a bunch of hoo-ha

I took Rainbow to Story Hour at a library.

….sigh….

He’s doing a lot better at the Discovery Center classes. He still does a lot of wandering around between the other quietly seated children (along with a couple other wanderers) and blurts out some noisy outbursts, BUT he’s stopped running to the glass doors and sobbing to be released into the rest of the museum (which doesn’t open until after the class.) Last time, he actually sat on his little mat for a good part of the time, and sat down in various other spots for well over half of the time. During the songs, he stands up and watches the other kids sing and dance and is heartily amused, but does not participate. BUT! At home he loves to dance with me while I sing to him. He blows kisses to the teacher and is learning to sit on the benches for the after-class snack. (The craft, not so much, but whatever.)

Improvement!

So, I took him to Story Hour after someone told me about it yesterday. It seemed like a good idea, but, in retrospect, I should have known better. It’s in a library. He wanted to squeal and explore and run amok between the aisles of books. No one fussed at us, but it was embarrassing. (Well, for me.) This other group of kids sat in their circle and listened to a story and patter by the teacher, and did a little routine with days of the week and weather signs. One of the kids brought cupcakes for after the class, so I kept bribing Rainbow to be a good listener and we’d have cake afterward.

He just would have none of it, whatsoever. Just: zero. On the way out, there was a toddler playroom and he played with a bead-on-twisty-wires toy for awhile, quite happily. We split after twenty minutes or so, well before the cupcakes.

Which he asked for once we got in the car.

And I felt like a total creep for telling him that the cake was for the kids who stayed to listen to the story. Which it was, but still. He didn’t want to listen to the story. He wanted cake.

He was quickly appeased with a toddler fruit bar in the car. Me, not so much. I second guessed myself all the way home. Why did these other kids sit through the story time? Am I failing him by not having him in preschool at twenty-two months? Would he be happier if he were in school?

I’m okay now though. I realized that A. The kids who were there are the ones who will sit through it. The parents of the ones who don’t want to go to Story Hour DON’T BRING THEM. Duh. And B. Rainbow is precocious in many ways. He’s vigorously healthy and physically coordinated, he knows a lot of colors, he’s a block building maniac, and he’s very confident and happy and funny. Never clingy or whiny. A great sleeper! Rainbow is AWESOME. And also was reminded of the fact that C. one of his older brothers was a… challenging toddler in many ways, and is now brilliant and wonderful to be around. In fact, the pediatrician was so concerned about this older brother’s speech development that she insisted that we have his hearing tested. He’s now very verbal, to the point that he much prefers reading and writing to math and science, although he excels in all his schoolwork.

I also read this discussion and that made me feel much better, too.

It’s just hard nowadays, I think, with the Too Much Information and Very Specific Milestone Charts. My What To Expect The Toddler Years is just way off the mark in so many ways; according to them he’s been extraordinarily early with his ball kicking skills, but a little lagging with his speech, while online charts indicate that his speech is just great. I’ve got to remind myself sometimes to not obsess and fret and to just trust in what I see: a very smart, healthy, and happy child who is learning every day. It’s hard to not check on what “other” kids are doing and worry if he’s not doing it, or feel proud that he did it months ago. It makes me long for Little House on the Prairie days, when mamas were too busy to worry about whether their kid was combining words at twenty-two months.

I do think we’re going to try Kindermusik. I’ve never done a class like that before, but I think Rainbow might really like it. One of the moms at Discovery Center said that it’s very action oriented and fun.

Wish us luck.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mama Monkey
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 01:12:12

    I can’t remember how I found your blog but I’ve been lurking ever since.

    My son is 2 and exactly the same way. We tried the library but (and I’m not exaggerating here) he did not sit still for even 5 minutes. I felt so bad that he was running around climbing on chairs and being disruptive. We went to 3 classes and then gave up because neither one of us was enjoying ourselves.

    I’ve accepted that he’s just not ready for sitting down and listening yet … which isn’t really a bad thing. He’s 2, 2 year old boys don’t sit still. They learn by exploring not by being talked at.

    So I’m just saying you aren’t alone.

  2. Jennifer
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 03:47:56

    Put my toddler in the category of kids that aren’t there because she won’t follow group rules yet. Not even in a very active gym class, and here’s the proof: http://joneshappenings.blogspot.com/2010/08/i-ruled-gym.html
    We could maybe start a class where the toddlers just run amok and everyone is okay with that. Then there’s cake afterwards! That’s a class I would make time to attend. πŸ™‚

  3. Melinda
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 18:20:05

    My older son was the same way at 22 months, not interested in listening to stories or doing crafts. I took it personally, too. Like, what secret do other moms know that I don’t?
    Now, I realize those “calm” kids were probably older that I’d originally thought. And a few months make a HUGE difference at that age.
    Be kind to yourself. Rainbow sounds like a sweetheart πŸ™‚

  4. Mama Jamz
    Jan 08, 2011 @ 14:34:50

    Mama Monkey – I hear you. It seems silly, really, to expect a 2 year old to sit through a calm and quiet class, in retrospect. Rainbow’s just not so much a quiet lap sitter, like some of the other kids. He’s fearless and wants to explore a new place, which I think is a wonderful thing.

    Jennifer, I love your idea! A run amok class, with cake! We would totally be there. Just visited your blog and I love the pics of your little sweetheart.

    Melinda, yes. Sigh. Actually, NONE of my guys have ever been all into crafts all that much. Coloring or play-doh, sure, but anything complicated or time consuming, no way. It’s hard for me to not wonder about the other moms’ secret, too. But you’re right, age is a big deal. I’m sure a lot of it is that Rainbow just LOOKS so enormous. Like, he’s always been off the charts for size and weight. And I’m learning to take pride in his boldness and self-assuredness. Those things are really hard to teach, and he’s overflowing with them.

    Thanks so much for all your comments. It really does help me to hear what you have to say. πŸ™‚

  5. camille
    Jan 08, 2011 @ 16:03:24

    Mama Jamz, Cy did the SAME THINGS! Your post both put a smile on my face and made me recall many frustrated days. I was always mortified because my very LOUD, very ACTIVE child refused to sit and listen or participate in any prescribed activity with a group of other toddlers, even when all his little friends didn’t seem to have any problems doing just that. To this day, he has never made it through an entire story time at the magnificent downtown library (and that’s complete with singing, juggling, a couple of books, and puppets. Nothing boring there!). We even tried a toddler’s music class…we made it through a total of 1.5 and just couldn’t do it anymore. He was simply too disruptive and I could tell that the very young, very serious teacher just couldn’t hang with a wandering youngin. I decided at that point that I should just stick to very active, gross motor activities until his nervous system was regulated enough to sit and participate. We developed intimate relationships with practically each and every Nashville playground! When I adjusted my expectations to what he was capable of, we were both so much happier! By 3, he was fine in preschool for a couple of hours at a time…and now (at 5) his attention span seems just fine to do whatever is required of him in school and (bonus) he is still VERY ACTIVE, so he gets lots of gross motor movement, which is sure to keep him healthy.

    All of that to say that your beautiful boy will get there in due time…and will still have the very active part of him to keep him healthy for the rest of his life!

    πŸ™‚ I love, love, love that you are back in action for reals here at your page! Happy New Year!!!

  6. Mama Jamz
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 17:49:28

    Cy is so dang cute, Camille, and has been every time I’ve seen him. It’s hard to believe he’s 5 now; I bet he’s so cute and boyish. I would love to see him (and you and Don) very soon.

    I wonder if it’s a boy thing? Rainbow just has no interest in sitting in my lap at all, he wants to be FREE and to WANDER and be LOUD, which actually seems entirely appropriate for a very little boy. I need to just clue in and not even try things I suspect he won’t like, just because other kids seem to like them. Or at least not get upset when they don’t work out.

    Thanks so much for staying in touch, and I hope we can see you all very soon.

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