This morning a friend of mine invited Baby and I to a Mommy and Baby Music and Art class. I love things that are educational and that I can do with Baby, so I was all in.
I met my friend and her daughter (who is three months older than Baby) downstairs at the entrance super early this morning (yes, ten is still considered super early when you wake up a few times in the middle of the night). We were a half an hour early since it is a first come first serve basis unless you are a member (which we are not). It is eight dollars for an hour. The first half is music and the second half is art.
The place was converted from an older home downtown, so there were three levels. The first level was the entrance. Then we walked up a few stairs to the older kids art area. There were little table and chair stations and tons of art supplies for the kids to use: paintbrushes, clay, paint, glue, items from nature, etc. It looked like a fun place to come to when Baby gets older. She can go make a mess in someone else's place and I won't have to clean it up.
Next we walked up two flights of stairs to the third level where there was a room with tubes and things that kids could crawl through, an open seating area with benches overlooking a baby play structure, and another room that was for the Mommy and Baby class.
Since we were early, we played with our babies in the baby play structure. It had that soft wrestling mat stuff on the ground and formed into different shapes for the babies to climb on. Over in one corner was a mirror with a ballet barre that was just the right height for the babies to hold onto and look at themselves. Too cute. Baby smiled and tried to reach for herself in the mirror.
When it was time, we went into the classroom and sat in a circle. Everyone had a soft cushion to sit on and we all put our babies in our laps. There were about nine or so other mothers and babies. Baby and her friend were the youngest, and the oldest was probably around two. I think the average age was one (the class was advertised for ages zero to two).
The teacher started us off with singing and signing a good morning song. (For the life of me I cannot remember how to sign good morning, and I really wish I did. Guess I'll have to look it up). Then she sang a few songs and we all sang along if we knew them. I knew most of them (surprisingly! I think I was remembering from my own childhood). We sang "The Wheels on the Bus," "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Do you know the Muffin Man," "Down by the Bay," something about three kittens, and maybe a could more that I don't remember. After asking, "Do you know the Muffin Man?" Baby let out a little screech. Apparently she is a fan of the Muffin Man.
I was a little offended at one point when Baby was "talking," and the teacher stopped to ask the class if they had heard a sheep. My baby is not a sheep, nor does she sound like one. But then the teacher let out a little "Baa" and it did kinda sound like Baby. Maybe just a little bit. Then the teacher started us in on "Baa Baa Black Sheep." I forgave her then. Perhaps it was just a segue for her into the next song.
At one point the teacher brought out a little colorful parachute and we all grabbed it (Baby tried to stuff it in her mouth), and moved it up and down with a song. She played some music and we all practiced freezing when the music stopped and did some dancing and hand movements along with it.
There was a giant mirror on one wall and I kept trying to look at myself and Baby as I held her to see her expression. She seemed to be having a fun time. She had eaten before we went, and also took a nap on the way over (it was about forty five minutes away from us), so she was in a good mood. She was very talkative during the whole thing, doing her little dolphin speak as everyone sang. Hopefully no one thought she was annoying. People kept looking and smiling at her. She just screeched away. She was certainly the loudest child there. Unfortunately, my friend's daughter wasn't as enthusiastic as Baby during the music portion so she went out into the hallway to calm down.
The next part of the class was the art portion. It was really hot in the room, so we took a short water break while the teacher brought out finger paints (this is the point where I stripped Baby down to her diaper so she wouldn't get her clothes dirty. A few of the other mothers did the same.) The paints were made from corn starch and something else, so it was an interesting texture. She had a pink tray and a blue tray. She laid a mat out on the floor and the babies could go at it.
I held Baby at the paint and she reached for it, then decided she didn't like it on her fingers at all and I wiped it off for her. That was all that we did during the art portion. We sat and watched the rest of the babies. It didn't help Baby that I didn't want to touch it either. I wasn't prepared to get dirty! A couple of the other babies were loving it and squishing it in their hands. One child even decided to step in it- with his shoes on. I was watching the mother to see what she did, and she just pulled out the camera to take a picture. My friend's baby loved this portion. She got herself covered in paint and kept wanting more. My friend tried to reign her in and her child got mad and my friend ended up with blue paint all over herself.
Baby had enough before the class was over, plus she was hungry after playing so hard, I suppose. I nursed her and that was the end of the class.
Overall I had a good time. It was really neat to sing with Baby and the other moms. Especially since I can never remember any songs to sing with her at home, nor do I know hand movements that go with them. I liked the fact that she could watch other babies and socialize (granted, she's only four months old, but she can learn). It was too bad she didn't like finger paint, but that only means that perhaps she'll be a clean child when she gets bigger. No mud stained pants for me to wash!