Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Not Mini Mozarts

One of the things I was most looking forward to about our one-nap schedule was the freedom to take some baby classes. With 2 naps, finding a class at just the right time is near impossible. Now, we have a 3-4 free hours in the AM and a class is a great way to fill up some of that time. Or so I thought.

Most mommy-baby classes are designed with a 1:1 ratio in mind. However, the wise members of my MoT group seemed to agree that a music class is very doable (even fun!) with two babes. So, I signed us up. I chose one that was only 6 weeks long (most are 10) because if the kids hated it, I didn't want to be stuck going or out all that money. The rec department in town runs a 6-week one and it's very close to our house so a win-win all around.

Monday was our first class. We got there on time and I got the kids into the room (no easy task, BTW, and I think this may have contributed to some of our problems). There were lots of different instruments for the kids to play with. Sebastian and Collette would both pick one up and then toss it to the floor to try another. But then, Collette set her sights on the instrument the teacher had. A wooden bowling pin shaped thing with a stick - musical people out there probably know what this is called. Anyway, the teacher needed it to sing her songs and keep the rhythm. It was the only instrument that was off limits. And for my little girl, it may as well have been the only thing in the room.

Things went pretty down hill from there. Thankfully, Sebastian, just ignored the class half the time and quietly explored the room with one of the shakers in his hand. But Collette just couldn't settle in. The only thing that made her happy was if I held her and stood up. And even then she wasn't always happy. She was fussing so much I had to take her out of the room for a few minutes and I gave her a little snack. And then 10 minutes later had to do the same thing with both of them - thank God I brought enough!

As the class was winding down (and I was holding Collette, again), Sebastian started to fuss. At one point, I thought he was going to throw a temper tantrum right in the middle of the circle but he kept it together enough that we could finish the class. Overall, I don't think either of them really enjoyed it.

I have a few ideas to make it better for next time. I will use the correct entrance so I can bring the stroller into the room. (The way I came in, I was on a whole level above the room and was not about to bring my stroller down the stairs) I might get there early and give them snack right before class. At least they will have full tummies. Other than that, I'm not sure what I can do to make the experience a better one for them. I was almost in tears at how badly it was going. It's so discouraging to go through all this effort to do something fun for your kids and have them act like its torture. So, any words of wisdom? I don't want to quit because I know that they will probably to a little better each time. But, I don't want a repeat of last week either.


  1. Snack before class is a good idea. Nanny April has been taking the kids to one and they love it and both have been manageable but it did take a couple of weeks to settle in. The instructor likes to carry Penny around because she is the littlest in the class. There is a theme for each session - last time it was drums and we get a music CD so that we can listen to it at home. They do classes in lots of churches in MA so you might want to check one out (they aren't that expensive) -

  2. Hannah and Sophie always have trouble with anything new and it takes a few times to settle in.

    You are right on thinking to arrive early and give them a snack first. We still do that at 4.5. Even if I have to give them a snack in the van before we go in. Also arriving early enough to get your own bearings and not feel stressed will help. My kids always pick up on ANY anxiety or frustration that I'm feeling.

    Good luck! It will get easier.

  3. The first time of anything is usually bad for Melody. She's terribly musical, and yet got kicked out of music class (that's a separate rant) for her fear of puppets. It sounds like you've got realistic expectations. Let us know how next time goes.

  4. geeeeeeeez, shouldnt at least SOMEONE in our family be musical since mom's dad was a musician?? hahahha apparently it's not gonna be the twins :)

  5. Give it some time, for sure. Your kids are new not only to that particular class, but the structure of classes in general. Give them a few weeks (at least) to start to understand what is expected of them, what the transitions are like, etc. And figure out where you can be flexible on what's expected of them. They don't always have to participate, obviously, but they can't grab things from other kids, etc. You know what I mean.

    Anyways, hang in there. As they get used to it, it will get a lot better. The more you do it, the easier it will be.


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