January 27, 2009

Musical Baby

PK started her first-ever music classes at the Conservatory last week. My first impressions of the class were mixed. I was initially afraid that I'd dished out a significant amount of dough for a program that was pretty much similar to what we were getting at the local public library for free. Fortunately, this was not the case. While it is true that some of the songs overlap with the library songs, we do get the following extras:

  1. The instructor plays piano during key parts of the class. For example, at the start of the class, the instructor plays piano while the kiddies play with bouncy balls.
  2. The babies actually get to play with instruments! So far, PK has gotten to play with sleigh bells, she's hit on a drum with a mallet (with my help, of course), and she's banged around on the bottom of an upside-down plastic container with her hands. Yay! Okay, so she's not that much into the instruments yet, but we'll work on that. I even got her a set of percussion instruments last week so that we could play them together at home. Unfortunately her first experience with her own set of instruments proved to be traumatic (i.e. major meltdown). I am glad to say, however, that she appears to be slowly warming up to them!
  3. We get do do some walking around. I find this to be nice, because it gets the babies moving to the music - even if the parents do most of the moving for them at this age.
So these are definitely some value-added items. Unfortunately, I felt really really really uncomfortable during my first class. It turns out that ALL of the moms already knew each other. I started wondering if I was in the wrong class. Had this class already started weeks earlier, and I was behind? Did I go to the wrong room? All I knew was that I was the outsider. The newcomer. I felt like all eyes were on me. I felt like I was in a room full of snobby Yorkville moms. Ugh. I HATE being the newcomer. I'm a VERY shy person. If I know you well, I will talk up a storm. If I don't know you well, I will clam up. I didn't know anyone, so I clammed up. I felt uncomfortable. It didn't help that I didn't want to put PK on the floor. I'm a bit of a germophobe. I was already not a huge fan of PK touching the bouncy balls at the start of the class. Who knows whose grubby germed hand touched those balls. I didn't want PK to get sick. Sick baby = crabby parent. The floor thing was just out of the question. Ick. The instructor motioned me to put PK on the floor in a seated position, but I shook my head. That was the beginning of my uncomfortable 45 minutes of hell. PK must have sensed my discomfort, because she was terribly finicky during that first class. The instructor must have noticed this too, because she came up to me after class to reassure me that I would get more comfortable with the class as time went on. She also told me that all these moms already knew each other from the September session.

Okay, so that first class didn't exactly go as planned. I decided to take a different approach the second time around. I would try to look more friendly. I would let PK sit on the floor...on a changepad - a germophobe's compromise! It seemed to work. We had a better time. I got to know more of the moms. They didn't seem as snobby as I thought they were based on that first class. We even had a newcomer (newer than me) - a one-month-old baby boy named Alexander. Both parents were in class. Unfortunately, the mom spent the entire time feeding him. I feel her pain. That's a rough time. Not that I was immune from PK's temper. She was testy in class. Unfortunately, the class start time coincided with her next feed. So I spent the first part of class giving her a bottle. She was still rather crabby. I found out later that it was due to a VERY wet diaper. Ooops! I really should have known better. Better luck next time!

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