Gracie had her first official activity yesterday, when we went to her first Music Together class. I've been looking forward to doing a few things like this with her this year while Maddie is at school, and the community services catalog arrived just at the time I was looking for a class. We are not lacking in exposure to music or beginning percussion instruments in this house, but I still thought it would be a fun thing for her to do—plus have the opportunity to be around other little kids closer to her age once a week.
After dropping Maddie off at school and driving back to mail some packages, we set out to find the class location with directions from the post office lady (directions that brought both of us to tears, by the way, because they were the least helpful and most misguided directions ever, and Gracie cries if she has to get put back in her carseat more than 8 minutes after she is released from it, which happened when we had to walk through an active construction zone to the city hall complex to ask directions YET AGAIN). I recovered from my moment of hating California (I know, I'm so dramatic, but all I wanted yesterday was to be driving down Woodmen Rd going somewhere I knew how to get to) and we finally found the place, 1 minute before start time, approximately 3 miles away from where the post office lady directed us.
Gracie and organized learning have a ways to go. She started out strong, using one of her new crystal-clear words (PIANO!) appropriately, and used her gentle hands without being told to (not the case for the other five kids). She was a little leery of the sitting down on carpets part, was entirely uncomfortable with the "hello" and smile her teacher gave her, and then turned into Mary Jane Sticky Baby and buried her head on my shoulder for the next ten minutes. (?!) She warmed up again when there were bells to jingle and shakers to shake, and lost points for being the only kid who refused to put them back in the box when it was time. It should be noted that Gracie doesn't just refuse things, she gets a thoroughly nasty junkyard dog face on and holds whatever it is up and behind her a little bit, as if to dare the offender to just try and take it. She did that twice. Her teacher was about the most patient and kind woman I've ever met, and while I'm not worried that Gracie will continue to snarl every single week, repeatedly assured me that it wasn't anything to worry about.
By the end of our 45 minutes, Gracie was back at the keyboard again, mostly smiling at the other kids. She said "BYYYYYYYE" to her teacher, and got back in the car for the 25 minute drive back to Maddie's school with nary a peep. She then proceeded to sing Old MacDonald the remainder of the trip—EIEIEIEI O—which was not on the list of songs from the morning, by the way. When I asked her if she had a good time, she nodded yes. OK then. We'll try again next week.