Lowbrow Snob

This morning was the first session of the toddler music & fun class that I signed us up for at the neighborhood rec center. There were a dozen kids there and their moms (plus a nanny and a couple of grandmas), and the teacher was the kind of person I can barely believe exists: she sang and did silly dances and puppet games, etc. for the better part of 45 minutes, while the kids and grownups in attendance did some combination of singing along, clapping, staring at her in awe, wandering aimlessly about the room, or chatting quietly with one another.

Then, at the end of class, she turned on a CD player and played two Elmo songs and two Barney songs, and got out a giant bag full of stuffed animals, some of them regular old cows and bears and sharks, but a good 40% of them Elmos, Barneys, and Cookie Monsters.

There are probably a number of politic0-social or intellectuo-philosophical or anticonsumero-educational arguments to be made against these little characters, but here I just want to take the opportunity to state that I find Elmo and Barney DEEPLY IRRITATING.*

I know it is not really possible to keep these creatures’ existence a secret from the Monkey until she is old enough to, say, move out and get her own apartment, but until now she had been innocent of them, and I wish they did not have to rear their squeaky furry little heads in the music class that I thought would be a fun, cheap, and somewhat peaceful diversion for us on Friday mornings.

I am starved enough for human company during the weekdays that we will still go to the music class. But maybe I’ll bring earplugs to wear during the Barney part, and I will be looking around to see who else is wearing them and inviting them over for a play date.

Please note that we also went to a Music Together class last spring, and I found it WAY too earnest, with the little pitch pipe to start every song and the small, smug tips about Your Child’s Musical Development. Apparently I’m a picky consumer when it comes to toddler enrichment activities. Who knew?

It’s kind of a chilly day here. We’re having four friends over for dinner and I’m making carrot ginger soup, grilling some good sausages, making some kind of nice green salad, and heating up some good sourdough bread til it’s nice and crispy. Elmo and Barney will not be invited.

*I don’t have anything bad to say about Cookie Monster, though. Maybe it’s because his voice is several octaves lower.

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