When my oldest son was only three-years-old, I signed him up for art lessons to hopefully help mold his little brain into the creative and brilliant mind I thought he could be. I was already schlepping him all over creation to art class, gym class, museums and other special activities to try to help him reach his full potential. Mind you, he was only three. Every week we drove downtown to his art class and every week he would run around while I sat at the table and followed the teacher’s instructions. I would get so frustrated when he failed to follow direction and participate in the class activities. Again, he was a three-year-old boy. I finally gave up on the art class, followed by the gym class, when they told me my three-year-old needed to work on sitting in the circle during circle time. He’s always had something against circles…
I finally asked myself why I was paying all this money for my child to do these activities when he clearly could care less about them? Not to mention the fact that I ended up spending much of the time getting pissed off at him for not following instructions. Three year old boys following instructions is surely an oxymoron! It’s not that my son was “failing” at circle time, it’s that little boys (at least my little boys) are so full energy and wonder, that they don’t have the time or inclination to be controlled by such shapes!
If you’re a Not So Zen Mom like me, much of the reason you’re Not So Zen is because you are so hyper focused on your child’s happiness, development and potential that you literally drive yourself nuts. The good thing about being a Not So Zen Mom is that you care so much about your children’s future. The bad thing about being a Not So Zen Mom is that you care too much about your children’s future. The good news is that Not So Zen Mom’s mommy mojo is usually running thin once their second child arrives. For the first 18 months after my second son was born, simply keeping the kids alive and my head above water was considered a success. Therefore, I no longer have the time, energy or inclination to be so hyper focused on anything.
There is no art or gym classes for my second-born. Instead, there is lots of play time with friends and the occasional special activity. The only art he’s doing outside of Preschool is when we visit the local indoor play place that has an inflatable slide, a climbing gym, some toys and a few art supplies. There is no “circle time” or directions to follow, so my son gets to choose whatever he wants to do and I can sit and chat with my fellow Not So Zen Moms. Everyone is happy! The only art my kid is doing there is the painting of his exposed skin when I’m not looking. Because he’s my second kid, I laugh it off, wipe him down and throw him in the bath when we get home. No big whoop!
The funny thing is, he seems to be doing just fine. Could all of that extra energy I put into my first son have been a waste of time? Trying to civilize little boys is surely fighting a losing battle. Lesson learned! Although this picture of my second son does make me wonder, I’m still hoping for the best!
What started as an attempt to introduce my wild and crazy little boy to the arts, turned into this: