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Signs Of Life

Columns by Pamela Majteles

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Posted by pam on January 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm

November 24, 2006

This column is reprinted with permission from The Hills Newspapers.

The game of peekaboo is not what it used to be.  Years ago, when my first child was a baby, we played it endlessly.  Covering our eyes, uncovering our eyes, covering our eyes.  The game was finished when our laughing tired us out.

With another baby now, many years later, our games are different.  We still have plenty of fun, but instead of the good ol’ fashioned kind like peekaboo, we are into all the latest things. Depending on the day of the week, we can be found studying music, enjoying the café scene, or working out at the gym.

This fall, my baby and I joined a music class at the local recreation center.  I hoped to sing songs, meet other moms and babies, and have a little fun.  Not only have we accomplished these goals, but we have gained a host of new ones as well.  Along with the songs in Kindermusik class, there are weekly lesson plans.  On week 1: Stimulate baby’s visual ability with distant, up-close and perceptions games.  For week 3: Help baby learn about the physical qualities of objects with exploration.  By week 7: Help baby develop a cheery outlook by maintaining a stress-free attitude.

In addition to working on my attitude, there are other assignments. Outside of class, we have weekly activities found in the Kindermusik journal.  They include homework such as making pull toys out of scarves and canoes out of sponges.  There is recommended reading like “Learning Games for the First 3 Years: A Guide to Parent-Child Play”. Suggestions for more songs to sing come home in e-mails from the teacher, along with a summary of the week’s class.

For a break from our studies, my baby and I like to hit the town.  We check out all the latest hot spots like Tumble & Tea Café on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.  Along with plush velvet couches and lattes, there are trains and Cheerios.  For our dining pleasure, the café offers tasty fare like apple-walnut salads and French ham on baguettes, as well as hot dogs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

We always find things hopping at Tumble & Tea.  No more so than Sunday mornings when live, family-friendly bands play.  Or, when the National Puppet Theater comes to visit.  If there is no entertainment on the café’s jam-packed schedule, kids have to make do with the play castle, performing stage, dress-up clothes, and climbing equipment.

When we overdo the Cheerios at Tumble & Tea, my baby and I head to the gym.  We are especially partial to Kindergym located in the basement of Temple Beth Abraham on MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland.  Instead of rows of treadmills, like in other gyms, there are rows of rocking horses.  In place of stationary bikes are push cars. There are also tumbling mats, trampolines and climbing structures.  Or, when we really want to work up a sweat, nothing beats the big pit of balls.

With all my baby and I find to do these days, we are never short on fun.  It turns out we could do with a lot less.  Some of our best times are when we do nothing at all.  All we really need for fun is each other, and maybe a couple of pairs of hands for a game of peekaboo.
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.

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