In an attempt to receive Over-Achiever Mom of the Year, I made sure to take Charlotte to swim class, library time, and playgroups all before she could even support her own neck. Madeleine on the other hand, has had to adjust to a one-nap-a-day schedule starting at 9 months old because two naps wasn’t convenient for Charlotte’s busy social calendar. Naturally I hold a certain amount of guilt about Madeleine getting the second-born shaft. Imagine my excitement when Charlotte began attending preschool 3 mornings a week which freed up some quality Mom & Maddie bonding time. I quickly signed us up for gymnastics and Music Together. I was saving Music Together for only one child because if both of my kids were to attend, we would have to forgo their college education to cover the cost (however since my girls will either be getting a women's engineering or athletic scholarship we should be covered regardless). Plus as a backup plan, Bernie will be president by then, so college will be free and we can finally buy that four person tandem bicycle we’ve had our eye on that is a family requirement here in Davis.
My expectations of Music Together were the following: Madeleine on my lap with a tambourine in one hand with my hand in the other as we swayed to the music, while I resolved my mommy-guilt and I watched as the neuron’s in her little brain fired as she became a more well-rounded individual. So super healthy and not at all unrealistic. It couldn’t have gone any worse than if Madeleine had taken that tambourine from my fantasy and smacked me in the face with it. I actually may have preferred that to the 40 minutes we spent thrashing on the floor and her sobbing in the lobby like I did the day Trump got elected. Not only was she terrified of the room we were in, but she hated everything about the other kids-- from the instruments in their hands to the clothes they were wearing.
Didn’t my not yet two-year-old understand that I was doing this for her? This was supposed to be our special time and she was ruining it by not appreciating it because she is not yet two. This is the age-old truth where you buy your child the fanciest most expensive toy in the store and they play with the box. Except what I finally realized was she doesn’t want the toy, the box or anything else-- she only wants me. It isn’t about the things we do, it is about our quality time together. Madeleine is perfectly content to play the drums on my mom-belly for 20 minutes and all that costs is a momentary blow to self-esteem, which is worth it just to watch her giggle.