I woke up at midnight last night to my alarm. The alarm that I set. On purpose. All because I did not want to miss getting a place in my one-year-old son’s music class. I could not risk losing out on one of the few coveted spots in the next spring session.
I got up at the crack of dawn to register online. I have now become “that mother”. I will do whatever it takes to ensure my child will be musically enriched for at least another 8 weeks. Drowsy, yet determined, I was halted in my tracks when I saw that registration would not actually begin until 6:00 AM…
How did I miss that? Oh yeah, I’m crazy enough to get up at midnight. Now I’m wide-awake and can only think about how my son’s debut concert at Lincoln Center ten years from now might be delayed. I like to think it all went down like this:
I was the one that “discovered” the class when my son was seven months old. I loved it and he loved it even more. It was the highlight of our whole week. The teacher was a pure delight; a real musician with a talent for children. She entertains the adults as well. Her wit makes the most ancient and decrepit baby songs sound fresh and new.
Then as I began meeting other new moms at library readings and mommy playgroups, I began to spread the word. I always appreciate when people do this for my business, so here I am telling everyone how wonderful the class is and how I already see the mark of true musical talent in my son. Well, that part I try to keep quiet because it’s not nice to brag, is it?
Then all of a sudden, come the first day of the winter session, the class is FULL. And with a very long wait list. I mean they were turning strollers away. There were children standing outside with tears in their eyes pointing and saying, “Class? Class?”, while being dragged away by their ashamed mothers who had waited to the last minute to sign up. It had never been like this before. Then I realized, it was me. I am what Malcolm Gladwell in his book, The Tipping Point calls a “connector”. I put this Baby Music Class on the map!
Well, let me just tell you, this put the fear of death in the rest of us who luckily had a place on the sandy mat that morning. Two days after that, a mother who recognized me from class, flagged me down across a very crowded park and asked if I had gotten into the session. They, like so many families had been denied. “Yes”, I answered somewhat guilty. “Oh”, she said somewhat disappointed.
So with this session not even half way over, it was almost time to register for spring. Two days ago, another mother I vaguely know tells me at the playground about the “most amazing” baby music class that her friend told her about and how she has set the reminder on her phone so she won’t forget to register. She asks if I’ve heard of it? Have I heard of it? I was the one who told her friend. But in my mind were three things:
- Darn, is that this week?
- Darn, do I have a reminder app on my phone?
- God, I probably couldn’t figure it out even if I did.
So without the luxury of a cup of coffee by 6:04 AM this morning, my son, the music prodigy, has a confirmed spot in the upcoming session. Now I take pleasure watching the spots diminish before my eyes.
Relieved, I pitied my dear friend ‘s one-year-old daughter. She is a Non-Resident of the city and has to wait a week to sign up. A week? Please, this class will be full by lunchtime! Perhaps your child would be interested in Badminton or Beach Volleyball? Plenty of room there.
I will have to keep a low profile now at the park, market, and anywhere about town really. And more importantly, keep my mouth clamped shut. At least until summer registration starts. Then the chaos begins once again!
Laura Walsh is the founder of Dramagination, a traveling fairy-tale dress-up workshop and party for imaginative young children. Find her on Facebook.com/Dramagination.