Monday, March 07, 2011

Let's Boogie

So Mondays in the Baby Michel household have started to become days in which is scheduled a trip to the local YMCA. At first this meant Baby Boot Camp, until it was decided that SAHD had had enough of both the tiny little camouflage outfits (no, not really) and the painful days of recuperating as his legs, abdomen and ego took pretty heavy bruisings (seriously: women who just gave birth should not be able to be that physically active. Ugh.)

Baby Boot Camp thus gave way to Baby Boogie. What is Baby Boogie? I don't know if there's an official line, but as far as I can tell, it's the Park Slope baby version of pit-fighting. At the appointed hour (two pm.) between five and fifteen people arrive, each with a child between two months and one year of age. We all gather on a big blue mat (the field of play), in a circle. The coordinator/ref then opens the proceedings with a ritual chant that involves clapping and naming the contestants (and goes something like: "we welcome [insert baby name here] yes indeed, yes indeed, yes indeed. We welcome [baby name] yes indeed, we're so-oh glad you're here.") Then the ref dumps a big pile of implements on the floor (rattles, tambourines, egg shakers, clappers, etc) and all the kids crawl into the middle, grab something, and begin to whack everything around them with it.

Now, don't get me wrong: this is awesome (well, except for the chanting. It is an odd thing to sit in a circle and chant baby names, and it feels an awful lot like that scene in the movie "Babies" where all the San Francisco mothers start chanting "the earth is our mother and she will take care of us" and the little baby, Hattie, gets up and tries to leave). It's awesome to see a bunch of babies just crashing into each other (I mean, as much as parents will let them) for some unstructured time. And it's awesome to see the nervous parents letting the babies interact, a little unsure what will actually happen (is little Mathilda going in for a kiss or a bite? Do we interfere? Wait and see?)

And Aki loves it. She gets so excited by the bevy of babies wandering around and making noise with the noisemakers that she tries to crawl at them. Which is also awesome. Because she totally cannot crawl yet, not even a little. Then she puts her head down in frustration and begins to weep. Which is less awesome. But still! In a few months, she'll be up and about. And grabbing things. And teething.

And then, baby pit-fighting participants? Beware.

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