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.

Music Class

Finally, a spot opened for the Tuesday morning Mommy and Me class.

We have been on the waitlist since we moved to this middle-of-nowhere town in Tennessee, before the world turned upside down with a second baby, a pandemic and an election that is about to set off a second civil war.

When we got the message about an opening, I jumped on it. Not only could we use the distraction, Little Legs needs the socialization. He has become a feral kitten with razor claws that spends his time pouncing on spiders and rolling in leaves.

Lately, trying to pick him up or redirect his attention results in a high-pitched squealing, sobbing and arms and legs windmilling in every which direction. He is one step away from barring his teeth and hissing.

Of course, Little Legs refused to go through the glass door when we arrived, leaving his brother wide-eyed and crying in a state of limbo, half-way in and out, holding the door open with the stroller.

“No! No! No!” Little Legs screamed from the sidewalk with the intense fear of someone about to be forced to walk barefoot over red-hot coals instead of someone forced to walk into an interactive class of singing and dancing.

“This is for you,” I explained to no avail.

Eventually, I scooped him up and pushed everyone through the door and the class started with a silly song about a turkey wobbling and gobbling.

While my arms were filled with Baby Brother, Little Legs took the opportunity to escape the short range of my grasp. He tiptoed around the half circle towards another mother with her son, drawn in by something of great intrigue. He crept closer and closer and darted in between the two to grab a small yellow dump truck.

“Thank you, I’ll take that,” the other mother said with a gracious smile as she removed the truck from Little Legs’ hands.

The woman hid the truck behind her back, hopeful that the old out of sight, out of mind trick would work, clearly underestimating the tenacity of Little Legs.  

He followed the path of the truck and walked around to her back.

She brought it back around and dropped it into her oversized purse/diaperbag where Little Legs then dove in after it, head-first, to my absolute horror. Why carry a bag big enough for a toddler to fit inside?

I quickly put Baby Brother into his carrier to extract Little Legs from Mission Impossible. By the time I got across the room to him, the woman was desperately hiding the truck under her shirt. She had a panicked look on her face of no escape as the grubby hands of Little Legs were everywhere.   

“I am so sorry,” I whispered and dragged Little Legs back to our side of the room.

Meanwhile, the class went on to sing more songs about turkeys, hit rhythm sticks, blow bubbles and Little Legs forgot about the truck and violating every possible boundary of a stranger.

Rest assured, I will remember for him.

Music class is about more than enduring a terrible cacophony of noises. It is about manners and interacting with others and learning to be a decent person outside of the house. And so, from now on, every Tuesday we will go and practice being decent, socialized, civil people.

All of us, whether we like it or not.