The Last Music Class

Music class.

It is supposed to be a joyful celebration of time together, just the two of us, snuggling, clapping, singing and dancing in a half-circle with other moms and their babes. Instead, it has become a battle ground of the wills with boundary pushing and general naughtiness unique to the toddler demographic.

Last Tuesday, Little Legs sat in my lap for half a second before bouncing up and into the center of the group to start twirling into a dizzy delirium. Then he dashed off for the Christmas tree in the corner to pull the ornaments off, one by one.

“Grabby,” he explained.

I whispered, “No, no,” into his ear as I ushered him back to our spot to shake a tambourine while another toddler boy got loose and ran behind the curtain that separated the room into two.

Inspired by the dash of freedom, Little Legs undertook the same trip. He sprang to his feet from my lap and darted for the curtain, wrapping himself in it.

“Mama, hide.”

“I can see you baby, and this is not the time to hide.”

He peeked out with one eye to see the other toddler boy race across the room, with his mama in hot pursuit and of course, he made the same mad sprint.

This repeated itself no less than twelve times.

Another mother tried to intervene on my behalf by grabbing Little Legs, he escaped, and she said, to my horror, “I’ll get him next time for you.”

The threat of time-out beaded up and dropped away like rain on the wing of a bird. Spanking was not an option and yelling would reveal my true nature as a crazy, stressed out mother which would not do anyone any good.

I chased my Wilding around the room until the end of class. At the end of that long hour, I gathered Little Legs up in my arms and gave him a big squeeze because last Tuesday was the last music class.

We are going back into lockdown and will figure out how to act in public once we re-emerge, hopefully sometime in Spring.

Toddler in Timeout

Little Legs throws more than tantrums now.

In fact, he throws anything he can pick up and heave into the air. With a surprising amount of strength for someone so small, that list has recently included a bag of blocks, his dinner plate, a chair and a few balls. Naturally, when he is outside and allowed throw balls, he feigns disinterest, preferring to throw handfuls of mulch and pick dandelions.  

Yesterday, a puzzle piece with the face of cheetah took flight and hit my face which was hard to justify as unintentional.

He pointed at me and then at the puzzle while holding the cheetah face piece.

“Turn it the other way,” I encouraged.

“No!” he screamed sensing the impossibility of the suggestion and launched it.

Right. At. My. Face.

We scream and yell lot more frequently now that Little Legs is a toddler, usually things like, “Put that knife down.” And “Let go of the cat’s tail!” And “Don’t touch that electrical socket.”  

This situation was no exception.

I screamed, “Ouch!” which brought Daddy Longlegs popping out of his office like a jack-in-the-box.

“What’s going on out here?”

“Oh, Little Legs just hit me with a puzzle piece,” I said, still holding my cheek.

It stung, but also it was startling to get hit in the face, especially by a pint-sized person who looks like your husband and to whom you gave birth. I was stunned and also grateful that Baby was sleeping because Little Legs had moved from the puzzle to driving his Tonka truck. I had a feeling that the truck was next in line to earn a set of wings and his brother may have been his target.

“Little Legs, that was not nice. You need to spend a minute in the time out chair,” Daddy Longlegs explained.

With that, Little Legs was scooped up and carried away, kicking and screaming. Tears gushed down both cheeks as he protested his fate. I was left behind in their dust.

I peeked around the corner to see him in a blue chair in the front room, squirming left and right, hopping up and down trying to escape while Daddy Longlegs held him in place and watched the clock for sixty seconds of eternity to pass.

“Are you sorry for hitting Mommy?” Daddy Longlegs asked.

Little Legs nodded in faux remorse and scampered off down the hallway in search of heavier things to throw the next time the door to Daddy Longlegs’ office closes.

As it turns out in yet another surprise of parenthood, we must teach our children right from wrong and it is clearly not going to be an easy job.

**Adding this to the list of important things that should have been mentioned at the hospital when we took Little Legs home for the first time nearly two years ago.