I hadn’t realised prior to Adelaide rocking up how hard it is to fill one’s day with a baby. Don’t get me wrong – they’re adorable little time leeches, but generally my days are 3 hour cycles of feeding, playing and trying to convince my daughter to sleep. (Please note they rarely include actual, proper sleeping.)
In an effort to have at least one activity that wasn’t meeting friends
at the pub out for coffee, I signed us up for Gymbaroo classes. We started last week – due to the afore mentioned sleep strike the class didn’t go terribly well. This week, however, we made it all the way through before the wailing started – success!
Classes are structured to have a session of tummy time at the start – the most hated time of all. I read recently that four month old babies are supposed to spend 80! minutes! minimum! every! day! on their tums and that there is a general regression in development because it’s rare that anyone makes this amount of time. I read this, of course, on The Internets so its debatable as to how accurate it is. I confess that Adelaide would never ever have done 80 minutes of tummy time on any one day…maybe even not across a whole week. But way I see it, you don’t see grown adults walking around not being able to hold up their necks so I figure she’ll come good. Having said that, anything that helps us increase the ol’ tummy time is of use, and there’s a huge focus on it at Gymbaroo.
Babies are given various stimulating aids to help them through the tummy time trauma. Last week we did a massage, then popped the bubs in front of mirrors and floated silk scarves over their faces, harem style. This week, we had those whirly-gig blowy things that I remember getting as kids at the Easter show (and that’s as specific as I can get) and we blew them in front of the bubs and helped them track the movement. We also do ‘exercises’, which are just moving the babies’ arms and legs around, but since this rarely happens independently I guess it’s a good thing. There’s also this weird group dance thing but the less said about that, the better.
The class then goes into a separate room where there’s essentially circuit training but better, because it’s cute as it’s for babies, and because I don’t have to do any physical exertion. There are about 30 different stations, each with activities that align with developmental milestones.
Adelaide can make it through about six or so activities before absolutely losing her cool. This week, she played footsies with bouncy balls, rolled on a trampoline with cat toys (not kidding. Plastic cat toys with bells in them from the $2 shop – the instructor was very proud of this. Hotel and I joke that we should have gotten a puppy due to how much our girl licks everything; she clearly likes pet toys too), sat in a giant spinny thing while I spun her around, and played with different textures on her face. We also did some rolling practice, threw beanbags at a mesh thing covered in bells and ribbons (unclear as to why, but there was a certain stress relief in it), and I tried to put her on a few slippery dips but NO DICE.
The class ends with playing under a large parachute – they get to feel it on their faces and see all the different colours. We all sing this lame ‘goodbye song’ as well – so much singing since becoming a parent! – but she giggled away happily so the embarrassment was worth it. I guess.
(Also, I am aware my girl is dressed in head-to-toe pink. This is because she looks exactly like her father – a total Daddy Doppelgänger – and pretty much daily I get comments on my cute son. Despite the pink.)