To the Mom with the rambunctious toddler at music class:
I see you chase your toddler around the room. Other children sit in the circle, clapping their hands, but your little curly-haired boy insists on running around the room instead. I see other parents watching him. Some are smiling but some are quietly judging.
I see your patience running thin. You are quietly trying to re-direct him into the activities, but he stubbornly refuses to do anything besides run. Some parents are openly judging now. They watch your son, shake their heads and continue singing, surely wondering why you are here if your son can not sit for the class.
Not me. No, I’m not a saint. I do my fair share of judging, like most of us. In this scenario, I just see something else.
When I look at your son, I see my future.
You see, right behind your little one is a smaller boy. Sure, he is a lot slower and he’s mostly crawling but he is trying his best to keep up. That little boy is mine. As soon as he learns how to run he will be right there with your son. (Nobody tell him how to run, please.)
I know that your son probably loves music at home. I know mine does. Like me, you thought you would take him to participate in some music making outside the home. He will love it, you thought, probably picturing him smiling delightedly and shaking a little egg shaker. But today, for some reason, he is expressing his love of music by running maniacally around the room. I get that. My son is expressing his love of music by crawling under the table and trying to pick up every speck of dust. Clearly they are both prodigies.
Rambunctious kids often get a bad rap. Our society does this strange thing where we value energy and physical fitness in real life, but not very much in school or class situations. We revere athletes but take away our kids’ phys-ed classes. Suddenly, once you graduate, sitting still and quiet are not so important. This took me 30 years to understand, but our kids get it already.
Parents of rambunctious kids get a bad rap too. Rather than see that our kids have a lot of energy and love to move, people assume that they are just out of control. They assume that the parents are just not parenting hard enough. I don’t know about you, but I am parenting so hard it exhausts me. I have a feeling you are doing the same.
So, fellow parent, don’t worry about those other people in the class. Their kids may be calmer than ours, but I bet someday they will pay ours to get them in shape.
The mom with the rambunctious baby at the music class.