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THAT CHILD!!!! mine...

My child is “That child . While the other kids are participating in music class with the proper buoyant enthusiasm, mine’s the one paying no attention whatsoever. She’s busy walking around the class, enjoying the scenery, testing the boundaries and the cabinet handles, swigging from a sippy cup full of milk and greeting everyone with a big, cheerful wave and signature “hi-bye”. Never mind that class is underway and everyone else is singing along and participating.

Then, at least once or thrice a class, Penélope will take it up on herself to try out a stranger’s lap. Moms and dads, no matter, even if a kid is already there. She tries the teacher’s lap too but only when she’s in the middle of a song.

And so it goes every Saturday at the morning music class at the Miami Children’s Museum. Luckily for us, the teacher is a child-understanding woman as rare as a unicorn who encourages this. Don’t hold your child back, she implores. Let Penélope explore.

I’m the mom whose kid is shopping around for another lap and tasting the maracas.

But, what does it matter, I can’t reason with Penélope who’s 17-months old. So, I’m resigned. She won’t understand me, not until the end of her teens, or maybe until she has kids of her own, which, hopefully won’t be in her teens.

The teacher sings. The children dance. Penélope is studying the doorstop. Penélope is in the nice daddy’s lap.

Penélope, I think, this is our time. This is our weekend day. Why aren’t you staying with me? Why aren’t you here sitting in my lap? Not that I appear jealous or possessive even though I am. In spades. Why is that mom’s lap better than mine? But Penélope, she is her own little person, as independent as one can be, confident, no leg hugger is she, and as that embroidery worthy saying goes, "If you love something, set it free... If it comes back, it's yours, If it doesn't, it wasn’t meant to be…"

Of course, it goes without saying she is mine. She’s my little daughter. I peed on the stick and knew she was there first. So I prefer the optimist version of the line, “If you love somebody, Set them free ... Don't worry, they’ll come back with the right motivation.” And so far she always has. Especially if mom is holding a bag of goldfish crackers.

About the Music Class

Our music class is held at the Miami Children’s Museum and we meet once every week for children age 0-4. It’s based on the Music Together curriculum created by nationally known authorities on early childhood music. The programs features different song collections that balance various tonalities, meters, and cultural styles, exposing children to a wide diversity of musical elements. (It’s fun to see what attracts Penélope’s attention). Also there’s lots of musical instruments to bang around and the occasional ball or scarf. The teacher Ashlee loves what she does, sings much better than I’d ever hope to, has the energy of a Broadway dancer, which she was, and is a mom times 3. The next semester will start mid-summer and classes are offered 4 or 5 days a week at various times.

For more information contact Ashlee at 305.532.2253 or visit

If you have anything to share with me or other moms that might be structured fun to do, please let me know!