Even now that William is two, when it comes to parenting I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. But every once in awhile, I discover that we may have accidentally done something right without even realizing it. This is one of those times.
I come from a long line of musicians and music educators. I grew up listening to the music of high school bands, from famous marches to the old warhorse overtures. There’s a lot of debate about whether musical ability is an inherited trait, or if it develops as a result of a child’s exposure to music at a young age. I like to think that it may be a combination of both, but regardless, the ability to perform and appreciate music is something that gives me great joy as an adult. I hope William will also get to experience that feeling someday, so we play lots of music for him, and I don’t get too upset when he bangs on the eighty-year-old Steinway. From Beethoven and Holst, to Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong, to Muse and Weezer, he’s been exposed to a wide variety of music, on an almost daily basis. As a result, it already seems like he’ll be able to carry a tune. He sings melodies and I can tell what he’s singing, and this makes me really happy.
But despite the fact that we’ve made a conscious effort to expose William to lots of music, I never really put that much thought into whether or not it was benefiting his development, until the day that I spent some time with a child who didn’t appear to have had that same exposure to music. Amy agreed to watch the kid of an acquaintance one afternoon. This little girl was about eighteen months old, and she seemed completely normal and happy - pretty much what you’d expect for a toddler of her age. While she and William played in the den, I did what I would usually do and turned on some J.S. Bach jams on the iTunes. William just kept playing, but the little girl stopped in her tracks and stared in the direction of the sound, transfixed by what she was hearing. After a minute or so, she went back to what she was doing. But I couldn’t help but think, “Was that the first time that child has ever heard classical music?” I was assuming a lot. I don’t know anything about this kid or her parents, but I do know that the classical music had a profound effect on her, at least for a few moments. That got me thinking, and hoping, that despite all the ways that parents can screw up during their children’s development, that this has been one thing that we’ve gotten right.
i feel you with the bathroom etiquette. we have one switch in ours that controls both the light and the fan, so what people like to do is blow up the bathroom and then close the door behind them and leave the fan on. of course, this means the light is also on. on many occasions, i've had similar experiences to yours. the door is closed, the light and fan are on, it's been forever... OOOOH, no one's in there. FUCK THAT NOISE.
The good news is that they’re currently starting construction on a massive addition to our building, which will include MORE RESTROOMS. Hopefully that will alleviate some of the traffic through the “office” restrooms.