Recently it struck me that my child, who recently turned six, might have reached the end of little kid-dom. I’m not claiming he’s a big kid; clearly he isn’t. And he’s still in kindergarten, so it might be argued that, despite having turned six, he is clinging to the little kid echelon. But six. Six belongs in the realm of not-so-little kid, and it’s time this old mom faced it.
But jeez. You know what really blows my mind? Next year he’ll be seven.
Jonah and I are taking a beginning ukulele class together. We signed up for this class something like eight months ago, when he was around 5 ½, but all he wanted to do was run around and/or escape to an adjoining room where he’d spotted a stash of toys. We left the second meeting early after he refused to join in. “I feel so disappointed,” I told him. “I thought this would be fun for us to do together. But maybe you’re just not ready.”
“No, Mommy,” he said. “I’m not ready. Maybe I’ll be ready when I’m six.”
A couple of months ago, Jonah said he wanted to try ukulele class again. So I e-mailed the teacher, who happened to be thinking of offering another beginning class, and the kid and I started a new session three weeks ago. He does fool around during class and has to be continually reminded to “Focus, Jonah,” but he participates and has even started to tune his own ukulele. The teacher is incredibly patient with the kids, and that reminds me to be patient, too. He clearly enjoys it: he’ll sometimes ask, as we pass the studio on the way home from school, if we have our music class. Today when he asked I told him, “No, but we can practice when we get home.” And when we did get home, he reminded me.
The first song we learned was “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” while strumming C, which is the easiest chord, as it requires only one finger on one string. Jonah and I like to make up alternative verses to this song, based on some that he learned in pre-school, like
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the lake
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life’s a piece of cake!
We sing the ones he learned in pre-school and make up our own (such as “gently down the water/don’t forget your daughter,” or “gently down the river/I am starting to shiver”) and soon the songs descend into the childish depths of poopy-potty humor. Not only do I allow this, but I laugh and fully participate. I caution him that the “poopy” and “fart” verses are not allowed in ukulele class, but have to say that our practice sessions last longer this way.
And why not? There has to be someplace where it’s okay to laugh about vomit, poop, and stinky farts. And, as another of my recent discoveries is that I have the sense of humor of a six-year-old, that place might as well be home.
Besides, his laughter is infectious. I love when he throws his head back and giggles. Time is fleeting. Gotta enjoy this before he out-matures me.