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2006-05-18 - 10:53 p.m. -daddy day

mr rampy took a vacation day to stay home and play with me and baby today so he had a little peep into the world of baby classes.

Our local library offers free classes, and today was the drop-in playgroup one. This one can be great when run by the on-the-ball librarian who adjusts the activities to match the ages and attention spans of the kids who show up, instead of the other librarian who plows ahead with a predetermined lesson plan and reads page after page of a book that is leaving even the parents (and Polish nannies) stultified with boredom while the kids are swarming over the carpet in ever increasing agitation.

But today was even worse because it was special program day, and this music workshop teacher and her four chirpy child assistants took over the timeslot. Instead of letting our kids actually get involved and groove to the music (like the hippie drum circle-esque jams of some of the actual music classes baby and I go to), this woman was very regimented and precise, playing her cheesy and somewhat wobbly looking electric piano with dogged accuracy but no musicality while her child assistants sang with a precise enunciation that spoke of weeks of overrehearsing for THIS VERY MOMENT of performing for a circle of adults who just wanted to get their kids out of the house for an hour or so and babies and kids who would have been just as happy banging limbless plastic dinosaurs together in the play area. (Seriously, T-Rex is like a double amputee with two stumps where his already scrawny forearms should be.)

They handed out rhythm sticks and then were all DON'T BANG THEM TOGETHER UNTIL WE POINT TO YOU, and then they traded us those for sticks with bells and were all PUT YOUR HAND OVER THE BELL WHILE WE ARE SPEAKING. Naturally kids kept waving the bells idly from time to time, and the child assistants would peer quellingly into the crowd and crisply grip their own bells more tightly as if they could restore order through the force of their own stringent obedience.

They sang "The Happy Wanderer" first, which I adore, but there was already at that point a strong implication that we mere mortals were only to chime in during the Valderi! Valdera! part and to leave the singing of the verses to the pros.

Then they sang this interminably long and twee chant song about chocolate, ticking off each time they sang the word chocolate on this dry-erase board to really grind home just how god-awful long the song was. And we didn't get to sing any part of that one, so we were all just sitting there with eyes glazing over, not allowed even to bang our rhythm sticks together, while they droned on and on about chocolate in a musical style I can only label "bastard child of milquetoast glee club and tightassed children's choir."

Then they asked the audience to guess how many times they had sung chocolate (the answer--37--was circled on the board) and all of these three-year-olds were like "I just ate a piece of styrofoam off the carpet over there."

baby rampy spent a lot of time trying to crawl out of my arms so she could add the rhythm sticks of the boy next to us to her personal collection. He was passively possessive, insofar as he would glare at her when she touched them and kind of pat them each time I moved her away from them, yet never took the trouble to actually hold them away from her or anything. After we switched the sticks out for bells, she then went after his bells, so maybe she was just bullying him, despite the fact that he had at least two or three years on her.

A photographer for the suburban paper (not even the good one that you have to pay for and subscribe to, but the "rival" one that randomly shows up for free on our doorstep every once in awhile) was clicking away, and right in the middle of one of our musical experiences she called out "Mommy and baby! I have your picture! Give me your information after!" Sadly, I had a small flash of "US! WE FAMOUS!" and then I realized she had actually taken a picture of the mom and baby next to us, despite the fact that the kid was a dead ringer for Mary Kate and Ashley in their Troll baby days. So then I started letting baby rampy range free in hopes that the woman would show some taste and snap my completely superior in every way baby. Which she soon did. Because: completely superior in every way.

The last song they did was "from the musical The Sound of Music" and before they actually started singing I was like "THE LONELY GOATHERD," but no, they did that "Goodbye, Adieu" song. On and on they sang, verse after verse, and yet THEY DID NOT LEAVE.

So basically I am very cranky and judgemental and do not plan to enroll baby in this music program.

Then, this afternoon I thought mr rampy could be the one to take the baby into the pool for her swimming lesson and I could take pictures of them. She is adorable in her little two-piece bathing suit, so much so that when I'm changing her in the locker room children seriously flock around us piping "BABY! LOOK AT THE CUTE BABY!"

Everything was going great until he set the alarm and walked out the door, I followed him and closed the door, and then he said "Do you have your keys?" And I said no because I had just looked at a set of keys that were sitting where I always leave mine and decided not to scoop them up since he must have his. But he didn't.

So baby and I sat on the front stoop and crawled around on the concrete while he called a locksmith, and then we played hide-and-seek and tag around and around the car, and then the locksmith called us back to say that he wouldn't be able to show up for an hour, and then I thought maybe I should check the diaper bag just to make sure I hadn't scooped up those keys I'd been eyeing, and lo and behold there were my keys, and I remembered that I'd been the one to let us back in the house after lunch, with mr rampy's keys, which I had then put in the place where I always leave my keys.

But we'd spent a nice half-hour of family time hanging out in the sunshine and pretending for the neighbors that we had planned ahead to frolic on the front lawn with three bags full of swim gear and whatnot.

And now mr rampy is continuing his vacation by going out of town for a couple of days on a golfing trip, and I am seriously probably going to stay up superlate tonight taking care of all these projects I would feel bad about staying up late working on when he is here too, yet I can't work on during the day because I am busy attending amateur musical performances and not locking myself out of the house.

the week in review...

just another brick in the wall - 2006-07-19

british telly shows - 2006-07-09

daddy day - 2006-05-18

not doing so well - 2006-04-21

lost and found - 2006-04-19

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