An Apology to the Parent of a Strong-Willed Child

I was the parent in Music class who arrived with child immaculately dressed, instructed quietly, and received immediate obedience. She participated in all the activities…clapping hands, sitting on her dot, singing along to the songs. I left the class smiling, both mom and child still perfectly dressed, and thinking to myself  “Wow! A few of those other moms in that class really need to get a handle on their children. I am sure I could whip those little rascals into shape in no time” Fast forward a couple more children and a few years. If I actually make it to the music class, it is in a very disheveled, usually unshowered state. My child’s shirt now wears stains from the sippy cup he found under the seat in the car, and as we enter the 30 minute class 15 minutes late, I note that his shoes are on the wrong feet. I still silently pat myself on the back though for remembering the shoes this time. The remaining 15 minutes of class involves me attempting to prevent him from tipping over the keyboards, running for the door and taking all the bells from the basket in the corner. Silent disapproving stares come from the other side of the room as the cutely dressed parent-child pairs sit quietly and sing along. I scream silently in my head “I WAS THE PARENT WITH THE CHILD THAT SAT ON THE DOT!! I was there! Just this time…I have met my match!” Yesterday, the battle lines were drawn and my youngest was in rare form.  He had come up with a completely new...