As an introverted mother, I am determined to expose Forest to social experiences. If given the choice, I would stay inside and read or craft or something other than be social. Because of that, I worry that Forest will lead a severely diminished social life simply by virtue of being my child. So I signed us up for a French class and a music class. I figured it would be good for Forest to spend time with a group of children, not just one friend at a time and I surmised I would meet a few moms in the process. In truth, I have met a few moms and they are all very nice. I think I’m the only American which is great. The others are Italian, Venezuelan, British, Australian and Spanish. Their children have romantic names like “Mateo” and “Adriano” and “Felipe.” Forest is a lovely name but sounds a little out of place.
A few weeks ago, we went to the music class for the first time. A young French man greeted us warmly and we went past the curtains into the class space. As we were the first to arrive, Forest was very excited to have all of the egg shaped shakers to himself. He took them out of the box and put them back in, took them out and put them back in. Cleaning things up is very exciting for Forest. I am told this is normal. He was proud and may have even clapped for himself. Then class started.
The first thing the teacher, the young French man, did was to dump out the box of shakers which was upsetting enough to Forest. All that work! Then all of the children and parents shook the eggs. At that point Forest stood up, signed all done and tried to walk out. I let him go out for a minute and talked to him quietly. Then he was fine to go back in but remained skeptical. To be fair the teacher was acting like a frog and a crow and a sandpiper. Skepticism was probably appropriate. We made it through that first class without additional tears and when I asked him if he wanted to go again, he only shook his head once. Victory.
The next week he made it thirty minutes before walking toward the door in tears. The teacher was kind enough to tell me that I could continue participating and just let Forest wander where he wanted to. I’m not sure why the other parents are there but if my child is crying, I’m probably not going to focus on pretending to be a sandpiper (they are really into that one). I smiled and immediately left the circle.
This past week, Forest sat in my lap happily and even willingly hit two sticks together when offered. At the end of the class, when the teachers hand out a variety of percussion instruments, Forest picked up a small drum, walked to the sofa in the corner, climbed up and sat all alone, beating his own drum. I’m trying to tell myself he is very independent and self-confident. He may just be an introvert.
Tomorrow, we will miss music class, sadly. We have to wait for the delivery of our giant American freezer. Side note: someday I will explain the size of appliances here or rather share the sizes. I cannot possibly explain why you would want such a small refrigerator or dishwasher. But regarding music class, I don’t think Forest (or I) will be too sad to miss it. We can act like sandpipers on our own time. More in a few weeks.