After writing a recent piece on 5 baby classes I wish they gave because they would be awesome, it dawned on me that the classes I did choose were pretty questionable. By that I mean, classes that now make me question my own sanity at the time.
When my first child was little, I was under the impression that the more time you spent in various classes that would teach and socialize your baby, the better parent you were. Sure, we may have had to take out a second mortgage but darn if my 3 month old wasn't going to get a baby massage in a fancy room while he and 10 other babies squirmed uncomfortably. No, I would not be the ogre to rob him of that experience. An experience that would surely be the reason he one day gets accepted to Harvard.
I'm pretty certain I'm not the only mom that searched for the perfect classes. Here are my 5 Mommy and Me mistakes (if only I could get that money back to buy shoes, or food)...
1. Baby Sign Language:
This one came so highly recommended on the basis that you could teach your infant to communicate with you basically straight out of the womb, well, months or years before he could do so verbally. I was sucked in by the tall tales of some infant somewhere who could supposedly ask for a bottle or tell his mother he was happy, sad, angry, thankful, or tired.
I imagined my brilliant infant would rock this class and we would soon be having complete conversations in which he was all, "I love this squeaky duck Mommy, because it's yellow and funny" or "The Voice may be the best music based reality show on tv," and "That chick should go with Cee Lo Green, obviously." Well, something like that.
The truth is, he never signed me a single message, not even "the finger," which I probably deserved for making him lie there on a blanket while I frantically mimed at him for an hour. Nope, he communicated like everyone else, with crying, and grunting and other cues that moms inevitably pick up on without spending their time and money.
2. Mommy and Me Yoga:
At one time, this class was all the rage. The idea was to take your infant to a yoga class and use his/her weight as resistance. Basically, it was a big fat excuse to take yourself to a class and not sign your baby into the daycare room or find a sitter.
Can you do a tree pose? Can you do one with a baby on your hip? Use your core people. Now, try a downward dog with the baby on the mat looking up at you and make silly faces while trying not to drool directly onto your infant. Lastly, star pose while holding the baby in one hand, if you don't drop your baby it's a sign your really engaging.
3. Baby Massage:
Really, I can't believe I spent my hard earned money on this one, because frankly, anyone could, if they so chose, give their infant a massage at home. Yet, I was sure this woman would teach me some trick to rid my child of colic and hence be worth every cent.
The instructor used a doll which at some point in the first session she dropped flat on it's face, causing me to do that thing where you laugh uncontrollably when you know you shouldn't. To make matters worse the other mothers were very serious about their massages and they cooed and rubbed fervently. My baby was the most serious in that he cried and wailed from the moment we started to the moment we ended. I tried to focus on him and not the piercing glares the other mothers were shooting my way. I even attempted to leave, but the instructor and her maimed baby where insistent that my son needed massage more than any of these other babies, because he was clearly upset and stressed-out and needed to find his Zen.
Sadly, the other mothers could not find their Zen and when the instructor explained that my child could be the Yin to their kids' Yangs, they released their death stares and welcomed his screeching. "Do you hear that Billy? Stay calm in the face of adversity, rise above it, be one with the universe!" a mother whispered gently while pumping Billy's legs for optimal digestion. "Jake, don't listen to that mommy," I whispered to mine "I'm pretty sure the only thing rising up over there is the poop content in Billy's diaper."
4. Baby Gym:
We all did some version of the baby gym class. I started before my son could roll or sit up or do anything other than freak out when someone passed us the mascot doll "Jimbo," which was without question the same clown they used in Poltergeist.
In every class, we would all stand and do the parachute over the babies heads as they stared up from beneath it. Probably wondering why this rainbow was attacking them, and being thankful every time it was whisked back up, inches from their fearful faces, with a cooling gust of air. To this day my child is afraid of clowns and wind (go figure).
Yes, I went to an actual story-time class. Yes, to answer your next question, I AM in fact literate. I read the bill for this 10 session class and I even signed the credit card slip. Why? I have no clue, as basically it was exactly what it said it would be. A woman who seemed moderately intoxicated, told a story with puppets. She used silly voices for each the characters (though they all sounded the same), and she had a xylophone, maracas and those scratchy things you rub together for sound effects.
I'm pretty sure I could've reenacted this class with the use of a bell, a sock, some sand paper, and a shot of vodka for 1/100th of the price (well, not if the vodka was top shelf).
Look, I get it that classes are a wonderful way to meet other moms and yes, to help the kids socialize and grow. But looking back, I wish I'd skipped a few of 'em and spent the money on more useful things like, groceries and shoes or cute little baby outfits.
What was the most ridiculous baby class you took?
Image via JenEcards/TheSuburbanJungle