Rex’s First Class

A friend said, “When you have one child, it’s all about the first born, then when you have a second, it’s all about the first born.”

So I decided Rex needed something that was just for him for a change.  Not his sister or his dad taking him along to the restaurant, or mom dragging him along to work or exercising or what she needed to do, but just him. Although he does enjoy the post workout time with the babies and moms at Stroller Strides.

By the time Vivien was 6 weeks old she had been attending four classes and was ready to teach one at the Learning Annex (maybe that’s overstating it, I don’t know, those days are a blur)  But, with Rex, I’ve held off. Partly due to money and also I just didn’t see the need.

But he is almost walking and getting very active.  So I took him to Fit for kids, a place that Viv had enjoyed as a kid.  It’s a big, safe, carpeted room and the babies can amble around the ramps and slides while fun music plays.

It’s adult music like 80’s tunes and classic rock. Not kiddie music, which helps parents not go koo-koo. After the initial free play there is a circle time…a generic term for forming a circle and at some point singing and/or clapping.  Then the instructors lead the kids through obstacle courses or bring out push toys.  When they get older there is a mini zip line and more complex activities.

Rex loved it.  He loved looking at everyone and trying to go up the slide and he loved when he went through the facilitated tumbling.  But most of all the value was that he was in a large room.  So much of his life now is being hemmed in or being steered away from something he shouldn’t touch, well here he could push a plastic lawn mower across a room the length of our house and nothing would break.  You have to watch out for the toddlers who might bonk one another, but they have little chubby arms so it’s not that hard.

I ran into a friend of a friend which was nice, and best of all there is a place that sells espresso across the street, which I think is a key to motherhood.  I remember when I took these classes with Vivien I was a tad lonely.

Okay, very.

And I use to want the other mommies to be my friend.  Never really happened.  But, now that I do have parent friends, strangely, everyone seemed so friendly.  Maybe I was needy.

Ring, Ring! It’s Your Baptism!

When Vivien was a little I had heard about Stroller Strides. A group of gals, led by a mom teacher, who workout together in public places as they push their kids in their strollers. It’s an inexpensive exercise class and one of the few ways you can workout without hiring a baby sitter. Being a new mom everything seemed so tough to do at first.  I did eventually go and got something out of it but, didn’t know if it was quite my people.

With Rex I didn’t care if I was throwing off our precious schedule. I needed to move this body. So, I started back with the striders. The same nice gal is running the group and fortunately this time I feel like I connect with the moms better. In the beginning of the year I wasn’t working much I went a lot.. now, not as much.

Anyway, one day the moms were talking between dips and singing “Wheels on the Bus” while we worked on our triceps, and that is what led to this vid.

Baby Safety Class

I was pumping my hand into the chest of the dummy kid with purpose and concentration. The instructor gave us a narrative, “Now you hear the sirens…” I was near tears. I was getting so wrapped up in my faux rescue I was nearly shaking.

I was still waiting for the choking talk. It had been 90 minutes since my save a little life class had started, and I was there primarily because of that.

Two weeks ago I was at my mom’s. Rex was on my lap, and my sister Cecily and I were yakking away. Rex was teething on some pizza crust. When he started to choke. Or nearly choke… cough/choke hybrid. Cecily started to push up on his lower belly, I stuck my finger in his throat to make him gag. A combo of the gagging and the coughing produced the pizza crust. They usually get soft in his mouth, but this had a burnt part that baby saliva couldn’t melt.

Rex started crying (a good sign), and I passed him to my sister so I could collapse for a second in hysterics. “He is fine Daphne, he is fine,” Cecily said.

“I know, but I was so scared.” I pulled it together and took Rex to nurse him.

Cecily, always wise, said, “We should take a baby first aid class, because I think what we did was wrong.”

Apparently it was. I learned so much in the class I can’t scratch the surface here. And I’ve taken it twice before. Once in college and once when I was pregnant with Vivien.


Did you know that beats we are now suppose to perform CPR on adult or child match the beats to the Bee Gee’s “Stayin Alive”? True and ironic.

Did you know that you shouldn’t dial 911 on a cell phone? Can take forever. Landline is better. Or program a local police station into your phone for emergencies.

That your kids should NEVER eat in the car. We heard some scary stories about that. One child who nearly died in his car seat on a piece of chicken (a bystander in the parking lot saved his life) and another child who did die eating a tiny piece of apple in her car seat. There isn’t enough time to react.

And my car has way too many cheerios on the floor anyway.

The instructor said, “Has anyone ever seen a child choke?” I raised my hand.

I told the story and, of course, I started crying. The nice RN teacher came and patted me. Then we went to work tipping the kid over, whacking him on the back. The imaginary grape came out, and all was fine.

I went home and drank wine.