I don’t have kids yet. In fact, I’m not even married, so perhaps I just don’t understand the need some parents have to bring their children everywhere. Here’s the kicker: I like kids. I do. They’re funny, endearing, dirty little miniature humans. Also, they’re adorable and fun to play with. But I’m eternally confounded by the places parents bring their kids. Granted, some kids are more well-behaved than others (I guess I’ll pray that I don’t have a screaming, bipolar, picky-eater one day) but that doesn’t change the fact that there are some places that remain obstinately, blessedly kid-unfriendly.
From what I understand, certain parents are convinced that their little darling should be allowed into every establishment on the planet, and failure to provide the child with a strawberry lemonade and crayons is an assault on their right to be a parent. Restaurants are tricky, especially the neighborhood variety, but there are some places I go to in part because it’s a virtual certainty that there wont be any kids or cell phones present.
Yoga class is just such a place. A hot, quiet environment entirely absent of whining, screaming and sniggering. Until yesterday. I saw the offending offspring when I arrived at class to sign in, and figured their mom was enrolling at the studio and they would be leaving. Then she poured powdered electrolytes into each of their bottles of water, handed them each a towel and headed down the hall. And so, confounded yet again by the arrogance of certain parents, I signed in, grabbed a mat and headed resentfully towards what should have been an invigorating workout, but what turned into the longest hour of my life.
The boys looked like they were about eight and twelve, and their mom whispered instructions loudly throughout the entire pre-class savasana. Don’t worry, lady, we weren’t relaxing, we’re all here to help your kids find their inner balance. (Not). Once class finally started, the instructor was constantly having to correct them, essentially turning the class into a private lesson for the two underaged yogis, leaving the rest of us balancing precariously on one twisted leg and sweating profusely for much longer than the 30 or 60 seconds allotted for each posture. If you’ve ever practiced yoga, you know that any extra seconds your instructor adds to a pose make you shake so badly that you want to kick them in the shins. By the time class ended, Thing 1 and Thing 2 had fallen over a multitude of times, writhed around on the floor, whispered to each other and audibly made fun of the teacher, each other and everyone else in the class.
Trying to leave as soon as we were through, they stepped on people, tripped over ankles, arms and water bottles then threw their mats in a sweaty, tangled up heap on the floor. Apparently their mother did not see fit to loud-whisper yoga etiquette to them at the beginning of class.
I know for a fact that there are studios that offer classes specifically for kids, although I don’t know one single kid who would want to stand perfectly still for 60 minutes in a swelteringly hot room when they could be swinging by their toes from the monkey bars. My studio does not happen to offer kids classes. So to the parents who continue to force their spawn upon the rest of us in places where kids simply don’t belong: stick them in summer camp, find a babysitter, or skip yoga for the day, because the last thing I want to see in yoga class is your kid.