Here is the first in what I hope will be many guest posts from some dads that I really enjoy. First up we have Nate Smith from Improvising Fatherhood. Nate is a first time dad of Chandler, an improve comic, and full on Mt. Dew addict, drinking away Chandler’s college education one eight ounce can at a time. I hope you enjoy his post and please bookmark or subscribe to the RSS feed over at his site, you won’t be dissapointed.
Today I had the thrilling honor of accompanying Chandler to his Thursday morning music class at the Lake Oswego Public Library. He has been attending for a few weeks now and he wanted to show me the ropes. This was an enlightening experience to say the least.
The Baby Music Class is a free service provided by the library so parents can learn how to bring music into their children’s lives and use song and dance to help develop their young minds. It’s also a great excuse for mommies and daddies to get out of the house, see other adults, and compare their babies to those of others.
I have to say I felt a little bit of pity for my son. After all, it was my job during this class to help him learn rhythm. I’ve already talked about my lack of musical talents so asking me to teach my son rhythm is like asking NBC to teach another network how to not screw everything up all the time (ooh, he’s so topical).
To be honest half the time I was looking at the other kids for cues on when to clap. Sometimes Chandler would look up at me during a song and I’d say, “No Chandler, don’t do what Daddy does. Watch that 8 month old, he’s really got it.” Even at the end when we all applauded because the class was over I clapped just a bit too long. Man, I really suck at clapping.
Music Class and swim class (that post is coming soon) are the first times I’ve been out in public with a group of other babies. Something really stuck out to me today as we went around the circle singing each baby’s name. No one has a regular name anymore. Every kid was an Avery, a Harper, or an Emmaline. The runner up for most eccentric name was a cute little guy named Jet. Hope you’re fast kid. But the winner for best name of the day…Truckin’. T – R – U – C – K – I – N – apostrophe. I assume there’s an apostrophe on the end because I figure Truckin’ is a nickname short for Trucking.
Of course Chandler isn’t a normal name either. But shut up.
At home I sing and dance with Chandler all the time. Improvised musical fits are my ammunition against teary eyes. I say fits because often my “music” can best be described with the same terms a doctor might use to describe a seizure. But it gets the job done.
That’s at home. Today I was in public. A library. A public library. And I was sitting in a circle comprised mostly of moms. There were two other men in the group. One was a grandpa who was tagging along with Grandma to help out with a set of twins (don’t let me forget to tell you about them). The other was a guy who roughly looked about my age. We awkwardly made eye contact a few times. What was awkward about it was when our sympathetic looks for each other collided in the middle of the circle. There was no feeling of kinship between us. Just a thought bubble looming over each of our heads that quietly said, “God I hope I don’t look like that.” Sadly, we each did look like that. Just like that.
Okay, now let me tell you about Grandma and the twins. My wife had actually told me about her after the last time she attended music class. This lady helps her daughter by carrying for her twin boys. They are about 6 months old. As part of the agreement she insists that the mother dresses her boys in overalls every time they are with Grandma. Why? Because that way Grandma can pick them both up, one in each hand, by the straps on the back of their overalls. Osh Kosh B’OMG!
All in all the music class was a good experience. It gave Chandler a chance to hang out with some other babies and I came really close to snapping on beat. Maybe next time.
Part of the Fatherhood Friday group of blogging Fathers and Mothers over at Dad Blogs. Please click on the image to the left to find more great writing from other bloggers trying to make sense of this whole parenting thing