So my daughter is three. and stubborn. and not potty trained.

More than anything in the whole wide world she loves ballet and dancers and tutus.

This is not my doing, I played with dump trucks as a young girl; and certainly not her father's, he specialized in playing chess with himself and tracing the lines on graph paper in his youth. It's just that we somehow made this little girlie girl princess head and we are amused and enchanted and slightly aghast as she prances around in my pink babydoll nightie from the beginning of our marriage when I still wore such things.

Last Christmas I turned on PBS just in time to catch Julie Andrews introducing the London Ballet's version of The Nutcracker and I called her over “Hellcat! Come see the ballet!” I thought she’d enjoy the opening scene and I’d be able to turn on Law and Order in time to see Jerry Orbach sum up the plot twist with a glib remark. but no.

An hour and a half later I awakened to the closing strains of Tchaikovsky and an outline of my little daughter sitting about 4 inches from the screen, mouth open, eyes wide. Julie Andrews came back “For many of you this was your first Nutcracker, I do hope it was a magical experience.” Oh believe me, Julie… it was.

Ok, so I have this little miss in diapers who loves the ballet. What better motivation for potty training is there than lessons for she who keeps her pink princess Barbie™ panties dry all day? None I tell you, none.

But in appealing to my daughter’s girly and artistic tendencies to achieve underpant dryness, what price will we pay? Will she enter into the Madame Strict’s Ballet Academy at $18,000 per year tuition? Will she wreck her feet and have lifelong back pain? Will she rehearse 18 hours a day, leaving no social life and less academic success? Will she become anorexic and bulimic and pop Mini-thins and Correctol like a cheese-loving-interstate-truckdriver, only to stop menstruating at 14 and smoke Marlborough Lights like a chimney until she is finally told at 22 that she is washed up and should just quit and have babies and tell bitter stories about what she could have been? Will she never learn to count to five???

She chats to me from her car seat in back as we drive. “Mommy, I’m gonna do ballet. And I’m gonna dance in a special skirt called a tutu. And I’m gonna have a hamburger and french fries and a soda for lunch.”

You sure are honey…
Update 07/09/2002
Success! She is a regular potty visitor and in a ballet class where her cuteness kills me for exactly one hour each week. She eats fast food WAY too often and has a sassy mouth that gets her PLENTY of time outs. La!

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