I’ve done some dumb things in my time. There was that time I slathered myself in Crisco while living in Raleigh and tried to suntan. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Instead I ended up with second degree burns and skin cancer. There was also that time in college that I did my final Women’s Studies presentation on pornography. That may not sound very stupid except for the fact that my stance was pro pornography. It seemed like a good idea at the time and I still stand by many of the points I made, but that’s a post for another day. That was the only D I ever got.
So, yeah, I’ve done some dumb things and every one of them can be summed up retrospectively with one phrase: “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Yesterday, I added something to that list. You see, my regular yoga studio (the one I visit four times a week, and I will continue to visit until we move away) offers a Mom and Baby yoga class. “BRING YOUR BABY TO CLASS? What a great idea!” I thought. And so yesterday, I bundled Emory up, put a diaper bag together, grabbed a bottle, and headed out to attend our first ever mother/baby yoga class, because, hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
And it is a good idea. The class is a great idea for mothers with babies who don’t continually need to be talked to and sung to. The class is perfect for mothers who don’t have babies who want to be walked around a lot. And it’s a great idea for mothers who don’t have babies who insist that they stand on two feet all the time. Mothers who breastfeed will feel right at home. Mothers who feed their baby from a bottle will feel out of place. Mothers who use a pacifier will feel badly for doing so. Mothers who have a baby who is forever curious, a baby who refuses to sleep until sleep sneaks up behind him and knocks him out, will have trouble relaxing.
I should have known the moment I saw several other mothers filing into the studio carrying their babies in the Bjorn facing in and covered up entirely with blankets that it may not be a good idea for this mother and baby combination. There is no way Emory would ever allow for such a thing. Emory must face out at all times. Emory doesn’t care how cold it is outside or what wet stuff is falling from the sky, Emory must see what is before him.
But I really wanted this to work and for the first few minutes, I thought that it might. Emory smiled at everyone. “Where AM I?!” his eyeballs asked. “WHAT EXCITING PLACE HAVE YOU TAKEN ME?” I got set up while he looked around, taking everything in, everyone. This could work! And then class began and we were asked to place our babies on their backs. That’s when the teacher broke Emory’s rule number one.
1). THOU SHALT NOT LIE BABY ON BABY’S BACK.
Then teacher did something even more insane; she asked that we let our babies do their own thing for a minute or two while we do some yoga solo. And that’s when she broke rule number two.
2). THOU SHALT NOT IGNORE BABY. IF THOU IGNORES BABY, IT BEST NOT BE WHILE BREAKING RULE NUMBER 1.
But the other babies were fine with this, well, all but two: mine and another baby boy.
There was another boy there at the beginning of class who was doing some pretty killer commando moves across the sheen yoga floor. He could not crawl, but he made a valiant effort getting around. And like a drunk inchworm, he did just that. His mother spent the first fifteen minutes chasing her son around. And then guess what? She left. Just like that, she got up and left. Can you believe that? She is my hero.
My son did not do well with the whole “mama does some yoga while baby chills on the floor alone”. And if I were to guess what Emory wanted to say to me, I’d say he wanted to say the following: “Mom, you took me out today, which I thank you for. I like to see stuff. We entered this cool place and I was surrounded by ladies, and you know how much I like ladies and the longer the hair the better. And some of those ladies had such long hair! And I was happy. But you immediately took me out of the Bjorn, away from all these long haired ladies and put me on the floor? Unforgivable. I shall now scream.”
At one point, in a desperate attempt to actually get some yoga done, I gave him a pacifier. That’s when I felt like I broke rule number one as a mother. While we were doing something interactive work with our babies, Emory let everyone know he was pleased by this and began making screeching monkey sounds. Right after Emory freed one of his ear-piercing screams (through the pacifier, mind you) the teacher said something like, “Was that your little one? Babies normally can’t make that type of noise through a pacifier!” I felt like I muzzled up one of Michael Vick’s pit bulls and brought it to a playdate for a bunch of well-behaved, toy poodles.
I spent the majority of the hour and fifteen minutes entertaining Emory, which is exactly what I do every day, only this time we were in public and we were supposed to be doing yoga. I spent the rest of the time fighting off a massive bout of insecurity especially during Savasana (relaxation pose, happens at the very end) when it was suggested that everyone lie on their sides and breastfeed their babies. (I had a lot of trouble and heartache trying to breast feed, which is why I pumped exclusively for 5 months.) Instead of breast feeding, I sat upright with my baby and fed him from a bottle. And whenever the teacher came around and suggested I try and relax Emory began to fake cough, which made me feel like I brought the sick kid to school. The teacher placed a block beneath my arm (very nice of her) and we sat there as silently as we could and listened to a hushed chorus of suckling babies.
Emory and I did not enjoy mama/baby yoga, not at all. Instead, I left more stressed out than I was before I arrived and Emory was upset with me because I didn’t let him run his fingers through the teacher’s long, curly hair. Plus, the car nearly ran out of gas and I left my yoga mat on the side of the road.
This dynamic duo will have to find some other way to bond… like maybe mud-wrestling.