My First Music Class

When Megg told me that she enrolled the babies in their first music class, I kind of thought she was kidding.

I asked her to explain what exactly would take place at this music class and she explained it all to me.  After she painted a very vivid picture of kids sitting on laps, adults making goofy hand gestures, and kids beating drums, I remained skeptical.

I love singing to my babies.  I’ve made up so many nonsensical songs with them and I sing them all so fervently while dancing like a complete idiot in the privacy of my home.  But I like to keep it there, at home.

I’m a pretty reserved dad when I’m around other people because I always think they’ll assume I’m just putting on a show, and that I couldn’t possibly be that goofy and head over heels for my twins.  But it’s true.  I’m a lunatic for them.  Totally smitten.

When I left for work on the morning of music class, I asked Megg three questions:

Q1: Should I wear shoes that I can dance in?

A1: You will not dance.  Seriously.

Q2: Will I be permitted to sing?

A2: You won’t even know the songs (as if that’s ever stopped me).

Q3: Is there any chance I’ll be asked to sing a solo?

A3: Please leave.

And so I left for work, picturing myself that afternoon, sulking as I sat on a dirty floor with either Baby A or Baby B on my lap, as I refused to partake in hand gestures, clapping, and above all else, singing.

When we arrived (and even on time), I was happy to see that quite a few other parents braved the freezing temperatures to take their kids to music class.  It was the perfect number of people to make the class comfortable for a newbie like me.  We introduced ourselves and our babies to Miss Barbara, who would be leading our music hour on behalf of Kids’ Music Round.

She is the epitome of a person who would lead a children’s music class.  Warm and outgoing, great with names, always smiling, and spoke with unparalleled excitement in her voice.  She had no idea that I was a skeptic, but she won me over immediately.

Miss Barbara, who wasn’t nearly as “hippie-dippie” as I imagined her to be, then explained to us, as parents, how we should interact with our babies and the music (yes, you interact with the music) during the class.  Because the babies were too young to clap their own hands, or keep the beat by themselves, we should tap the beat on their feet or bodies.  She advised us not to clap their hands for them because they should be free to move as they wanted.  I pictured Scout magically clapping her hands to the beat, all by herself, like a regular wunderkind.

Then we began with the first song, which of course, was your standard welcome-to-music-class-we-are-going-to-incorporate-all-of-your-names-into-this-song type of song.

I glanced around at the other parents, who knew all the words and weren’t afraid to prove it.  They looked right at Griffin when his name was called out in the song.  Scout too.

I took the bait.

Before I knew it, I was singing along to the best of my ability, tapping Griffin’s feet and tummy along with the beat.  Miss Barbara, who can strum the crap out of that guitar, continued to coach us on which methods work best for engaging the babies without stifling their creativity, or whatever.

We sang, we laughed, and yes, we danced.  For the first time in a while, I danced in front of other people, outside of my home, without having a drop of alcohol.  Miss Barbara was working some serious magic.

We steered clear of drums and drumsticks when the time came for the kids to use instruments.  The babies have become “grabby” lately and Griffin loves swinging those arms, so a drumstick would have been a bad idea.  But I’m sure he loved the tambourine just as well.



Long before I was ready to leave, we found ourselves back on the floor, singing our goodbye song.



Miss Barbara even gave us a CD to take home!  She probably recognized my attempt to sing along without knowing the words and wanted to spare me further embarrassment.  We sang the songs on the way home, during dinner, and long after the babies went to bed for the night.

I’m a believer.  I don’t know how much the babies took from it, but I know that I had a blast.  I let my guard down and loved seeing my wife and babies in this new environment.  My transformation to dork-dad is now complete, and that’s fine with me.




What we’re reading: Volume One




Clockwise from top left:

1.  Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems:   A new take on the fairy-tale classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so funny and so original—it could only come from the brilliant mind of Mo Willems.

2.  Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton:  An everyday favorite for all ages!

3.  Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems: Leonardo is truly a terrible monster-terrible at being a monster that is. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to frighten anyone. Determined to succeed, Leonardo sets himself to training and research. Finally, he finds a nervous little boy, and scares the tuna salad out of him! But scaring people isn’t quite as satisfying as he thought it would be. Leonardo realizes that he might be a terrible, awful monster-but he could be a really good friend.

4.  Doggies by Sandra Boynton:  Well duh.  A nice addition to our selection of books about dogs!

5.  The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch:  Princess Elizabeth is slated to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon attacks the castle and kidnaps Ronald. In resourceful and humorous fashion, Elizabeth finds the dragon, outsmarts him, and rescues Ronald — who is less than pleased at her un-princess-like appearance.

6.  Good Night New Jersey by Dennis Clark:  What’s better than reading an entire book about your state??

7.  The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt:  Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking-each believes he is the true color of the sun.

You know what?  Baby books aren’t too bad!

Scout and Griffin’s First Snow Day!

Our normal Tuesday took a turn for the better, thanks to lackluster Winter Storm Juno.

Schools were closed throughout the state and a snow day was issued.  My first snow day of the year and Scout and Griffin’s first snow day ever!

The day began like a weekend, which meant that I could get up early to change diapers and feed babies.  But this time, I did it with my GoPro mounted on my forehead like an idiot.  I pretended we were making a documentary to film the carnage outside, which really only consisted of a 5″ of snow, but I brought a dramatic flare to the event like no one else could.

After the babies had their two hour morning stretch of fun and games, they were back down for naps, which meant I could go out and shovel the snow.  Before I went out, I told Megg that we could go to IKEA if she wanted, because we didn’t really have anything else to do and a trip to IKEA was always a fun way to kill a few hours.  She was way more excited about the idea than I was, so we scheduled a time to leave.  But before we left, Megg made it clear that she wanted to take photos of the babies in their first snow.

our little eskimo.


Megg takes a lot of photos and I’m really thankful that she’s successfully documented almost every event of our lives in the past twelve years, but most of the time, I turn into a whiny child when she attempts to take photos.  This time wasn’t so bad and we were able to take a few family photos in our backyard Winter Wonderland.  Scout, Griffin, and Dad all cooperated and Mom was pleased, I think.

snow selfie.



Scout clearly loved it 🙂




One hour after our scheduled departure time (as usual), we were on the road!  We timed our trip perfectly with the tapering of the snow storm and we had the roads all to ourselves.  Griffin screamed for the first 20 minutes of the car ride because he hates the car, if I hadn’t mentioned that before, but otherwise, it was smooth sailing.  The roads into Philadelphia were all cleared of snow and traffic and we made it to IKEA in record time.  Now let’s get some Swedish meatballs!

IKEA offers the best and cheapest lunches around, so after taking photos of the babies and their first IKEA entrance, we made a beeline for the restaurant, which was also deserted.  We had an easy lunch with our two happy babies and then made our way to the Children’s section of the store.

She doesn’t even know how much she loves Ikea. Yet.




We picked up a sweet rubber mat for the inside of the tub so we could alleviate some of the slipping and sliding that the babies would do in the tub, then moved on and grabbed a carpet to lay down for the babies to play on once they’re a little more “capable”.

Then we found him.

IKEA makes an eerily-human doll that’s the exact size of our babies.  I picked up the doll and looked at him.  He looked back at me as if he was waiting for me to pick him up.  Pretty creepy.  I turned the doll towards Griffin and his eyes grew wide.  He smiled at the doll as if they were old friends or something and he started reaching for him.  It was hilarious.  I presented the doll again and Griffin had the same reaction.  The kid is so friendly and just loves meeting new people,so he treated this doll no differently.

I called Megg over so she could watch Griffin greet his new buddy.  Same reaction.  We laughed like a couple of idiots and filmed the introduction so we could share it with you.

Griffin Meets New Friend
Click to view the introduction

For some dumb reason, we passed on buying on the doll, which we’ll probably buy the next time we visit the store.

We quickly made our way through the households section and worked our way to the registers.  We walked underneath a gigantic industrial ceiling fan, which left both babies mesmerized, but we didn’t buy that either.

Mom bought a vanilla ice cream cone, like she always does when we leave IKEA, and we packed the car and headed home.

it’s tradition, what?


Today was a huge success for several reasons.  No school, no cabin fever, no traffic. We scored a great lunch, some great deals, and managed to take the twins to IKEA for the very first time.  I’m sure it will be their first trip of many, and before they know it, they’ll realize that IKEA is where Mom and Dad bought all of their nursery furniture because they’re absolutely brilliant!


The pups also enjoyed the snow day!