Last week Kiki attended a make-up class for ballet. Halfway through the class the teacher announced that the students would now take turns doing high kicks across the room. My inspiringly confident 4 year-old daughter raised her hand and said, “can I go first?” To which the teacher replied, “my rule is ‘if you ask to go first, you don’t get to go first.’ Lucas would you like to go first?”
If you ask to go first, you don’t get to go first? What the hell kind of rule is that?!
Sweetheart, always ask for what you want. Ask politely, but always ask. Be reasonable with your requests, but always ask. And even if you are polite and reasonable, be ready to humbly accept that you might not get what you want, but always ask.
Ask me to play with you if that’s what you want. I’ll probably say no a few times because I’m doing the dishes or folding the laundry and I don’t really want to make your princesses talk. But if you keep asking, I’ll eventually feel bad for putting you off. So I’ll say yes. Persistence pays off.
Ask for that extra cookie. I’m not just going to offer up an extra one on my own. But make me face those beautiful brown eyes of yours and tell you no. Sometimes I just can’t do it. And if you’re asking Grandpa, he’ll always say yes to those eyes.
Ask your teacher for extra credit in school. If you’re just shy of the grade you want, ask your teacher if there’s something you can do to earn a few more points. There often is, if you just ask.
Ask for more money when you are negotiating your salary in a job interview. Just like me with the extra cookie, they’re not just going to offer more money without you asking. So ask for more money and they might reward your initiative.
Ask your friends to help you move when you’re all just out of college. You can usually find at least a few folks that don’t mind trading manual labor for pizza and beer. Just know that the same does not apply once you’re out of your twenties. At that point just go ahead and hire professional movers.
Ask for help when you’re going through a tough time. Whether you’ve just had a baby or you’re recovering from surgery or you’ve lost your job. Your friends and family want to help you. Just tell them how.
Ask your boyfriend/husband to do the dishes, call you sometimes to just to say “hi”, get you flowers for Valentine’s Day, or whatever it is you want. I know, it’s not romantic when you have to ask him. But face it, he can’t read your mind. And I know, you want him to want to do those things. But face it, he doesn’t want to.
These were the thoughts that were running through my head as I was seething at the fact that this teacher’s “rule” was reprimanding 4 year-olds for showing initiative. But before I could worry too much about my daughter’s confidence being squelched, I heard her quiet response to the teacher’s rule.
My inspiringly confident (and hilariously sassy) 4 year-old cocked her head to the side and said, “that’s fine. I didn’t really want to go first anyways.” And when it was finally her turn to go, she kicked the hell out of her high kicks.
That’s my girl.