Monday, 19 October 2015

Dancing to the beat of his own drum

We went to another small person's birthday party this weekend. Once again an organised affair in a rented hall. I was, to be frank, dreading it. BigBear elected to come with me to provide moral support to both me and LittleBear (and to give GrannyBear, who was staying with us, a chance for a guilt-free nap).  As it turns out, beyond a few wobbles at the beginning, this party was a different kettle of fish. For a start it wasn't as noisy, even though it was a singing and dancing party. There was no background thrum of compressors maintaining multiple bouncy castles, so the ambient sound was lower. For another thing, it was a small person from LittleBear's nursery, so most of the children were ones he spends three days a week with and is used to playing with without me there. I think that's important. The friends we have in the village we see at best once a week, and then only for a couple of hours, and then only with me also present. So LittleBear expects my company and interaction.

We arrived marginally late, due to a parking crisis that necessitated me evicting BigBear and LittleBear from the car while I drove around WorkTown looking for a parking space on a busy Saturday afternoon. The party was therefore underway, with a gaggle of small children eagerly following the instructions of one of those insanely upbeat women who normally teach aerobics. (How one woman can bounce and smile so consistently for an hour while dancing to the most inane songs is beyond me.) LittleBear does NOT like joining in with something that is already underway, so he settled in on BigBear's lap, tucked his ears into his shoulders and looked like staying that way for the duration, even despite the presence of BestFriend. However... the song came to an end, the music stopped, and scarves were distributed ready for singing along to "Let It Go" from the parentally-damned Frozen. The gist was the children were to sing and dance and when the phrase "let it go" came round, were to bundle their scarf into a ball and throw it in the air.

So... I coaxed LittleBear up to get a scarf, and before I knew it, this was happening...

What you may notice, is that LittleBear has occupied a swathe of floor to himself, away from the other children, who are all gathered in a circle around the ever-bouncy leader and is singing, dancing, leaping, throwing and catching with utter abandon, filled with complete joy, totally absorbed in his own world. If ever a child was dancing to the beat of his own drum, it's my LittleBear.

Watching LittleBear during some of the more structured dances, that involved copying Little Miss Bouncy at the front in undertaking a variety of actions at different points in a song, was a bit like reliving my own inept experiences of every aerobics or dance class I was ever subjected to. A vague look of bewilderment crossed with concentration drifted across his face as he contemplated what to do with each limb, and just as he thought he'd worked out what to do and was starting the movement, the next action rolled along and he was left confused and confounded again. That's my boy. Sometimes I feel very, very sorry for him that he is his mother's son...

And because it may be relevant to a later post, I would also like to share with you the shenanigans that LittleBear and BestFriend got up to.

There was a bubble machine, which all the children enjoyed:

Until LittleBear and BestFriend identified the source of the bubbles, and realised that if you want to catch the bubbles, you need to go to the source:

Efficient, and pragmatic. That's my boy. Maybe it's not so bad to be his mother's son.

I have attempted to disguise any faces other than my LittleBear's in these photographs, as I am unsure of the etiquette of posting pictures of other people, and particularly their children. If anybody feels that I have transgressed or should not post these pictures, please let me know and I will take this post down.

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