ALL the time with the bride. Quickly enough I was able to teach her that everyone dances with the bride ONCE, and the remainder of the time will let others dance with the bride. OK, that she learned. But she did not yet learn (or agree to implement) that one also need not dance in the inner circle, next to the bride, at all times.....
The dancing around the bride often involves 2 or 3 circles of dancers. The inner-most circle, usually of the kallah’s friends, often involves very fast-paced, intricate dancing. The outer circle is usually a bit more slow-paced. And since Ricki (despite several attempts by me to teach her) does NOT know even the basic dance steps, her presence in the inner circle only hinders and frustrates the brides friends, who want to “fly” on their feet.
So true to form, last night Ricki pushed in and got a dance with the bride almost as soon as she entered the hall. Then she started dancing in the inner circle. Sometimes she managed OK with the fast pace, but often when anyone cut in to the circle next to Ricki, she simply shoved them away. (ie., SHE has the right to be next to the bride, but very few others.) Several times I had to go pull Ricki out from the swirling masses in order to threaten her with immediate departure.
But at one point, something interesting happened. The bride had left the women’s side of the hall for a few minutes, but the dancing continued. Suddenly Ricki found herself INSIDE the innermost circle (as if she were the bride). Circled by spinning rings of dancers, she started doing the “dancing” she loves best: with few foot moves but intricate hand motions. It always looks very impressive, and within moments several women had approached me with “Is that your daughter?” While I did not relish the idea of Ricki getting so much attention, she was having a ball, and so was everyone else. Nevertheless, after a few minutes I gestured to Ricki to get out of the center and dance with the others.
And do you want to know how much Ricki enjoyed herself? Enough that as she finally sat down for a few moments to eat, the music started up again, and without a backwards glance, Ricki scooted out to the dance floor to mix with the twirling teenage friends of the bride.


First Lee said...

What do you mean when you say that you don't like Ricki receiving so much attention?

rickismom said...

Getting a lot of attention can lead her to feeling that she is very important, and lead to behavior problems. Also, a lot of attention from teenage girls tends to include stereotyped and condescending comments.