I love when my charges get old enough to attend their first real class. It’s usually just past the first birthday when the Mom Boss and I will begin to discuss the sudden urgent need for the baby to be “socialized” beyond the library story time and the side by side interaction at the local park. I like to begin with a music class. Me, I love music. I breathe music. I sing to the babies in the bath, while rocking them to sleep, and have my iPod mounted and plugged into my car stereo with a six CD changer on backup should we run out of song choices from the 5,000 or so at our disposal. Oh, and then there is the tape deck just in case the right song for carpool is actually the bootleg Grateful Dead tape from the fabulous second set of the Cornell ’77 show. You could say that I am a bit of an audiophile.
This December my Mom Boss and I sat down to talk classes for the Girl baby, who was just turning sixteen months. I would have loved to take her to my usual music class, the one I have been taking charges to for a good ten years – the one where the founder actually once mused that I might take over from her one day due to I think my gusto at repeated renditions of “Row Row Row Your Boat” since Bush junior’s first crack at the presidency. Sadly though, my go to class did not fit into our busy schedule - and more importantly – the schedules of her very busy older brothers – or her extremely regular nap schedule. So I went on the Internet and choose a class for us to attend completely based on timing and location. Big bad mistake.
I did not know the grave gaffe I had made for several weeks as Girl baby attended Music class with her Mother. It fell to me to take her four weeks in, and at first it was all good. We left our shoes at the door and sat in a circle with an assortment of grownups and toddlers. The teacher began the class by calling in her musical muses with sweet stokes of a bow across a well-trod violin. Then she laid the violin at her side…and barked at us. In melody. I swear. She nodded eagerly at the grownups and they barked back, off key. She smiled, and repeated the melody in meows. I looked around the circle and thought, “Are you freaking kidding me?” But no, they were not, meows sounded all around me. Quacks followed, then moos.
The teacher preceded the next number by announcing, “I trust everyone has memorized their CD’s by now,” and then launched into a song that had more words than “The Day The Music Died.”
For forty-five minutes we endured, with not an instrument in sight, not a drum to bang, not a song I recognized, not a recognizable toddler music class moment save for the movement with silk scarves montage that required actual chorography that brought forgotten scars bubbling to the surface, long buried from my 8th grade failure at ball room dancing. As the teacher launched into her goodbye song I felt parched and sweaty and longing for a thick peanut butter sandwich and a nap. I glanced around the room and judging from the expressions on the other adult’s faces felt a dim sense of reassurance that I was not the only one completely done in.
I sought out my Mom Boss once home and inquired,
“What did you think of Music Class?”
“It kind of sucked.” She conceded.
Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at http://www.abandofwives.ning.com/.
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