If there is one thing that Matthew confirmed for me this week, it is that I cannot and should not even try to predict his moods or behavior. This isn’t always a bad thing–just as often, I am pleasantly surprised at his reactions to certain situations as I am left scratching my head wondering why he isn’t having fun.
This week, Matthew started Kindermusik. I just knew he was going to have an amazing time–I knew WE were going to have an amazing time together and I was looking forward to it so much. Isaac had even completed the identical Kindermusik curriculum, so we had been listening to all of the music in advance. It is so similar to storytime at the library and he loves that so much I thought this would be a no-brainer. Yet it didn’t go that way at all.
There are a lot of reasons that could have caused it to be such a bust. For one, he had an eye doctor appointment before the class and obviously, that wasn’t fun. His eyes were a little dilated and yes, that isn’t fun either. He was in one of those moods (you mothers out there will know what I mean) where he didn’t want to have fun. And the worst thing that you could do to him would be to DARE to enjoy yourself either. If I sang along with the songs, he cried, yelled no, and tried to hit me. He didn’t want to dance or participate, I had to hold him. The one thing that got him excited and out of my lap was when they got out the instruments–rhythm sticks! He went and got them out of the bin and put them away at the end. I was happy to see him enjoying himself even for that short period of time.
I finally realized as we were leaving what might have caused some of his apprehension–Isaac wasn’t with us (he was at preschool). Could it have be that Matthew had a hard time because he isn’t used to being in a group of kids without Isaac there too?
I had all of this on my mind tonight as we were getting ready for church. I still hadn’t sent Matthew to the church nursery. Our church is quite large and while the nursery is well staffed, it is also crowded! So he has been coming in the service with me, where we last for about 20 minutes/1 baggie of Cheerios and then end up in the mother’s room or the cafe. We happened to be going to the evening service today which is the least crowded of any of the services and I thought this might be the time to try it. I also thought I could talk them into letting Matthew and Isaac go to the same class to make it easier on him. I was very nervous and prepared for a total meltdown….I was also prepared that I would totally chicken out and take him into the adult service at the first sign of tears. And of course, we walk back and they both ran in the children’s room without ever looking back. No tears. No tantrums. He went straight for a toy truck and had a blast. When I went back to get him, they told me that he looked for me after a minute, but went right back to playing. They also said that he really didn’t rely much on Isaac–he played by himself and with the other kids. And he was having so much fun, I almost had to pry him out of there!
The only lesson learned here is that I still have no idea what to expect! I am hopeful that Kindermusik will go better this week. He will also have his first Busy Bees class (this past week it was cancelled due to the threat of snow). We will probably attempt the church nursery again next week (especially if we go to the evening service). No matter what we do, I am sure Matthew will keep me on my toes!