I have a little secret.
Actually, there's probably quite a few secrets you should NEVER know about me, or at least not by my own admission, thats what blabbermouth friends are for. (I'll always remember my other half asking me after we'd had a few dates and I'd managed to sustain the belief that I was organised, smart and very switched on, why it was that my friends all call me 'Lala' ??. Errrrrm, I'm sure at some point they'll take great delight in telling you!)
Anyway, back to the secret. This little secret takes place every friday behind closed doors at 4 Marlow Road in Maidenhead. I don't go alone. Its not quiet, definitely not hush hush and is for sure THE best way to make sure you get that Friday Feeling. (Or you can rely on the tried and tested way of just having a Crunchie, (links to the old ad!) but I'm probably just showing my age by even mentioning that and my newfound dairy intolerance post-pregnancy means I can't use that as an option anymore!)
Wondering what on earth I'm on about? You betcha. But even if I tell you what it is, I can be pretty confident that you'll have no idea what I'm on about, unless you've been to a session yourself. You see, my little secret to happiness on a friday is 'BabyBeeps' run by Hartbeeps. There, told you you'd have no idea what I was on about!
And I'll be honest, I didn't really know what I was letting myself in for that first week that I went. I'd been to a baby sensory class before, held in a scout hall over in Holyport. I'd joined mid term with a friend, and it was pretty daunting sitting down and being surrounded by people launching into song and full on sign language. I don't go to church myself and this just felt a little like I'd stepped into the wrong room or the wrong life. Maybe the fact that we were all still counting how old our babies were in weeks and I was probably still suffering from sleep deprivation might have had something to do with it, but it all just felt a little surreal, with just a hint of Sunday School and Hug a Tree thrown in.
So, for those of you that don't have little ones, and for those that do, but have never been to a Babybeeps class, here's the deal.
Its a weekly session thats an eclectic mix of songs, TUNES (you should hear the Change Time Rap) (Say whaaaaaat?!) dressing up, make believe, puppets and multi coloured LED rave gloves. See! Told you it was good! Sadly for my non-baby readers you do need to go with a little one, although I did usher in my Dad once so he could join in the fun.
Its great for the little ones' imaginations, and its been pretty inspiring for me too, giving me lots of ideas for games and things I can do at home to keep her amused that don't cost a penny. There are different themes each week so you don't have the chance to get bored, although you will get to learn the songs very quickly and they WILL stick in your head. My other half knew the words despite having never been to a class. They're that hummable.
The class is run by a lovely lady called Liz, who I'm sure is a little bit mad, but who I have enormous respect for as she has a day job that requires donning a neon tutu and leg warmers and yet she still maintains an air of normality. And because she orchestrates perfectly organised, imaginative, lovely chaos that the little ones ADORE, week in and week out. In fact I quite often nip into the Office with the little one after and its so hard to see my friends who've been sat at their desks all morning and not have a secret chuckle to myself. When they ask what I've been doing that morning its hard to explain and the pictures just don't do it justice. Maybe this post comes some way to bridging the gap. Either that or I'll pitch the idea to Liz of postponing her sessions in nurseries around Maidenhead in lieu of a a session just for grown ups at Three. The third floor is full of creatives, they'd love it.
So if you're reading this and are thinking you'd like to join in with my little secret (thats no longer that secret), here's what you need to know:
- There are classes all over the country (www.hartbeeps.com) and locally you can go in Maidenhead, Windsor, Marlow and Henley.
- There are classes for babies birth to sitting (Babybells), sitting to walking (Babybeeps) and then for toddlers up to 4 years old (Happy House)
- Its £5 per week, cheaper if you book for a whole term, but its pretty cool that you can be flexible, although you're not guaranteed a place- Wednesdays in Maidenhead are particularly popular.
- Dads are welcome too and there have been a few that have come on friday. One was particularly impressed with the baby Mexican Wave, I actually caught him saying "Nice! and nodding his head". Ha. Outed.
- If you dont have a little one and are feeling left out, I *might* let you come as our 'plus one', with Liz's consent. Liz can potentially be bought with chocolate and we both like a glass of wine. Just saying ;-)
You should also know that I've not been paid to write this post, I just genuinely wanted to share the secret! Most of my maternity leave was plagued by recovering from Glandular Fever and I'll be honest, there were days when I barely had the energy to get dressed. But always, without fail, I would focus on this little ray of sunshine every friday and come rain, come snow (yep, actually pushed a buggy up and down the hill in a blizzard) I made it to Babybeeps. And, as an added bonus I am now fully proficient in the technique of one handed steering with an umbrella in the other hand. Ah, the skills you learn in Motherhood!
Hope you enjoyed my secret. Happy Friday Everyone! Or as Liz would say: "Magic Sprinkles"!
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Labels: Berkshire, Maidenhead, Maternity Leave, Mums advice, Parent Advice, Summer Holidays, Things to do in Maidenhead, Things to do with baby