When I was five, I attended a local YAMAHA music school with my two childhood best friends. Every week, the three of us, our mothers and our younger siblings, squeezed ourselves in a small five seater car and droved to the music school in the city centre. Once in the classroom, my friends and I sat in front of rows of Electones (electronic organs produced by YAMAHA) with other classmates, and our mothers and siblings sat on the floor next to the room walls. There were several other classmates with younger siblings, and all the adults were busy trying to keep the little ones quiet during the lesson with a bagful of snacks and treats.
One of my best friends had a sister two years younger than us. She was a particularly active child, and it was an impossible request for the three year old to stay in one spot for an hour. My brother, who was only a year younger than her, liked following her lead, and they always had a lot of fun playing together while we older girls had the music lesson.
I was mostly busy listening to our teacher’s instruction and talking with my two friends and rarely paid attention to what my brother was doing during the lesson. However, there was a time when he received the spotlight of the whole class along with my friends’ sister.
That day, my brother and my friend’s sister were particularly active and adventurous. Instead of staying close to their mothers as usual, they started crawling around the entire classroom. I thought they were making more noise than usual, but didn’t care much until I felt something pass beneath my chair. It was my friend’s sister, followed by another crawling figure. It was my brother.
Shortly after that, I heard my classmates and their parents laugh on the other side of the room. When I turned, I saw two crawling figures passing beneath their chairs.
“What on earth are they doing?” I thought, and returned my attention to our teacher, who was now explaining something about the music piece we were playing.
Then, more laughter rippled through the classroom. As I wondered what was happening, I saw the two crawling figures pass right in front of our teacher. First, my friend’s sister. Then my brother. Both of them were having such a fun time that they were laughing as they passed in front of our teacher’s knees.
At that point, my friend’s mother stood up and went to grab her daughter.
Apparently, our mothers gave strict words to both of them. No more crawling happened after that.
That was a most fun case of class disruption that I have ever experienced. But I couldn’t help noticing the privilege enjoyed by our sister and brother that day. If I had been the one to crawl around a classroom even at the age of two or three, I’m sure my mother would have caught me the moment my hands and knees hit the floor.