We successfully ended our eleven week story time course at the local library.  I’m happy to say that we made every class, Ellie was able to happily mingle with other babies, and I learned the lyrics to Pat-A-Cake.  I’m still working on the lyrics to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star though.  They just don’t flow for me.  Either way, library time was worth it and was a huge success.  Even though this will only be a short break and the next session starts in January, during the last class I looked around the room and couldn’t help but feel nostalgic as I reflected on our past eleven weeks together.

We arrived for the last class a little earlier than usual.  We walked into the room and one other mom was there with her son.  He is usually the shyest kid there and you NEVER see him out of his mom’s lap.  He was standing on the other side of the room all by himself.  This was a big deal for this kid, and I think Ellie knew it, too.  She squealed with a big smile when we sat down and she clapped.  The kid froze.  He just stood there not knowing what to do.  And then Ellie crawled over to his vacant mom’s lap and crawled right in.  “Hello, I can see why he never leaves this place.”  He saw this and I think it motivated him to move because he crawled right over to defend his territory.  Ellie was having so much fun I had to coax her back to me so the kid could get his mom back. 

The last class was pretty much a full house with one new comer, and a dad accompanying his kid with one of the grandmas.  The new kid was a nose picker.  He had his finger up there the whole time.  He wasn’t even digging for anything either, he just kept it in there.  Maybe his finger was cold?  As usual, the know-it-all grandma was there with her grandson who just learned how to growl.  So every word he kinda knows he growled.  He kinda sounded like a combination of Frankenstein and Scooby-Doo.  The grandma would say, “Do you remember ‘teacher’? It’s the last class, you better pay attention and have fun, can you say ‘teacher’?” He responded, “Ruh Row.  Teacher goood.  Books goood.”  Then grandma chimed in again and talked to him non-stop until the class started.  And with it being the last class I thought for a moment, I’m gonna miss these people.  But after hearing some more Franken-barking, I thought maybe not.

Ellie didn’t participate in the songs and activities as much this class because she was teething and pretty much just sat there eating her fingers the whole time.  She just smiled and clapped every once in a while and let out the occasional attention grabbing squeal.  “I love this book!  I love bears!  I love birds!”  With her just sitting and enjoying observing, that meant I got to just hang back and watch, too.  But when I saw the other dad singing along to the songs, I figured I better step up my game.  By the time I was able to get Ellie involved in the activities it was bubble time.  The last few classes didn’t have bubble time because the teacher was out of bubble juice, but just in time for the last class, there was a brand new bottle.  I don’t know what it is with bubbles and babies, but as soon as the bubbles start blowing, time stops, the lights go out, and a lava lamp comes out.  All the babies just sat there entranced by the bubbles.  “Wooooaaaahhhh man…  Bubbles… Far out…”  As the kids starting trying to grab the bubbles in slow-motion I thought I could hear Pink Floyd in the background.    

Story time is always wrapped up by toy time.  The last toy time of 2010.  I wished I had my camera to capture the magic.  As soon as the toy box came out, Ellie bolted off my lap and was the first to the box.  She’s always first.  It’s not that she wants first pick, she’s just excited.  She usually doesn’t even play with the toys too long.  She makes her rounds.  She visits all the other babies, and then usually climbs on their parent’s laps too.  The one thing that made this toy time extra special was one kid grabbed Ellie’s hair first!  She’s usually the forward one.  She was stunned at first, then smiled and grabbed back.  I was so happy.  But it turned out this kid’s dad happened to be Captain Discipline.  After grabbing his kid’s arm firmly he said, “No! We do not grab.  That is not nice.”  It kind of put a damper on toy time because he did this many times and every time he grabbed his arm and scolded him, everyone got quiet and looked around as if mom slapped dad at the dinner table.  What a way to end our final class. 

The next set of classes will be divided into two groups: walkers, and crawlers.  It kind of sounds like classifying zombies, but I hope Ellie is able to join the “walkers” class.  I have one month to learn the lyrics to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and have Ellie steadily walking.  Until then, Ellie and I will crank up the Pink Floyd, blow some bubbles, and have our own psychedelic story time at home.

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