August brings some of the best days of the summer. Thankfully, my parents have a beach house – that we invite ourselves to and refuse to leave. Nothing beats long beach days followed by refreshing summer cocktails on the deck, while blissfully ignoring my children.
But this year – even as I happily apply my suntan lotion or eat steamers on the deck, there’s something bothering me. Way back in the foggiest corners of my mind, behind all of the wine and Skinnygirl….there’s a problem lurking and if I think of it I have to quickly
pour more vodka into my cup, hug Sam.
He is leaving for full-day kindergarten in 3 weeks.
I have been waiting for this day for 7 years.
Yet, somehow, now that this day is fast-approaching, I am not so sure.
What will I do? I will miss him terribly.
Plus, you have to understand that Sam is very easily entertained and an extremely entertaining 5 year-old.
The other day I overheard him in the kitchen, eating breakfast with my mother while she read the morning paper.
“When I make my first communion, will you buy me a gold chain?”
“Oh good, because I want one really bad.” he answered matter-of-factly, as though it was a perfectly logical request from a 5-year-old.
While other 5-year-olds dream of being showered with Legos and video games, my child dreams of the day he will get a gold chain.
When he very young I realized that he was a unique child.
I had become quite accustomed to running myself ragged trying to keep Michael entertained from about 5 AM to 9 PM most days, so I was prepared to do the same with Sam. When Michael was in preschool I attempted to do the usual routine with Sam that I was used to, playgroups, running, swimming, library class, etc.but found that he was often too “tired,” to participate.
Also, unlike Michael, he was awfully interested in his appearance as early as age 2. He takes great pride in his tan and has been known to “lay out” while the other children are playing at the beach, and is often in the bathroom for long periods of time gazing at himself in the mirror or doing his hair. As a small child he also became incredibly interested in his wardrobe. He had very strict wardrobe guidelines that revolved around velour track suits and wife-beaters.
Between the attire, the sedentary lifestyle and the bizarre requests for pepperoni and gold, I began to feel like I was traveling around town with a miniature Tony Manero.
He took an interest in music, so much so that age 2 – he heard a couple of Bruce Springsteen songs and became obsessed. He demanded that he be “the Boss” for Halloween, refusing the expensive Lightening McQueen outfit that I had for him.
With this love for music in mind, I considered signing him up for the ever popular “Kindermusik” classes.
When other stay-at-home-moms had mentioned how much their babies loved these overpriced music classes, I dismissed the program as an expensive way to kill an hour and pretend you are raising the next Beethoven because you played a tambourine with him.
When I saw an ad for a free trial class, I thought it was worth checking out because after all, maybe Sam would in fact be the next Beethoven.
On a cold winter day, I was happy for an activity, so off we went. We were greeted by a woman with long frizzy hair, a loose flowy skirt, a puffy shirt and lots of beaded jewelry. We were instructed to leave our coat and shoes in the hallway, grab a silk scarf from a basket, and join the circle of moms and children.
When everyone was ready, the teacher played a cd and demonstrated how we should wave the scarves around in time to the music.
Sam stood holding the scarf limply, looking around the circle. He gazed up at me for guidance. I did not want to play Janis’ scarf games but felt obligated. I made small motions with my scarf and smiled.
“Come on Sammy, move your scarf like this.”
“I’m not doing that.” he said with disgust.
“Ok parents,” the teacher sang, “Be sure to do exactly what I do to set a good example for the children!”
I begrudgingly moved the scarf overhead and tried to lift Sam’s hand gently.
He threw the scarf on the floor.
I secretly was thankful, I wasn’t sure how much more of this I could take. I took a quick glance around the room and saw mothers beaming with pride as they manically waved their scarves around with their little music prodigies.
Let’s be real people, these Kindermusikers are raking in the dough promising to have our kids become the next
Justin Beiber Beethoven, by waving a filthy scarf around?
Just as I got the scarf back in Sam’s hand, she switched motions.
“Ok everyone! Watch what I do and then you do it!”
She got down on her knees while waving the scarf back and forth to the beat of the music.
“Now watch me!!”
She made two loud barking noises and got down on all fours clutching the scarf in her hand.
“Now roll over like a good doggy!” she cried.
I am sure my jaw actually had dropped at this point, as I stared in horror while she rolled around on the floor waving her scarf in the air.
“What’s that guy doing Mom??” Sam asked a little too loudly.
I didn’t answer him, as I was trying my very best to not laugh.
“That guy is crazy!!” he squealed with laughter.
By the time the teacher had started her second doggy roll, I was contemplating if I should bother telling Sam that the teacher was a not a “guy” just a very butch “girl,” and also did I actually have to pretend I was a dog?
I noticed that Sam had left the circle and was approaching the door. I ran over to him.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m getting my coat,” he said incredulously. He was so wise beyond his years, he absolutely without a shadow of a doubt knew at the ripe age of 2, that it was time to go.
I beamed with pride like the Kindermusik moms.
I followed him out the door and we were off.
In 3 weeks, he will walk out the door and leave me behind. My heart will be broken.
But as I always say now, when there’s any sort of traumatic event in the Gaga household……
This could be good material for my blog.
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