Monday, March 14, 2011

Oliver's First Music Class

Oliver and I had our first parent-tot music class today, courtesy of my mother-in-law. I've been so excited for this class because Oliver loves songs and singing. He wants us to put on music videos for him all the time, and if we sing one song to him, we have to sing ten. He start his day with a song and end it with a song. So, yes, it seemed like a great idea.

The class starts at 9:45am, which is a difficult time because Oliver usually takes a short nap around 9am or 9:30am. We arrived at the class, and he was upset to see all the other kids. He clung to me and buried his head in my lap. The rest of the toddlers ran around, exploring the room, staring at other kids, and playing with the blinds. I was a little jealous of the other moms and kids. It was clear that the other moms all got little breaks while their kids played. With Oliver, we still don't get that. I figure that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, though. Maybe they were jealous that my son is a big snuggler.

The class was designed for ADD toddlers, I swear. Each activity lasted about two minutes. Oliver would just start to get interested in something and grab for the drum, maraca, or whatever was the toy of the minute, and then we'd have to put it away and start the next activity. One song/game involved the teacher playing music faster and faster, but every time she stopped, we'd have to stop moving/walking/dancing. Oliver didn't want to be put down the entire time, so I held him and would walk and bounce to the music. When it'd stop, I'd do an exaggerated freeze. Oliver started cracking up, and then that activity was over, too.

At one point, a boy who just turned one got upset about having to give up his maraca. He let out a scream. That did it for Oliver. He dissolved into a sobbing mess, and laid in my arms like an infant. The teacher thought he was sobbing because he had to give up his maracas. Nope.

To be fair, there was one other girl there who was pretty reserved. She'd turned two in December, and the class is supposed to be up to the age of two. However, because the next age bracket is much louder and rowdier, the instructor let her stay in the tot class for one more season. She was very quiet and didn't talk once. She was interested in the instruments, but she didn't play them. She was the only other kid besides Oliver who wouldn't shake a maraca.

The 45 minutes went by slowly. I felt awful for Oliver because it was clear he was miserable in the class, but I also felt confident that the class would end up being good for him. It's every week for a few months, and I think he'll slowly get used to having the other kids around. It'll help him come out of his shell a bit (I hope). Also, I know that, once he gets the routine of the class down, he'll enjoy it much more. Oliver is one of those children that really thrives on routine. The class was too new for him today, and maybe it will be next week, but I think it'll be a lot better after that.

I have a new plan for next week. I'll leave the house around 8:45am, get a Starbucks, and drive around the neighborhood so Oliver can doze before we head over to the rec center. I'll get some relaxation time, and he won't be so crabby in class!

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