It’s amazing how our children can make us feel. One moment you feel confident and like you’re doing this mothering thing okay and the next moment you feel like you’re getting it all wrong and that surely something isn’t right with your child. I had one of the getting it all wrong moments today.
Shorty had his first Kindermusik class (not counting the free open house we attended a few weeks ago). Last night I talked to him about it. I told him that Miss Joan was going to teach us some new songs and dances. He was all excited and ready to go sing and dance with Miss Joan. This morning his enthusiasm was less than zero. He didn’t want to get in the car to go. Then once we arrived he didn’t want to get out of the car. He told me, “No sing and dance with Miss Joan.” Of course, after paying $210 for this class I made him get out of the car and give it a try.
Here’s how the 45 minutes went. First he wanted to cling to me and screamed “no” when I tried to get him to sit on the rug and play with the other kids and the instruments while we waited for the class to begin. Instead he noticed the fan that was plugged into the wall and placed on the floor to circulate air. So, that’s what he was interested in. I took him over to look at the fan hoping to get it out of his system. We also took a little tour around the room, also hoping that it would satisfy his curiosity quotient.
He had little interest in dancing. In fact, while the other children happily clapped, tapped their feet, and swayed to the music, Shorty walked around the room looking at the fan, the empty water jugs (honestly can’t they store them someplace else?), or he wanted me to hold him. Not participating at all. He showed mild interest when Miss Joan sang. Enough interest that as long as she sang songs he would sit still on my lap and listen without screaming, “no.”
As for the instruments, well he would semi-eagerly get one for him and one for me. But he really didn’t care much in following Miss Joan’s instructions about how and when to use them. He was all too happy to help Miss Joan clean up every time she was ready to put one away and introduce something else. I guess I should be thankful that he was cooperative and well behaved at clean up times.
By the time the 45 minutes was over he was ready to leave and didn’t protest about getting in the car. He fell asleep halfway home and is now napping (so much for my plan to give him lunch first). Every class or public activity that I have taken Shorty to he always seems more interested in walking around and exploring his surroundings than interacting with the other children. He’s great about cleaning up but forget about him sitting quietly and listening and following directions.
It’s a little embarrassing to be the mom whose kid always wants to do his own thing. It’s embarrassing to be the mom whose kid is the first to leave the circle to explore and embarrassing to be the mom trying to shush or control her child so the other moms and kids can enjoy the class. I’m not sure what to make of Shorty and his quirks. Is it because I really don’t get him around other people much so his socialization skills are a little undeveloped? Is it because he has no training? Is he always just going to be one of those people who dances to a different drummer? Is there something that I should be concerned about? Is it because we have no schedule and Shorty usually sleeps late and so on these days I have to wake him up earlier than normal, get him dressed, and fed, and to class and by the time the class starts he’s already tired and ready for a nap?
I don’t know. All I do know is that it’s troubling to me to have the kid who is a little bit of the oddball. It makes me feel like a bad mom. It makes me worry that people are thinking poorly of Shorty. Really he’s quite bright and charming and very interactive at home. No, he isn’t a good listener and yes, he is an active explorer even at home but I swear he’s not as weird as he seems at these classes. It also makes me fear when he starts school. What if Shorty is going to be THAT KID? The one every teacher dreads having in her class.
Am I crazy for having these thoughts? Am I over thinking and worrying about him? What do you think?