I haven’t spent much time at the keyboard—it’s been a rough summer. Although I haven’t been writing Cristian’s been growing and developing. I have material for several blog posts—I just need to sit and write them.
At the beginning of the summer, Esther and I discussed enrolling Cristian in a Mommy and Me class. Esther has a background in child development so when she suggested enrolling him in a class, I listened. We agreed he needed to spend more time playing with kids his age.
Since she works six days a week, Mommy and Me class was another item on my Honey-Do List. Although the class didn’t intimidate me, I was curious as to how a Mommy and Me Class worked and how I’d fit in.
Here’s what I found:
A Chance to Develop Social Skills – Mommy and Me Class offers a chance to develop social skills while playing with other children. We wanted something more productive than him watching me yell at the TV during Trump Rallies on CNN. Our goal was for him to learn childlike behavior, not childish behavior.
Dads Go to Mommy and Me Class Too– This was my biggest concern. Playing nicely with the other children or adapting to the program, were minor details.
I had no idea what was waiting for me. Would the women go to the ladies’ room together, like when we go out with friends? Would I hear the hellish childbirth war stories, about who needed more stitches or had more tearing? Would it be a group of women in Capri pants sipping wine while the kids played?
Not knowing what to expect I packed a cooler with a six-pack. I know what some of you are thinking, but it was light beer. I didn’t want to give the wrong impression on the first day. Image my surprise when there were two other dads were in class—they passed on the cold one I offered them.
You Will Channel Your Parents – Like every parent, I thought, I’d be more laid-back than my parents were. That theory went flying out the window midway through the first class. Cristian playing with orange play doh right after munching on orange goldfish during snack time had me channeling my Dad big time. I could imagine the smile on his face as I pried the baby’s mouth open five or six times making sure the only thing he was chomping on was goldfish.
New Routines and Kiddie Songs – Mommy and Me class gave Cristian a chance to model other children’s behavior. He learned sitting still (or as still as a twenty-month-old could manage) sharing and pretend play with the other kids. Sure I left the class with three or four new kiddie songs stuck in my head for a few days but it was a small price to pay.
Someone Needs a Nap, the Baby Could Use One Too – Cristian loved the class although it usually ran into his nap time. I could relate, chasing him around class, keeping paint or shaving cream off both of us, and making sure he didn’t gobble up another kid’s snack who would have thought he loved veggie straws, was exhausting (See the section on Channeling Your Parents). Many times, we both needed a nap when we got home from class.