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!
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