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.