Sunday, July 20, 2008

Music and Me

Parent-child music classes are big in my community. Many of my friends who are parents of infants are signed up. Once someone asked why we didn’t go. I said that after I’d gone to mom and baby yoga, we wanted our next activity to be something my husband could share with baby. And Mark wasn’t excited about music.

“But it’s good for the baby!” she said, as though we were denying River development opportunities.

Today one of the local music schools had a free party, which was more like a sample class. We were looking for something to do as a family, so we went.

It was a nice way to spend 40 minutes. We sang a little, danced a little, and River had plenty to see and hear. The older children (2-5 years old) seemed to be having a good time.

As a free Sunday activity I thought it was fun. Mark was less impressed.

“It’s a sad statement of our culture that people now pay to do things they should be doing anyway at home,” he said. “It’s just people who have too much money and think they are going to do something for their baby.”

I agree with him that it’s expensive. Probably too expensive for us at this point. But I do think it’s useful to have a half hour or an hour where a parent is able to focus only on the child – with no distractions from the telephone, the TV, or household responsibilities.

Yes, we sing to him at home and we play with him. But it’s not so often that he receives full attention with stimulating games and music for an entire 40 minutes. Maybe it is sad that we need an organized activity to help us schedule in uninterrupted time with baby. But until we can figure out how to get that at home, I think such activities help parents to get out of the house, bond with other parents, and spend some happy moments with baby.

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