Yesterday, I took you to your first Gymboree class. Oddly enough, I'd actually been to Gymboree before. It was 2006, and I was in Syracuse on business. An associate and I had just finished up lunch at Bangkok Thai when he informed me his wife and new baby were next door taking a class. We entered to say hello and we observed women dancing around with their babies, singing goofy songs and shaking them on a giant parachute.
I thought: what the fuck?
In 2010, I think very differently.
Yesterday, I couldn't find the Gymboree. The class is actually in a church basement, and we got very, very lost. I finally located the Armenian Catholic building, and we dashed inside, about 15 minutes late for a 45-minute class.
"Ah well, man," I said to you as you sat mumbling in the back seat. "Thirty minutes of Gymboree is better than nothing, right?"
And so we walked into a class already in progress, and I yanked you out of your car seat and ran in to join. I gave the instructor a sheepish smile, and quietly apologized for our tardiness. She asked our names, and then: 'Do you have a blanket for him?"
I ran back across the room where I had thrown the diaper bag, and praise Jesus I pulled out a receiving blanket.
We ran back to join the crowd again, when I noticed suddenly that I was the only mama with bare feet.
"Oh - are we supposed to have socks on?" I whispered to a kind-looking mom next to me. She nodded. "They're in the back."
And so we ran back to where the car seat and the diaper bag where strewn, and grabbed the goddamn socks. The kind-looking mom offered to hold you while I clumsily put them on and then attempted to smooth out your blanket on the mat.
I didn't know any of the songs or procedures at Gymboree. I self-consciously eyed up the other mothers, looking for cues. At one point our instructor pulled out a giant mirror and placed it in the middle of the floor for tummy time, and you promptly spit up all over it. "Not cool, buddy," I whispered, giggling. I had no burp cloth to clean you up with, so I removed your bib to do the job. You didn't really stop spitting up, though, and eventually your blanket was covered in spew.
Oh man, kid: I am sorry to have embarrassed you on your first day of school. I swear I will be better-prepared when you start kindergarten.
But despite all my fumbling? You giggled and laughed the entire class. You gaped at the other babies, and you grinned wildly as I pretended to know the words to the songs, and waved Gymbo, the scary-ass puppet clown in your tiny face.
And I laughed right along with you, and didn't mind that I was making a fool of myself, or that 26 year-old me would have been mortified on my behalf. You and me, H. Partners in crime. You jump, I jump, ya dig?
Happy Four Month Birthday, sweet, sweet boy.