Where Baby Jack Meets Mother Goose

Our local library offers a weekly Mother Goose Storytime for children under 12 months of age and their mommies. I’ve been saying since before Jack was even born that I was going to take him to reading circles and play groups, but wouldn’t you know it – here he is 8 months old and I hadn’t even been once.
So, this week I decided it was high time I got over my mundane shyness of all things social and force myself to sign him up.

You see, I’ve always been a pretty shy person in intimate settings. When it comes to larger functions (such as giving speeches) or performing in the business world, I do quite well. But when it’s time to show the “real me” and socialize, I get as tonguetied as a turnip in winter. I just don’t do the “talking to random people” thing very well.

But now I have a son who will depend on me for his social life for the better part of the next decade (especially since we plan on homeschooling).

So I need to start somewhere, right?

If I don’t start now, I may end up in a rut of hiding ourselves away from the world and Jack-Evan will be grey headed before he learns that there are “others” out there.

Ok, maybe I wouldn’t be that detrimental to my son’s future social life, but I did really want to take part in the Mother Goose Storytime this spring. All thoughts of “but he’s only 8 months old, Lisa” aside, I swallowed the huge gulp in my throat and called the children’s department at the library to sign up.

Our first class was this past Thursday morning at 10:30 am.

Upon entering the children’s section (which, BTW, is wonderfully decorated with life size “Where the Wild Things Are” illustrations by Maurice Sendak), I was greeted by Ms. Heather, a bubbly little lady who asked me if we were there for Mother Goose Storytime, and then wrote Jack-Evan’s name on a little mitten name tag. She even hyphenated his name and said it correctly – which is a big plus in my books. Most people upon hearing Jack-Evan’s name let their faces gloss over with a “I-didn’t-understand-what-you-said-so-I’ll-just-smile” look. The fact that she even knew to hyphenate eased my social anxieties tenfold. Her 60 foot wide smile helped a lot too.

I then took a seat at the tables in the back for a few minutes to await the start of the class. Soon, Ms. Heather (the resident Mother Goose, sans the outfit) gathered up all of us little ducklings and we waddled..uh..followed her into the story room. It was a comfy cozy room with nice, soft lighting and 4 huge quilts spread on the floor. In all there were 11 babies, 1 grandmother, and 9 mothers (one mother had twins). Plus Ms. Heather.

It was the first time Jack-Evan (and even I for that matter) had been in a room with so many babies his age. He’s been around smaller groups of toddlers and bigger children, but he’s only see one other “baby” in his life. Talk about being fascinated! For the first 7 minutes he sat almost motionless on my lap, letting his eyes roam around the room at all of the other babies who were goo’ing and crawling and (some) running amuk.

We started out storytime with a little “hello” song in which each child was welcomed using their name in the verse. Then we did a couple short finger play rhymes, another little song, and then a sweet book about daddy’s going to work was read. We repeated the pattern and read another book. By the end of the 2nd book, the kiddies were getting restless so we finished up with the most active poems (such as “Ackabacka Sodacracka” where we lift the babies in the air at the end) and they all seemed to love the motions. Ms. Heather then passed out the same colorful board book to all of us and we read the story outloud in unison, pointing out the words to the babies. Then it was time for the “free for all”. A few large tubs of books were passed around on the quilts, and we were encouraged to take them out and spend some time reading / looking through them with our babies (or just letting them crawl on them, as some did).

All in all, the whole thing lasted about 30 minutes. Jack-Evan seemed to enjoy it very much, and was very alert the whole time. He even tried to do hand motions along with Ms. Heather during a few rhymes. Now that he’s a “big boy” and knows how to wave bye bye and hello, he tries to do anything that has a “lifting the arm” motion to it! When he got ahold of the board book, he sat with it trying to turn pages and vocalizing. It was his way of reading to me, I assumed. Then he promptly tried to eat it. I’m so proud of my little reader! (Minus the eating the book thing though.)

So anyways, that’s what we’ll be doing at 10:30 am on Thursdays from now on. I know that according to experts, kids really don’t need a “interactive social life” until after 2-3 years of age, but it’s pretty cool joining in with other moms and doing (FREE!) activities alongside my son. I kind of think of it as “social life in training” (for me!). Perhaps after a few years of learning to socialize with stranger-moms at storytime, I’ll be ready to hit the big leagues and enroll Jack-Evan in Teeball without wanting to hide under the bleachers.

Originally posted in Little Jack’s Corner ©2009

12 Things My Baby Taught Me

  1. Life goes on
  2. Changes in life happen very quickly
  3. Slow down and admire the world
  4. Green trees are amazing
  5. Fun can be found in turning a lamp on and off
  6. If you’re not hungry, not wet, and not sleepy then life=contentment
  7. Eat with gusto, but stop when you’re full
  8. Greet each morning with a huge smile
  9. Who cares what clothes you wear?
  10. It’s alright to cry (it might make you feel better)
  11. Each day is full of new adventures
  12. Never lose your zest for discovery and learning

Originally Published on Little Jack’s Corner

Day in the Life of Baby Jack

(Voiced by 3 week old Jack, but typed by Mommy…of course)

INTRO: Psst…this is Little Jack. I am so glad to be down here in this new world. I miss living in heaven, but God sure did put me with a fun family. I’ve been having a blast the past few weeks! Since this is my blog, I asked mommy if I could describe what a typical week day looks like for me. She said yes! So here is my version of what goes on in my world. Weekends look quite different, (o perhaps I’ll talk about those later.)——

5:00 AM : Gee, what is up with my parents thinking they should get up so…*yawn*…early! Why can’t they stay here in bed with me? Dad kisses me bye, and says something about this place called work that he must go to. He goes there for a long time when it’s light outside. I miss him.  

5:30 – 7:30 AM : Time to eat! But first mommy changes me out of my diaper. It’s chilly in here so I cry to let mommy know how unhappy I am to be naked. The sheet also feels a little squishy. I think my diaper leaked. As much as I hate my diaper being changed, it feels so much better once she’s done… and I snuggle back up close to her.

7:30 AM : Time to eat again! (I get hungry very often)

10:00 AM : I wake up and discover Mommy is gone! Fearing that someone has stolen my mommy from me, I start to cry. Plus, it’s very scary in here by myself! Thankfully, mommy magically reappears as soon as I cry. It seems that she was only in the other room doing some laundry. Good, because I’m hungry again.

11:45 AM : It’s time to wake up for good, and get out of bed. Mommy calls me her little sleepyhead. What she doesn’t realize is that if I could walk, I would have been out of bed hours ago! With my new diaper and playtime clothes on, I’m ready to tackle the world.

12:00 – 5 PM : Playtime! I’m always wide awake for 4-5 hours strait each day, so there is a lot to do and see. Mommy and I do lots of fun things together. Some days she reads books to me, sings special songs, and makes funny faces. Sometimes I lay in her lap while she checks email on the laptop or plays musical CD’s for me (today we’re listening to children’s opera). And other days we pack up and head to Grammy & Papa’s house! Yesterday me and mommy took our first trip alone – we went to the library! Or, at least thats what she told me. I was in my sling on mommy’s chest and had fallen asleep. Oh…let’s not forget breaks to eat and refresh my diaper! At least I don’t cry quite as much any more when my diaper is removed.

5:30 – 7 PM : There is so much excitement in the air!! My daddy is arriving home!! I sure did miss him. As soon as he comes in I yell for his attention. I love it when daddy finally picks my up and cuddles – although I don’t see why he always insists on changing my diaper first. Usually I fall asleep on daddy’s chest as he wacthes TV. On other days, me, dad, mom, grammy and papa go out to eat. Mom always feeds me before we leave. For some reason she refuses to let me eat food at the restaraunt. I wonder why?

( love it when I have my mommy and daddy all to myself!)

7:30 – 10:00 PM : Night time is relaxing, so I usually just nap, eat, get changed, and eat some more. Often, you’ll find me curled up on dad’s chest while mommy takes a bubble bath. If we’re still over at gammy & papa’s house, I get to spend time snoozing on papa’s big belly. Life is great!

10:30 PM : It’s bedtime! While mommy brushes her teeth, daddy changes my diaper… then they switch and mommy washes me off, puts on my comfy pajamas, and messages my legs and feet with baby lotion. It sure is relaxing! Mommy always giggles when I stretch my legs and toes out for more. Then it’s time for one last meal and a story book before drifting off to sleep.

Originally posted on Little Jack’s Corner