I recently wrote an article for our local Kindermusik blog entitled "The Process." This wasn't the first blog post for them but it was the first to really be recognized by complete strangers. As a lover of literature and a (someday)aspiring novelist, it made me proud and feel "published." Not only did it go to our local kindermusik blog but it was asked to be posted on the Kindermusik International blog site as well as another mommy blog in Canada. Heck, my writing has gone international! Woohoo! Below is the article as well as the links to the other blogs. Thanks strangers!
As a mom of 2 very different boys, one with sensory processing issues and one with a severe bleeding disorder, I know things in my house can be far from considered normal. I remember going to Kindermusik when the older one (with SPD) was little. He was always so BUSY!
It seemed like all the other 6-9 month old babies were happy and content to sit in their mommies’ laps and smile and clap with the music. They would wave as the shakers were put away and smile again when the next song would start. Not my baby. He would crawl around the room, looking under curtains, pulling himself up where ever he could. He’d look for anything out of place to discover and get into. I was practically chasing him around the room!
When shaker time was over, he’d fight to keep that thing in his hand and when the shakers disappeared, he’d scream and cry through the entire next song. I’d quietly soothe him, whispering in his ear. I could feel all the other moms looking at me. Sometimes we’d leave the room until things got calm.
This is when I’d come back and Miss Allison would talk about “The Process.” My younger boy never had this issue, although his deal is to just lie like a log on the floor during the dancing music. Everyone just dances over him like he’s a prop on the carpet. Of course I’m used to being the family that stands out in a crowd. Neither child really follows anything.
After years with Miss Allison and learning from Montessori school, I have become adjusted to knowing what “The Process” really means. At 6-9 months old, the older child was processing everything in his environment. Including the music and songs of Kindermusik. A week or two after learning a new song or dance he’d try mimicking it at home. Not often in class. He was too busy there. Too busy PROCESSING everything.
The little one does the same thing. He may just lay and roll on the floor in class, but on the way home he sings every single word to every song. I learned something else about The Process over these 5 years as well. Letting go of the Perfectionist in myself.
This year's gingerbread house!
After setting out all the supplies for our family gingerbread house, I had ideas of creating a masterpiece, but after several summers of Kindermusik crafts and home art projects I knew the house was going to be anything but that. The boys jumped right in icing and decorating until every bit of candy was either on that house or had been eaten.
Throughout, I kept reminding myself that it’s all about THE PROCESS. I’ve seen other moms do all the gluing and sticking and messy work for their art projects or have a separate “kid’s Christmas tree” so that the “real” tree can look like Martha Stewart’s, and that’s fine. Those trees are beautiful and the projects look just like the originals.
What I’ve learned about The Process is that as much as I want that perfect looking tree and gingerbread house for my very own, I remember the original ones even more. I remember the hand turkey with 3 eyes and feathers on his head but none on the fingers part. The gingerbread house with candy only on one side or only decorated with the blue candies. I remember the Santa picture that I had to be in with my sweats on, hair a mess and no makeup because the little one would not go near the man in the red suit. This is all part of The Process.
The Process, where not only the children are learning and growing and absorbing, but I am too! The perfectionist still wants to fight it but I remember all these things to keep her at bay, and until the children can hang outside Christmas lights on their own, I can still light up the neighborhood in my own Martha Stewart-ness. So the next time you see us dancing to the beat of our own drum, you can stare, it’s okay. We are just processing and making memories while doing it.
-posted by Kindermusik mommy Heidi Forrester, who still hopes her gingerbread house will one day look like the picture on the package.