Where Is Gymbo?

“Where is Gymbo? Where is Gymbo? Here I am. Here I am. How are you today sir?…” (sing that to the tune of Frère Jacques, and you’ll start to get the picture)

Baby classes are, I believe, an integral part of raising your child. We take Jacob to Gymboree (which explains Gymbo), and we all love it. He has class once a week and then open play (where the kids get free reign of the place – no, not like lord of the flies, but kinda) almost every other day.

As a father, taking your kid to baby classes is – how should I put this – an experience? A challenge? No. It’s more like a test of your machismo (granted, I’m Jewish, Canadian and have 3 sisters, so, yeah, I fit right in)

The truth is, it really is the most awesome thing you can do. It’s also a lot of fun. There are a lot of guys out there who would still have problems being in a room full of women and babies singing nursery rhymes. I’m not one of them. It’s always so cool to see what Jacob is learning and how he interacts with other kids. I still remember the first time I went.

I’m not gonna lie, I felt a little weird…

We checked out a bunch of places before finally choosing Gymboree.

I remember walking in, carrying my little 5-month-old bundle of Jacob, and feeling instantly out of place even though I had my wife there with me. The girl behind the register was really sweet – this wasn’t the first time a dad came to class.

But still.

There was a self-imposed stigma that I needed to overcome before allowing myself to fully enjoy “Toe-Knee-Chest-Nut” (Tony Chestnut, but again to the tune of Frère Jacques, and the “nut” is your little one’s head) It actually became my favorite sing along – flash forward to 7-month Jacob and there I was requesting it (but only because every time I got to his head he would shriek and giggle with glee) But again, I digress. Toe-knee-chest-nut, toe-knee-chest-nut, nose-eye-love-you, nose-eye-love-you…

Look, I’m sensitive and in touch with my emotions. I cook and clean and do the dishes. I take longer then my wife to get ready to go out (only sometimes), but something about going to baby classes made me feel self-conscious. I know. Crazy. I got over it.

In some respects, society has come a long way since the 50’s. I met a guy at the gym who is in his 80’s. When we got to talking about the baby, he told me that he has four kids. He changed a total of 1 diaper and that was only because his wife didn’t get home in time. Now just imagine that guy singing Tony Chestnut. Ha!

The point is, dads do a lot more than we did in the past. And it’s more accepted. And guess what? There are few things that are more “manly” than a father taking care of his child. Be it changing diapers, or feeding them, or even baby classes, it’s a job for parents. Gender has no place here.

So, yeah. I got over the stupid insecurity. Now I run around like an idiot. Chasing my son and making him laugh. At  Gymboree, at the park, at home – anywhere. His laugh is a drug, and I’m addicted.

IMG_0184Cub Gymboree


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