I took Frida to her baby sensory class for the first time on Friday. Now that Frida will take milk from a sippy cup as well as the breast, my wife can be away from for more than a couple of hours at a time, so took the opportunity to go Christmas shopping (somehow managing to buy everything she needed in about three hours) while I looked after Frida.
For those of you not familiar with baby sensory, it’s a class which combines music, sign language, baby massage and games, and makes great claims for aiding your baby’s development. This may well be true, but it’s also a great opportunity for your baby to socialise with other babies and for you to socialise with other parents. And whilst I say parents, I pretty much mean mums. When I arrived I was the only man amongst about 15 mums (although another fellow turned up with his wife a little late)
Whilst everyone was very friendly, and there were a couple of mums I knew from NCT class, it was hard not to feel a little conspicuous. One of the mums there doubted her husband would ever have come to something like this, and I still have the sense see taking part in baby activities or even spending too much time with their child as some kind of affront to their masculinity. It certainly hammered home how far we have to go to achieve gender equality in childcare.
Still, I really enjoyed the class and the chance to chat to other parents. It was strange seeing the really small babies (I think the youngest was about 6 weeks) and remembering when Frida was that size. The whole thing was very music led, and i spent most of my time trying to figure out how to sing along to the songs, do the actions and keep hold of Frida at the same time. It was also funny to see how the parents joined with a lot more gusto to the songs they already knew like Incy Wincy Spider and kind of mumbled along to the rest.
The songs, as children’s songs tend to be be, were hellishly catchy. Without quite realising I was doing it, I spent the walk home singing out loud their particularly cheesy signature tune ‘Say Hello To The Sun’, only realising I was doing so when I turned the corner directly into a group of teenage lads. They may not have noticed, but I got the distinct impression they were trying to stifle laughs. Still, ‘Say Hello To The Sun’, ‘Incey Wincey Spider’, ‘Five Little Ducks’. This is the soundtrack my life now.