It's Monday, which means I give myself permission to gush about my kid.
In an effort to get us out of the house for something besides endless errands or solo walks, Pigtail and I signed up for a music class at a hip boutique in my new neighborhood. I skew slightly agoraphobic when I'm in Los Angeles, at least in terms of discovering new places, so I'm thankful to my friend Katie who suggested the class. Katie has a daughter just a few weeks older than Pigtail and we've been getting the girls together sporadically since they were in the womb.
The class started at 10:30 and is just minutes from my house. Still, I had to wake Pigtail from her morning nap to make it on time, so we arrived overly nervous and discombobulated. Well, I was nervous. I can't speak for Pigtail, who watched with wide eyes a little girl jump on the trampoline and a little boy ride around in a wagon.
Pigtail is no stranger to other children - she has thirteen cousins, after all - but none are quite so little as she is, so this was the first time she'd been in a concentrated group of babies her age. It was immediately clear that she lacks, as they say, "socialization."
As we moved into the music room and settled into a circle on the floor, most of the babies sat contentedly in their momma's lap, a few nursing, a few clinging. Pigtail went straight to the big drum in the center, with nary a glance back at me. After a few moments of drumming, she became distracted by the big bow in another girl's hair. She simply had to have that thing, and put it in her mouth. Next on her list was a baby's pacifier. Pigtail doesn't use a pacifier - never has, even though in her infancy I wished she would - but suddenly there was a newfound interest in the green pacy in someone else's mouth.
I looked around the room, seeking other mothers crawling across the floor after their kids helplessly. But no, most of the moms were swaying, some with eyes closed, and singing lilting melodies about trees.
The teacher's voice was strong and beautiful and when she got louder, Pigtail's attention shifted. I saw in her eyes an immediate girl-crush. From that moment on, my baby could barely look away from the smiling teacher. I understood why. You know how some people just have that gift? And this teacher isn't silly or clown-y in any way. If I met her at a dinner party, I would not walk away from the conversation thinking she was a Pied Piper. But magnetizing she is. All the children stare at her and Pigtail follows her voice around the room, no matter the activity.
When I finally, at the teacher's suggestion, gave up on trying to wrangle Pigtail and just let her enjoy the class in her own way, I was able to observe the others in the room. One little girl army-crawled everywhere, using just her elbows. A set of twins were so well-behaved and looked like absolute mirrors of their momma.
Then I noticed, and then we sang about it, that some of the children were there with their nannies. Their nannies brought them to music class! It seemed strange to me, but when I asked my nanny later she said she has taken children to all kinds of classes all over the city.
And somehow, for reasons I cannot explain, this made me very sad.
The next week, we switched to the 11:30am class to accommodate our schedule and it worked much better. Pigtail, with no shame, crawled right over to a baby in her momma's lap and plucked a stuffed animal out of her arms, which earned me a nasty look from the mom. But beyond that, we had a great time. Pigtail loved the music, I loved organized goofy activity, and we both had reason to put on a clean outfit that day.