Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?

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So, we found a church in the centre of town that does free lunchtime concerts at least one time a week. Last week was the first one we attended, and Nana (TMD’s mum) came with us. We were walking up to the church, we saw a poster for a classical concert coming up. She was all, ‘That’s classical. That is not for children.’ She was already sort of upset we were going to a lunchtime concert at all, because as she told TMD, those are for business people having a nice lunch out.

Okay, whatever. (And for those who are curious, there were other children their age, as well as older home educated children. And some older people. And random photographer/artisty people. And one man in a business suit.)

Today’s concert, which we will probably skip as the kids are playing outside, is jazz guitar. She said she wouldn’t come because she doesn’t like that music.

Okay, fine.

I mentioned next week was guitar and flute. She instantly was like, ‘That is classical,’ with huge disapproval in her voice.

Am I the only one who thinks that is weird?

She has very low expectations of all children, and in fact always plans for disaster in any situation. I’m the opposite. My expectations are not that the children will ‘behave’, because that is a non-issue. My expectation is that we will all have a good time. Possibly a great time.

I know she worries the kids will somehow screw up the adults’ time, which I find obnoxious because children are people too. And should my kids somehow choose a classical fifty minute concert to be the one day they are ballistic, we would remove ourselves. But it’s odd that her expectations are consistently so doomsday, even when our many experiences have been nothing but great.

Shit, at last week’s very lively gig, the group actively invited people to dance. Coco did what my friend Cookie and I would refer to as ‘car dancing,’ when you stay seated but dance with your upper half. Snort stayed on my lap, largely, though he danced on my lap, and at one point I stood up and danced while holding him. These are not kids who are going to go buckwild in public. But if they did, we would deal with it. It would be okay.

So, kids and classical music, kids and expectations. Am I the odd one here? We also recently got membership to an organisation that has fancy old properties across the country, and when I mentioned we would be going to a huge ass fancy house soon (that mother in law goes to a lot), she wasn’t pleased as it was not for children. Whereas our home ed friends say it has a fun garden, lots of space, and great natural play structures. And all that aside, I’ve been taking the kids to museums since they were eighteen months old, and they love them.

I don’t see why kids should only be ‘allowed’ to go to places that are earmarked for children. What a lot of great experiences they would miss out on. What do you think?

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8 Responses to “Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?”

  1. nobodysperfick Says:

    You’re not alone in feeling these are odd opinions. Music OF ALL TYPES has been shown to help children exercise both sides of their brain at once. Why would someone limit options for their kids? I think that your attendance at these concerts is totally right on and I’d do the same thing!

  2. Lyssie Says:

    I totally agree with you, why should something have to be specifically labelled as child friendly for you to take your children to it? I go to an outdoor opera concert every year and it’s always lovely to see people bring their children and that they’re having a good time. Despite the fact that this takes place in the evening there’s very few children who act up or cause a fuss and they’re generally the very tiny ones who get grumpy past bedtime.

    Whether your mother in law likes it or not children are part of the adult world and they need to experience it in order to learn and grow. I’m a member of a heritage organisation and really enjoy exploring castles and gardens and all the other beautiful historic places, no matter where I go there’s always children asking questions, drawing or where allowed taking photos. A lot of these places are the typical “Keep off the Grass!” sort of sites that you wouldn’t automatically assume would be the kind of places children would be interested in but I think if you instill manners and the responsibility to behave properly around precious things there’s no problem.

    Growing up I had an uncle with a very similar attitude to your mother in law who felt children had to be seen and not heard, excluded from family gatherings automatically because we were bound to ruin and disrupt everything. I think that’s a terrible way to view the world.

  3. mamacrow Says:

    um, she’s odd. Er, I mean, her opinions are non-typical in my opinion and experience! My mum and dad took me to full blown classical concerts at the big main local theatre when I was quite little – we were all into it and they did fabulous lunch time concerts. My sister would get the time off school and come too as we were all heavily into music and played instruments etc!

    We used to go to a musuem or heritage site every tuesday in the holidays – a castle, a house, etc, had a great time

    As you know we have 7 kids that range from tiny to teen and we go everywhere – never had an issue. If it’s an audience situation, we get chairs near an aisle in case anyone needs to go out if they’re not digging it, that’s about it as far as our prep goes!

  4. Jo Says:

    >>I know she worries the kids will somehow screw up the adults’ time, which I find obnoxious because children are people too.

    Exactly.

    I find it odd that we want to sequester children off in their own little area of the world and not allow them to “disturb” adults. Well, you know what? I’m often disturbed by other adults in “adult” environments and I can’t do anything to block *them* out (hello, loud talkers on public transit? Drunks in restaurants? Yeah, I’m talking to you).

    Also, if we never allow children to participate in the “real” world, how do we expect them to learn how to behave in it? Like, when they turn 18 or whatever age is “acceptable” for them to be in adult spaces, they’re just suddenly supposed to know how things work there?

    I’ve been taking both my children to “adult” places since they were newborns and we do intentionally. I promise you, my three year old is more polite than 90% of adults in restaurants. She orders her own food, asks the servers for things she needs, and even takes my money/credit card up to pay the bill. Why not start teaching essential social skills from the beginning?

  5. mendylady Says:

    Um. why would she want them to not enjoy classical music? Or learn good public manners?

    I assure you, this is bizarre.

  6. Liv Says:

    Bonkers. Dance on!

  7. Mel Bowman Says:

    I’ve taken Aidan all kinds of places not “kid friendly” and we’ve been fine. The only rule I adhere to is not bringing him to restaurants late at night because, yeah, I do sort of feel there is an expectation for most restaurants (of the fancier type anyway) to be largely little-kid-free by 8pm on a Friday night. We go at 5:30, before the evening rush, and it just works out better. Less of a wait, fewer people, and my son is less tired.

    I was also told I was nuts for taking him on a long road trip without my husband. 3400 miles total, and we got along fabulously!

  8. catsandcradles Says:

    We tend to take Critter to mostly kid-friendly areas, because he’s still two, and very active two at that. But we’re certainly not of the “children should not be seen or heard until at least 20 years of age” mindset, either. We just try to choose activities that will be enjoyable for all of us. I mean, we don’t take Critter to the kind of restaurant that we would want to go to on a fancy date, but we don’t limit him to fast food places, either. (For one thing, we hardly ever eat fast food, except for this one local place.) How else is he going to learn how to behave in public, other than being in public?

    I completely fail to understand her ideas about classical music not being for children, though. I mean, really? I was exposed to classical music as a young child, and still enjoy it. I do my best to make sure Critter is exposed, too. I don’t think I would take a young child to a very formal concert (if nothing else, bedtime would likely be an issue), but a lunchtime concert? Bring it on. It’s not like you wouldn’t leave if there was a problem. And music is for anyone who appreciates it, and there’s not an age limit on that.

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