I’ve been away from the keyboard towards the end of last year.
Although my writing stopped, my son’s growth and development hasn’t. Last summer my better half and I discussed enrolling the baby in a Mommy and Me class. Since her background is in child development when she made the suggestion, I listened. We agreed he needed to spend more time playing with kids his age.
Since my wife 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 Daddy yell at the TV whenever CNN aired another one of Donald Trump Rallies. 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 six-pack into a cooler before leaving home. 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 I found two other dads in class—they declined the cold beer when I offered it.
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. My little guy playing with orange play doh right after munching on orange goldfish during snack time had me channeling my Dad big time. I could imagine him looking down on us with a smile on his face as I pried the baby’s mouth open five or six times making sure the only thing in his mouth were goldfish.
New Routines and Kiddie Songs
Mommy and Me class gave the baby a chance to model other children’s behavior—he learned sitting still (or as still as twenty-month old could manage) sharing and engaging in pretend play with the other kids.
Sure there were 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
The baby loved the class although it usually ran into his nap time. I could relate, chasing him around class, keeping paint and 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.
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