In last week’s post, I said I would talk about […]
In last week’s post, I said I would talk about the activity group for babies I went to during my week off of work. As promised, here it is …
I feel like I should start with “once upon a time,” but I’ll resist. Clearly reading bedtime fairy tales is starting to take over my life.
The group is the same one my other half and Ben go to every week, it’s designed to enhance the sensory development of babies with songs, toys and games. I was forewarned that there would be a lot of singing—so we negotiated that if I was going to go, I could dress Ben in whatever I wanted, hence the superman outfit!
When we walked in two things were instantly apparent: Not only was I well out of my comfort zone, but I was also looked at very oddly. I thought it was due to the fact that I was new.
But I was wrong.
The group started with all the mothers (and me) sitting in a circle on the floor as the facilitator walked around to welcome everyone and give out some noisy toys that rattled and shook. During this I was still receiving some curious looks, again, assuming it was because I was new. But then the facilitator said that there were lots of new faces, and I figured it out. The odd looks weren’t because I was new; it was because I was a man. Noticing I was the only man made it worse.
I don’t think they were what is he doing here? looks—just that it was unusual for a chap to be at this particular gathering.
The group officially began with the “welcome song,” and I had no idea what the words were. So I quietly hummed, smiling like an idiot.
Literally, no idea, and I felt like a fool.
Then the next song started, and although I was making up words and shaking my maraca like a madman, I started to work out what to sing. And I worked out the next song a little more.
The whole time, regardless of what was coming out of my mouth, Ben smiled and loved it.
Before I knew it I was singing quite loudly, adding the occasional harmony. By now, the odd looks had been replaced with looks of acceptance, and as the group was coming to an end, I was up on my feet dancing with Ben without a care in the world. It was like everyone else had vanished, and it was just the three of us enjoying ourselves. But really it was a room full of people who had also zoned out to cherish their children; it was a lovely moment.
The final song was sung, (something about saying goodbye, naturally) we said our goodbyes (naturally) to the leader, as well as, the complete strangers we shared this hour with and made our way home.
Despite my reservations and the initial shock of being the only man in the class, it was a fantastic experience. If any of you dads-to-be or new dads get the chance to do something like this, I say throw caution to the wind, let your hair down, and sing your heart out! Not only will your partners love you more for it, your little one will as well.