Well, we’re off skiing. Whoopee!! I love skiing and have skied all my life. My parents went skiing on their honeymoon so I think it’s in the blood. I started at five and given that Alexander has now reached the ripe of old age of two and nearly a half I thought that it was about time to get him used to the white stuff – they say; the earlier the better. Continue Reading
Well, I never thought the time would come that the only ‘gig’ I would be going to in the first two years of Toddler PCG’s life would be this. There was Depeche Mode that I was determined to see (twice), we were invited to Bruce Springsteen (too expensive – read ‘broke and too tired anyway!’) and not forgetting the festivals that I was definitely going to attend; the ones that I missed out on in my youth when I hadn’t had any interest and anyway, they hadn’t been so ‘cool’ or ‘trendy’ the either!
So, needless to say, we don’t get out much. Saturday morning arrives. Bright and early for the first performance at 10am (yes, we had slept the night before, this time), doors opening at 9.30 (it’s not full when we arrive late,for me at 9.45, given that the audience members were all unreliable and uncontrollable so, never on time and of course they brought their parents too). Continue Reading
It’s been a while since I updated on this and another term, another season has gone by.Toddler PCG has been attending religiously every Monday with our au pair and yesterday the day came that she attended her last Monkey Music. She was quite upset! She’s leaving us at the end of the week. She wants her independence, who can blame her; she’s 25 and wants to put down roots here in London, where she wants to stay.
Luckily, she’s found a flat 5 minutes down the road so she’s not going far but she will be sorely missed.
She is our second au pair and arrived with little experience; much less than our previous one who was qualified with very young children but who left us just the same a couple of months after arriving, having decided that she wanted to travel and that being an au pair made her feel ‘trapped’ ( thanks for that!). Cyrielle on the other hand has blossomed into a brilliant child minder, sometimes, I feel, more responsible than I am! I don’t even need to mention sunscreen when they are off to the park and its sunny – once was enough.
So this is a lament from her to Monkey Music with Alexander and a lament from me to our lovely au pair.
In the meantime, I’m going to spend some quality time with Alexander and go with him to Monkey Music. I was always secretly a little jealous of not being the one there with him. Joining in, holding his hand as we danced around or him sitting with me to play the instruments. It’s a real ‘hands-on’ class. Magical and imaginative and musical. A combination that has yet to be rivalled anywhere by any other classes. The good thing is that there are different levels for the different age groups which develop the baby through to the child each in a relevant and fun way. So , we are losing a member of live-in family and I’m gaining some fun me – time with my little boy. I’d better make the most of it because our new au pair starts soon and she’ll get to do the monkeying around! I have high hopes. Keep you posted. Continue Reading
It took me a long time to accept the fact that activities with your baby keeps both mummy and baby sane. Gives you a reason to change out of your pyjamas every so often. It took me even longer to accept help in the form of an au pair because believe me I have very exacting standards and couldn’t dream of having a stranger living in our house. All that stubbornness behind me and I am a much calmer person. Not calm calm but calm for me. A very good friend of mine gave me a brilliant piece if advice. Something that should have been blindingly obvious but to control freak like me it was not; get your au pair to go to school in the afternoon and take baby PCG in the morning to a different activity each day. Well 15 months in and at last it is working.
But, before the days of drop-ins (he needs the germs but I can’t bear to watch him tumble about with lots of runny noses) and story time in the library (incessant coughing all round), there is one class that I did sign up to and that I did make the effort to get out of my pyjamas for even if I did find it hard to be there on time and despite the fact that it was five minutes down the road from my house. How is it that a competent professional with 20 years of work in an investment bank could get on to the trading floor for 6.30am every day but couldn’t manage to be around the corner at 10 o’clock! It’s a lie actually, because I was never late but I really did feel the pressure!
Anyway, I went because Monkey Music is worth the bother. They run classes for four separate age groups from 3 months old so each is age appropriate. Important, especially at such a young age, as we started at 3 months. Music and sound is something that even a baby in the womb responds to. Who doesn’t want their baby to grow up to be the next Beethoven? I have taken baby PCG to other music classes too, more sing-a-longs than classes and those too were fun but Monkey Music is a cut above the rest. It’s the creme de la creme of baby activity classes and it’s certainly the only one I’ve been to where enough thought goes into things that they clean the maracas and the tambourines after each use so as not to pass on the germs-babies of course spend a lot of the time with things in their mouths remember! The class is well organised, not overly crowded so they keep numbers manageable and each week the same routine is followed so that the children learn to understand through repetition. We are lucky enough to have Alex leading our class. He won ‘What’s On for Little Ones Best Activity Leader in the South 2012’ and I can see why. The enthusiasm he shows and the way he makes each song come alive for the babies keeps them all riveted as he chimes the triangle, or simulates the rain with a baby rainmaker and of course he knows each and everyone’s name. Baby PCG’s loves the bubbles near the end and his interest is so keen that we have a stock of them on the kitchen shelf. He can even say ‘bubbles’ of which, of course, I am exceptionally proud!
It isn’t cheap, I must admit but you are paying for quality and you know how I like to champion the best in class so if you decide to take your little one to one class and one class only then make it count and go and try Monkey Music; they give a trial class free and you won’t regret it, you have you time together each week to enjoy their musical development until they are 4 years old! Continue Reading