Saturday, October 10, 2009


Month 1 of Bleisenblog saw my attendance at a couple of childbirth education classes that you may recall as mind numbing, which is what I recall also. This time we are wise veterans and skipped the refresher course. Plus in the interim I did my OB rotation at the hospital where I will be having this baby (we switched hospitals and OB groups due to: trauma), which included working with many of the doctors in the practice that we're in now. I essentially could not be more informed about the logistics/procedures/deeper spiritual meaning of having a baby at this hospital. Aaron and Dylan, however, have not been there, and Dylan doesn't really know how the whole thing is going to go down. Hence we got suckered into the Big Sibling Course with Hospital Tour.

I have been to Dylan's preschool class. There could not be a more enthusiastic participant in class activities. Other children may be slumped over bored or sort of irritated or wandering off, but Dylan is right there in the middle giggling and wildly doing whatever hand motions they are supposed to be doing to go along with the song or the book or whatever. Get her in any other setting, however (see, briefly, soccer and swimming) and she withdraws to such an extent that I hardly even recognize her. Especially if the instructor is not the best with kids (recall the sensing of the weakness), she will not have any of it, and no amount of encouragement OR totally ignoring the behavior OR a happy medium changes how she reacts.

Back to this morning. When we named our girl baby Dylan we expected a certain amount of having to explain that she was a girl. I did not expect having people put up a fight, especially when standing next to a three-year-old obviously female child. So. It didn't start well. Another clue should have been the dire warning to sign up for this class six months in advance because it fills up quick (seriously, I was not even out of the first trimester) and then having exactly two other children there.

There was a lot of coloring involved, and Dylan soon set to work on the Big Sister With Baby picture. We thought it was cool that she started out carefully coloring the Sister's eyes blue (although hers are aaron-hazel) because it seemed like a thoughtful detail. She then moved on to carefully coloring the baby's eyes red, which, alarming, no? What does she know that we don't?

The first lesson was about breathing, with a good ten minutes devoted to teaching the small children how to coach their mothers in breathing exercises (something about smelling the roses and blowing out the candles). We all, not just Dylan, spent a good part of this time blinking in confusion. One, in our house we just use the phrase "take deep breaths," (mostly in the context of "get some kind of grip on yourself") which the child seems to understand. Two, no one ever explained exactly why Mommy needs the Breathing. Three, if I am to the point of requiring roses, candles, etc. to deal with myself I would prefer that Dylan not be under my care. And, honestly, I don't really want a labor coach that is more likely to burst into tears than I am (Aaron? Listening?).

I won't go on with the details as no need to numb all your minds as well, but by the end I was starting to adopt Dylan's stony silence myself. Note to hypothetical future children: no one in your family will be attending any kind of class in any capacity associated with your birth. There, it turns out we can be taught.

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