On our way to the Actor’s Gymnasium, we listened to Kid’s Play on WLUW. I heard a song I didn’t know, but I recognized the voice from “Wiggleworms. ” If you live in or near Chicago and have young children, you’ve probably heard of or taken a Wiggleworms music class at the Old Town School of Folk music. We haven’t taken a class there in years, but I have many fond memories of us taking Ry there. At the time, it felt like the only class we’d ever take. We were sure that Ry’s teacher, Dave, a rocking guitar playing teacher, was the best. After a few classes, I was singing his version of Old McDonald had a farm in my sleep. Once we were settled and comfortable, we started hearing rumblings about “Music and Me.”
In the world of children’s music classes, Wiggleworms is like Hertz , and Music Together is Avis, “we try harder.” They were definitely different. Where Wiggleworms CD’s had traditional kids songs with a hipper beat, Music and Me experimented with complex rhythms and sounds. J took most of his classes there with Ms. Jill at Music and Me. The classes were more sophisticated and challenging the Wiggleworms. I imagine there are people in this town that have arguments about the merits of both classes, the way people argue about Barack and Hillary. I miss the music, but not the classes.
After dropping Ry off, J hopped on my back and we went for a walk on this bright, warm, beautiful day. I love giving J a piggy back ride. I like feeling him rest his head on the top of my back and my arms wrapped around his legs. I like the conversations about where we are walking or when can we get a snack. I like talking to him when we are face to almost face. I used to love carrying both of the boys in a purpleKerry backpack for the same reason. I never liked the distance between us when I am standing and they are standing.
I remember reading suggestions for parenting from Stanley Greenspan where he suggested bending down and being face to face with them. It works for me. He also advocated “floor time.” Essentially, this means getting on the floor and discovering what the child wants to do with you. It is usually different and more interesting than what we as adults would come up with.
J and I stopped by a park dedicated to Firefighters. It had an old firetruck in the center of it. No one else was there, so we climbed on board and assumed the role of fire-fighters. After successfully putting out the fire and heading back to the station, we were climbing up the slide that resembles a castle. J was the Giant in Jack and the Bean Stalk and I was “Fluffy,” the Guinea pig, a character from a story series about “Fluffy.” As I climbed up the slide, J would say in his giant voice,”Fe Fi Fo Figgy, I smell the blood of a Guinney Piggy.” I love seeing different sides of him emerge. We then went to a swing and slowly, very slowly,counted together from 1-125.,”27,28,twentynnnnnninne, 30,31…”We agreed counting is hard work.
We picked up Ry, picked up a couple of bottles of water and snacks from the vending machine and then went to a park that Ry wanted to explore. They were the oldest boys there. J easily climbed the rock climbing wall and Ryzipped through all the rides and even helped out little kids. I kept having this feeling our park time, like the music classes is coming to an end.