My guilt of only carting my third child to Target, Starbucks and her sister’s various lessons hit a high octave in February. Realizing that she was now 18 months old and had never attended an official baby class of any kind hit my 2011 perfect parenting contract right in the gut. At 18 months, her sisters had been to at least 10.
I panicked. I worried for her preschool career and if she could possibly still socialize appropriately.
I wondered if knowing just how to tweet, blog and check facebook updates would be enough for her.
I decided we should leave the house for some official sanctioned baby class time. I signed us up for a music together class.
She sat on my lap in the circle of moms and waited to find out what this was all about. I am pretty sure she wondered where my computer was.
Within seconds of the hello song starting – Astrid got up and walked to my purse on the chair, pulled it down and started dragging it to the door as she yelled “go now mama go now go go go now mama mama go go now now mama door go now!!!!!”
I embarrassingly grabbed her in my arms, returned my purse to the chair and held her tightly as we sat down. I whispered to her how much fun this would be.
She wasn’t convinced. As each new song began – she would say “time go now go now go now mama” and sometimes “me no like” and my favorite was when she would hold her hands over her ears.
Her music teacher told me she would love it eventually. For the next six weeks, nothing changed. She hated it. We would pull up in front of the class and she would start “no music no like go home now mama.”
I would try to play the CD’s at home and Astrid would run and pull on my leg and yell “NO!” and then cover her ears or run to the other room.
But we continued to go because in my house you follow though with your commitments. We signed up for it, we paid for it, we will finish this damn class even if it kills us. And it almost did.
Finally the music teacher asked me “does Astrid listen to music at home?” And I replied “YES!”
Astrid loves music. She sings and dances and kills her sister’s at Wii Just Dance.
And then it dawned on me – being the third child doesn’t just mean you don’t get to take all of these useless and expensive classes, it also means your parents have bought a brain and realized they don’t have to play kid music for you. She had never heard ‘row row row your boat’ or ‘itsy bitsy spider’ or ‘trot old Joe’ or the ever popular ‘wheels on the bus’.
We listen to Top 40 on the radio and Astrid can sing Firework by heart and knows the Flash Mob dance to the Black Eyed Peas ‘I Gotta Feeling.’
So the teacher asked me to bring a CD of music Astrid likes to share with the class.
Remember this class is made up of mainly first time parents.
We put the CD in and Astrid smiled and sang and danced. The other kids joined in.
Some moms looked shocked and stunned and confused and weren’t sure if Lady Gaga was appropriate.
I think I saw a few moms shed of tear of happiness thinking that they could take their radios back and throw Raffi to the curb.
The music teacher may have questioned her usefulness in this parenting process and wondered her financial future.
I felt like a rebel and like I needed to crash every music class in the city and free these women from traditional children’s music bondage.
And everything was going just fine until Rihanna’s S&M came on and Astrid started singing about how chains and whips excite her.
We never returned to class.