Photo: It’s cold and gray and wet and windy and pretty here in Massachusetts! And the boys are just so damn cute in their little rain slickers…
So a few weeks ago, I had to take the boys into town to get their flu shots, and I timed it in a way that I could get the shots, play around a little bit on the campus where we go, and then pick up The Husband after work. I am, indeed, a master manipulator of time and space. Of course, in my rush of keeping the day on schedule, I neglected to pack a snack for the trip. No cheerios, no PB&Js… not even apple juice. What? So unlike me… So when I picked up The Husband and Goggle Now gleefully informed me that it was a 90 minute drive back from the city to MetroWest, he and I needed to make a decision… and we decided to cut our losses and go to our favoritest favorite Mexican restaurant to wait things out.
This is a bit of a big deal. Babies in restaurants are one thing…they sit and make noise and they are cute and the worst thing that happens is that they cry and you bounce them on your knee. Toddlers in restaurants are a whole ‘nother kind of experience, because toddlers don’t know how to act. The Husband and I usually avoid going with the boys because a) restaurant bills for 4 instead of 2 are… shocking and b) it’s too much like work keeping little boys entertained so nobody has a good time and the food doesn’t taste as yummy. But we were stuck and I just couldn’t eat McDonalds and it was early enough that there wouldn’t be a crowd, so we shrugged, took a deep breath, and decided to make this happen.
And here is the reason why I’m sharing all of this: Sitting in this empty room, listening to fantastic mambo sound, the boys took out the forks from their little folded napkins and started to tap those forks against the table. It didn’t take long before I was ready to take the forks away, because referee mama is always refereeing, but The Husband stopped me.
The boys were drumming along to the musical beat, in unison, in the correct rhythmic time. For seriously. I’m not joking. That’s not me being “that mom” like, “oh my kids are special,” that’s me reporting a thing that actually happened. It isn’t wholly surprising: My grandfather was musically inclined (choir), so was my father (choir, Army Chorus for a while) and my husband plays several instruments and played for the Mighty Sound of Maryland during college. They come by it honestly. They’re always singing in the car anyway, as I’ve reported on many occasions, and Ursa Minor, especially, really loves songs with a driving beat.
Now… this presents big horrible bad things for me. Why? Because now my Husband is on a mission:
“Did you notice how the boys were drumming at the table at the restaurant a few days ago?”
“I notice, sometimes, that [Minor] really likes to imitate the drum sound in [any song title here]…”
“Hey, are they doing any drumming or other instrument playing at school? We should really think about that…”
Awww, baby… I see your weather balloons. I see them.
So I launch my own last night when he starts up:
“You know, I don’t really have the capacity or training to formally teach the boys any musical stuff. Maybe we should think about enrolling them in some sort of lessons or maybe a camp over the summer?”
My husband had been anticipating this: “You know, this is really the best age for organic musical exploration. If we make it a chore, they will hate it and never want to do it… lessons are probably best in 1st or 2nd grade. That’s when I started lessons… but my parents just exposed me to a lot of musical instruments in the meantime and, well, that was helpful, you know?”
Oh… I see. I like how he used “organic” as the correct buzzword in context. Very nice.
Listen, I’m just not that chick. I’m not that chick who has a whole hell of a lot of tolerance for the noisy toys. If it is a toy that talks, or screams, or sings or whatevers, I’m alls about banishing it to grandma’s, making it an “outdoor toy” (read: let it get rained on and that runs out the batteries), putting it “on vacation” (read: disappears to the attic, basement, barn or trash) or anything else so that I don’t want to hear it. Little boys are loud enough. Little boys are their own instruments. Little boys don’t need any more things to bring the noise into the farmhouse.
But he had to make it about parenting and development… and now my little brain is thinking about opportunity and brain development and “they won’t have good SAT scores if they don’t exercise the left side of their brains!” <— yeah, I’m that chick instead.
“I’m just saying, maybe we should think about this for Christmas, you know?”
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: toys that would threaten my sanitttttyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. <—- Imagine I sang that in a very high, probably not that gorgeous of a key.
I told my husband I’d consider this (while I secretly seek out some quieter toy that will be appealing enough that little boys will like it and possibly distract The Husband from his mission). We’ll see what I can come up with. Resistance, though, may be futile. He’s hard to shake off when this kind of stuff pops in his genius brain.
It’s not that I am anti-music exploration… I’m just anti-music exploration in the house during the very long Massachusetts winter when I’m going to be home, all day, by myself, with the children, who will be playing music instruments… it might… might actually send me over the edge. I might, actually, start foaming at the mouth. Nobody wants that… right?
Nor’easter finally decided to make its appearance. You know what that means? Chicken Pot Pies tomorrow for dinner, that’s what! Why yes, I do make my own pie dough! Hmm? You want the recipe? Ask me nice and I’ll share during my Quiet Thoughts on Friday.
Until then, take care.