Kailey had her first music class this week. Kai - like most babies - loves music, so I thought it would be fun for her to play with instruments and meet other babies while listening to music. She hasn't spent much time around other babies (unless you count the NICU, which I don't). And, since she'll be starting daycare in a few months, this seemed like a good way to socialize her and get her used to the chaos that comes with being around a lot of other children.
Kai is a little slow to take to a new situation or new people- and this was full of both. We got to class (first, of course -- this is me we're talking about) and Kai was smiling and babbling away to me. As the other babies and parents streamed in, Kai got wide-eyed and silent. We went around and introduced ourselves and said how old our child was - the other babies were: 5.5 months, 6 months, 9 months, one year, a year and a half, and two. So, Kai was the youngest - although not by much. After introductions, we started singing and playing instruments. The whole time, Kai just sat in my lap (or my arms... if we were up dancing around) mouth agape and eyes wide. The other babies were everywhere -- babbling, grabbing the instruments, banging on whatever was closest. The 5.5 month old baby went for the big drum... and when he couldn't figure out how to bang it, decided to just mouth it. The 18 month old came over to Kai and started poking her belly and calling her "doll." Her mother kindly explained to her that Kai was a real baby, but she didn't seem to believe her. Kai continued to sit still. At one point the teacher said that all children have different learning styles and went on to explain, as she looked at me and Kai, that some kids are more visual learners and take things in for awhile before acting, preferring to sit back and observe. Maybe. Or maybe Kai just was in shock... this was a totally different environment then she had experienced before and she is, after all, an infant who is easily over-stimulated. Or she's just a bit anti-social, like her dear, old Mom.
By the end of the class, I was debating if we should keep going. I find singing and dancing in a group to be a little embarrassing, but was willing to do it if Kai would enjoy it. But, I wasn't sure if Kai liked it or if she just felt completely overwhelmed and over-stimulated (I was certainly feeling a bit of both of those things!). She hadn't started crying, which seemed to be a good sign. But, she wasn't smiling or babbling the way she does when she is really enjoying something, either. I was contemplating bagging the idea of music class as we got to the last song, when Kai started grinning ear to ear. After class was over, Kai took up a tambourine and shook it around, smiling all the while. Maybe she's a visual learner after all. Or she just decided that singing with other babies and instruments beats listening to me change the lyrics to every song I can think of all day long (an example, to the tune of itsy bitsy spider, "the wiley little kailey rolled over on her mat, when she got there, she cried and then she spat, oscar came and sniffed her and kailey got real mad, so oscar went away but he was really sad." You see what she deals with?
In any event, she isn't going to be a music school drop out just yet!