Friday, June 02, 2006

Air Log

Today Jarrah and I took a trial class at Gymboree. I really had no idea what Gymboree was, but I figured that attendance was one of the statutes of Baby Law, right up there with glider rockers and a zoo membership. The only Gymboree in San Diego is in Solana Beach, which is a long drive from our house. As soon as we walked in, I could tell we were truly in another land. The little girls I saw had complicated hair ribbons, and their moms wore $180 jeans and tiny tops with alarmingly high and pert boobies. I was unshowered, unbrushed, unironed, bedecked in my Target finery. I was also embarrassed because I hadn't brought socks, and they are required, so I had to borrow some from the really nice pregnant lady at the front desk. Isn't it funny that I didn't imagine for a moment that people might stare at us because we don't look alike, but I felt totally self-conscious about my clothes. I may have to make more of an effort next time.

And I think there will be a next time, Readers. Gymboree is fun! Even before we were permitted through the swinging door to the gym floor, I could tell that Gymboree is serious. An adorable, bubbly young woman was singing her lungs out about the Duke of York and Gymbo the Clown, and it actually sounded professional, like she could ride on a Disney float. She used a special really loud and slow voice that seemed to mesmerize the children into doing her bidding. The place was bright and clean and multi-colored. Jarrah could not wait to get in there and dashed through the door when I was still wrangling with my socks. In a shot she was hurtling herself up ramps and through cushy tubes, which as it happens was appropriate because the word of the day was "through." Jarrah's level at Gymboree works on concepts and vocabulary, and when our teacher first announced that, I got a little nervous. After all, Jarrah doesn't have vocabulary. I think you need at least one word--does "doggeh" count? :) But Jarrah fit in like magic. Within minutes of our teacher explaining the word of the day and how, as parents, we might demonstrate "through" using the many alluring props, Jarrah was gamely squeezing "through" everything. I was a little puzzled about the format of the class, since at this point the teacher left us alone and the moms simply followed the babies from prop to prop, but later we got together for some seriously slick circle time, including bubbles that somehow did not pop (you could hold them on your fingertip!) and a big striped parachute that we launched over the children.

The whole presentation was so amazingly professional that it made me think fondly and indulgently of our music class, where the main attraction is a huge stuffed frog that Jarrah loves to smother. Both music teachers wear their lesson plan around their neck on a lanyard, speak softly, and don't get their feelings hurt if the babies all run away during circle time (and they often do.) I really love them, but I could kind of understand why Gymboree costs twice as much. (Eek!) Heck, I wanted to demonstrate "through" myself!

In keeping with our perverse desire to stand out wherever we go, Jarrah was the only child to have an accident, and she had TWO. First, she leaned back on some sort of bridge and fell into a hole, where she didn't hurt anything, but cried a lot from the surprise. Next, she got herself into a twist coming down a slide and whacked her face on the railing. That one was really scary because I picked her up when she started screaming and her mouth filled with blood. I got that weak-kneed sensation again, like I was going to just freak out and be totally helpless, but our teacher came to the rescue with an ice pack, and the wound turned out to be lip rather than teeth. In fact, Jarrah was totally over it before I was, and headed for the see-saw on her own when it became clear that I was having issues.

At the end, teacher rolled out an "air log" for the toddlers to pound on, and when the song went silent, we put our finger to our lips and went "Ssssshhh!" I thought this was a bloody brilliant thing to teach babies, and Jarrah thought it was the most hilarious thing in the world to start pounding again after the silence. Afterwards, there was some "open gym" time, and I got in a nice conversation with another mom, whose son, amazingly, was born one day after Jarrah! When I remarked on this coincidence, she whispered, "And she's adopted?" which, for the first time, made me laugh. I think it struck me funny because I'm around so many strange moms now and because nobody ever says anything, I've convinced myself that everybody thinks my husband is Asian. I was so amused I actually asked this gal if she had thought this, too, and she said no because Jarrah doesn't look "Eurasian." Isn't it weird that already I don't know what she "looks like?" She just looks like Jarrah to me. Which is, I guess, how it should be. Anyway, this mom was really, really nice, and I enjoyed talking to her. In fact, now that I think about it, all the moms there were uncommonly nice. One admired Jarrah's hair, another offered her fingertip bubbles, another helped her on the slide when I wasn't there. I guess I'll get over my feelings of inadequacy about my boobs. We'll be back.


Anonymous said...

Remember Samantha: they are yours and they are spec-ta-cular!

Congrats on a mom-kid milestone. Glad you both had a good time! :)

Anonymous said...

Okay, first of all, I have to say that all this time I've been admiring your Charlotte Bronte, "Reader." Did you say "Reader, I married him" ala Jane Eyre when you and David got hitched?

I also like that their boobs were *alarmingly* high and pert. I always admire alarming boobs.

Finally, I love that you are doing all these wonderful fun things with Jarrah. Screw the $150 jeans. First of all, you're gorgeous in whatever you've got on. Second, you are going to be in a better position to play with your kid if you're relaxed. You go, girl.


Alleen said...

Sam, if your boobs are the only thing in the world that make you feel inadaquate, I'd say you're gonna do just fine!!!!! Sounds like you are the PERFECT mom, Target finery and all. Hey, they have the best T-shirts in my opinion!!

Anonymous said...

Okay, where are the photos? :)
Best, Gail

Anonymous said...

So Costco has Seven jeans for $95. Two problems with them, as I see it. 1. Pert-breasted women would know you bought your Sevens from Costco and care. 2. You would still have to fork over $95. Personally, I stick with Walmart's stretch Levi Strauss Signature jeans (Levi's brand meant for sales at mass merchant stores). And I proudly wear mine all over Encinitas where here too many of the women come with expensive jeans and expensive breasts. :)

Love, Cheri (who nursed three daughters and will never again be deemed to have high or pert breasts)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your tip on Gymboree. I found one here so we are going to try it. I only have Target and Costco clothes will just have to do. At least we won't cry too hard if our child vomits or sneezes carrots all over us.