When I decided last year that I would stay at home full time, my wife and I were a little concerned that Henry would not be around kids his age that often. It was then that I decided to enroll him in some sort of a class. I looked around for a class that I thought a two-year old boy would enjoy: swimming, soccer, music. I ran into several obstacles with the classes we liked, either the timing was poor, he was too young, or I would have to participate the entire time, making it almost impossible to navigate while holding a new baby. Some of the classes we tried to sign up for even told us they would not allow any siblings (even infants) into the classrooms.
We did finally have some luck when we found our local parks department offered classes. I signed Henry up for a drumming class, he liked to bang on things, and make a lot of noise so it seemed like a perfect fit. A week before the class was supposed to start I got a call telling me it was cancelled, but I could sign up for a different class. After looking at the remaining classes I decided on toddler gymnastics. It would get Henry up moving around and maybe burn of some of his seemingly endless supply of toddler energy.
On the first day I looked into the gymnastics room and saw a female teacher, six moms and their six daughters. The moms were all stretching out in their yoga pants and their daughters had on tutus. My son and I walked into the class, late. We were both wearing jeans, and I had a baby strapped to my chest.
You could hear a pin drop.
The awkwardness continued throughout the class, as the instructor said things like, “Mommy come help your kids with this, AND lets not forget about our daddy. Daddy come help your little guy!!! As the first day of class began to wrap up, I thought most of the misery and torment was over. I was wrong. At the end of class, all the kids and parents got in a big circle, held hands and sang, “Ring around the Rosie,” then fell to the ground.
As the weeks went on, things were a little less awkward. Henry learned to somersault, walk on balance beams, swing on the bars and almost do a backwards roll. I talked to some of the moms, and they were actually pretty nice. I got Maggie into a routine where she would sleep in her stroller during class. I also realized that my son didn’t care that we were the only guys in a sea of estrogen, so maybe I shouldn’t care either. He had fun and that’s all that mattered.