Lonely Only Child? Not So Much-Thanks to Kids’ Classes and ….
*Mykaela (in the front) with her dance class friends.*
I grew up as an only child. I was not spoiled. I did not think the universe revolved around me. I absolutely was not lonely. Those are the general stereotypes of only children, and like many stereotypes there is some basis to it but it has been grossly overgeneralized. The biggest stereotype is the one about being lonely. People who are not onlies seem to think that only children spend mass amounts of time brooding in their rooms wishing they had siblings. Nope. I played in my room just fine with all my stuff uninterrupted and never had to worry about anyone whining because I wouldn’t share. My books were mine, my video games were mine, and all my stuff stayed where I put it. When I wanted to share and have social interaction I had other little people called friends. Friends are awesome! I could play with them when I wanted to be around people, and when I didn’t want to I could stay home and enjoy my alone time. Friends are like siblings outside of the house so I had the best of both worlds. While other kids complained about how annoying their siblings were or how one got more attention than the other, I was quite smug about the fact that I did not have those problems. Not only were my possessions all mine, but my mom was all mine too! There was no scheduling alone time with mom. There was no “not right now Cassaundra, Mommy has to take care of BrotherSister.” Nope! I shared my mom on school trips or if I invited a friend to come along on an outing. Ok, so maybe a little spoiled, but not in the stereotypical only kid way.
When I started getting to the age where I thought about having a family, I thought I’d have more than one child. Not because I didn’t want an only child for fear of loneliness, but simply because I wanted a boy and a girl so I could play football with one and dress up the other. Loneliness never crossed my mind. When I became pregnant with my daughter the whole story changed. I was diagnosed with a very rare neuromuscular condition several years ago and the rate of passage is 50%. That means I had a 50% chance of passing this thing on to any child I have. I had an amniocentesis done, she did not have it. I also had the absolute worst pregnancy ever, and I was 33 when I gave birth. Listen, I don’t know about you, but to me all that screamed loud and clear ONE AND DONE! I am also not the most patient person in the world and I honestly never, ever, ever, ever, NEVER want to go through the toddler stage again! She is just about 3 and I have discovered gray hair, I have bags under my eyes, and sometimes I really feel like I’m going insane! Again, ONE AND DONE! Many people have tried to convince me that I need another child. She is going to be spoiled they said. She needs someone to play with they said. And here we go, she is going to be LONELY they said. Not so much.
My daughter is absolutely NOT lonely. She has me and seriously, I am awesome company! Aside from me, my daughter also has been in playgroups and classes with other children since she was 8 months old. We started out at Gymboree where she spent a year in music and gym classes. We had unlimited classes so she got to attend multiple times a week. I would also take her to just about every kid activity I had time for so she was exposed to other kids early on. At a bit over 2 we enrolled at the Harlem School of the Arts for Tiny Moves dance classes where she is currently finishing up her second semester. She made tons of friends there. I think the best thing I did was enroll her in those classes. They taught her to share, how to behave with other kids, how to make friends, and how to be a friend. I have recently signed her up for group piano lessons through Kidz Central Station and I am looking into other classes as well. I have been using Kidz Central Station for awhile now and I love it! Being able to search for classes that are in my budget is awesome, because as a single mom budgeting is really important. I have found many trial classes, free classes, and low cost classes for my daughter to attend. She has all the social interaction she needs without having a sibling. My daughter may be an only child, but she is definitely not lonely.