When I first met my baby, my sweet little Reid, I fell hard – and fast.
Perhaps it’s because he was so tiny – at 6 lbs, he was on the lighter side for a full-term (40 weeks) baby. Or maybe it’s because he was just such a good little boy: he latched on with practically no assistance from me (I was sleeping off the c-section drugs, and woke to find a little baby breastfeeding while the nurse held him to my bosom. Talk about a self-starter!). Could it be because he slept through the night with no fuss at 4 weeks? That might be it.
But to tell the truth, the REAL reason I fell completely, head over heels for my baby boy? It’s because that first day, when he opened his big, shiny eyes and stared at me with love and wonder, I said to my husband,
“He looks like E.T.”
And so I made a vow then and there to protect my little alien child, whose future would surely be filled with requests to phone home and make bicycles fly.
Of course, Reid outgrew his awkward little extra terrestrial phase, and turned out to be a very cute little dude. Seriously, he’s one of those kids that all strangers smile at – because they really can’t help it. He’s just got that face. And I’m proud to declare that he’s my Mini-Me! Yup, we call him Little Leno (pronounced Lee-no) around here, cause he’s the spitting image of his mama. Lena and Leno, we make a great combination.
Of course, he did get some traits from his daddy – namely, his coordination. Let’s just say that if I go through the day without tripping over my own feet, it’s a good one. I’m sure you’ve seen me post videos of my budding Baryshnikov here and here – trust me, he gets it from his father.
Speaking of his father, yeah, that’s him <<- busting a move on the dance floor at a party. My husband has been cultivating Reid’s love of dance ever since he first expressed the tiniest interest – shaking his little bon bon to the oh-so-catchy (shoot me now) tunes of Treehouse TV. It’s my husband who takes him to toddler dance class every Saturday morning at the ungodly hour of 8:00am, guiding him through the moves and perfecting his routine.
(Thankfully, Reid is too young to care that he is the only boy in the class; in a sea of tutus, I always make sure to dress him in Star Wars or monster machine-inspired tops.)
In fact, if there’s one milestone we’re looking forward to this year – beyond the normal goodies that a 3-year-old picks up, like language, potty independence and fine motor skills – it’s his continued sense of rhythm and freedom within dance.
So why is dance so good for children? Well, because dance classes are structured to help children continue to progress and build upon what they have previously learned, they are educational in nature and provide ample opportunity to develop a variety of both motor and mental skills. The learning environment of dance is key here.
Plus, in addition to the fact that dancing is an excellent form of exercise and all-around fitness, when it comes to the all-important fun factor, dance for kids is a very fun activity, plain and simple. (And having fun is always a good thing!) Finally, did you know that dance and music has been shown to improve the ability to learn? It’s true – kids who participate in activities like dance are apt to do better in school. (Source)
Now it’s not a stretch to say that Reid received the BEST Christmas present ever this year, courtesy of our good friends at Fisher-Price: it’s Master Moves Mickey!
“Get down in the house with your favourite mouse! Mickey Mouse dances to a funky beat as he combines over fifteen different dance moves into his own original dance combinations. Perfect your moves with Mickey as he shows off his insane handstand and then pops right into a 360! Press his nose to hear original tracks as Mickey does “The Windmill”, “The Mouska Mix”, “The Spin Cycle”, “The Handstand” and the rest of his cool Mouska-moves!”
Oh yeah, Mickey is quite the dancing machine! I have no doubt that Reid will have fun with this toy throughout the year – and especially as he hones his technique. Way to go, Fisher-Price!
What hobbies/classes are your children enrolled in? How has it helped them to meet their milestones?
I am a Fisher-Price Play Ambassador and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
i love little alien babies <3
:) Me too, Angie!
Cool and Mike still has the freezes down!!
I’m not sure what that means but I’m sure my husband will appreciate your comment!
What a beautiful photo of you an Reid!
For us, swimming lessons are a must for safety reasons but we try to do one “team” sport and one “independant” class per season. We’ve tried soccer, dance, gymnastics, ice skating and music. We’re all about exposure and physical exercise right now. We try to limit the kids activities to two per term so it’s enjoyable for them but not overwheliming for us parents to try to juggle it all.
Thank you Yash! I love that you limit the kids’ activities so they’re not overwhelmed. It sounds like they’re very well rounded!
Ella Pretty Blog
Laughing so much – cant believe you thought Reid looked like ET! I don’t see it at all… But I do think Leno is a cute name for him – must be fun having a mini-me!
I just signed my daughter up for dance (ballet) to help build her confidence. She’s not shy socially but does sometimes get flustered when all attention is on her (cant say I blame her!). Her school teacher thought this would help her- and my daughter is so ballerina-obsessed that it will be good for her no matter what :-)
I think dance is wonderful for confidence! She’ll take to it instantly, I’m sure :)
And yes, it’s nice having a Mini-Me! Reid has so much of my side – he’s actually the spitting image of my father.
It’s so funny that you mention that he looked like E.T. because we said the same thing about my son when he was a month old. My husband and I were sitting with him in bed and staring at him. I said “He kinda looks like E.T.” and my husband laughed and said to him “Do you look like E.T.?” and our little guy smiled his first smile! We’ll always remember that his first smile was when we asked him if he looked like E.T. :)
That Master Moves Mickey looks like a lot of fun. My little guy loves dancing as well so this would be a great toy for him. Great post!
Cheryl, what a sweet story! It’s so lovely that you can remember the exact moment he smiled, based on an ET reference :)
What a beautiful photo and wonderful post!
I have a few girlfriends who have their children in dance – it’s hard to say if the boys will continue with it once peer pressure to fit in (and dance just isn’t ‘cool’ at some stages for boys).
I find dance is becoming so popular these days thanks to shows like SYTYCD – hopefully that will continue to be the trend and allow boys who show a natural talent like your little guy to continue on and not feel self conscious!
Thank you Suzanne! You’re absolutely right; seeing that Reid is the only boy in the class, dance is obviously stereotyped as a “girly” thing right from the start. But, there are so many forms of dance now – anyone can enjoy and take part!
Love that B&W picture!
Lol at the ET. comment.
Dance is fantastic for BOTH genders. Even for us adults. My son is 11 and he absolutely LOVES to dance. He’s been in dance since he was 3 and he just loves to preform. Many times he is the only boy in his group but he’s ok with that!
I’m so glad you shared your experience, Tania! I’m sure that dance has had a positive impact on your son’s life – and it’s so wonderful that he loves to perform!
I love to see little boys getting into dance! What a great exercise program.
It really is – such a great, fun workout!
I love that photo of you and babe!
My big kids are karate kids – we love that it is a year-round sport which encourages personal best and becomes a life skill in personal defence. Little T will be a karate kidlet when he gets potty trained.
Thanks Caroline! Karate is wonderful for discipline, self-confidence and respect. And, having met your kids, I’d say they embody all three!
I love your description of him as a newborn… ET… very cute!
My son is all about sports and my daughter is very girl girl.
I think it’s great that your kids are into activities, Freda!
We tried karate for one year and it wasnt a hit. What we’ve found for extra circ activites that are beneficial AND enjoyed is Science club and an after school program that touches on a variety of activities – music lessons, ice skating, arts and crafts, drama and general free play. As my son is essentially an only child (his much older half sisters are not at home), this has provided much need socializing.
PS – your little ET was adorable!
Thanks Lisa! I love that you found something that works for your son – and it sounds like he’s getting a great introduction to a variety of things! Good job!
Haha, oh girl! I love how you are so blunt – it’s hilarious! Reid is adorable and I love that black and white picture of you two!
Thanks Jenny! Just tellin’ it like it is! xo
Ah, how cute is your little guy? If he looks like ET, he is the cutest ET in the world. Such a sweet face! He must have been thrilled to receive the dancing Mickey, looks like a great toy!
Thank you RubyRed! He loves his new toy – he’s trying to perfect his moves :)
Such a sweet post, and a very sweet photo! :) We don’t have kids yet, but my husband is a musician, and he CANNOT WAIT to have his own little orchestra! I definitely don’t want to push my kids into anything they don’t enjoy, but we will surely be encouraging exploration into differnt types of music and dance. I’m sure my husband wouldn’t mind a little hockey player either (neither would my parents, come to think of it!)
Enjoy this special age with your little guy(s)!
Thanks Nicole! I think it would be most wonderful to have your own little orchestra – adorable!
Jody @ Mommy Moment
My friend always said her baby looked like Yoda, she even dressed him up as Yoda for Halloween!
Cute story Lena!
My girls are both in swim lessons right now, I like that it is an individual sport as it helps them gain independence.
Enjoyed your post.
That’s awesome Jody! I’ve been looking into swim lessons for my boys – my 2 year old is ready, my 4 year old is not :(
Such a cute post!
Cute picture of you and your little baby.
Thanks Marissa :)
As a family, for something we can all do together, we ski! And piano lessons are a must – helps them with math.
I truly believe that piano does help with math! I found it much easier after I started lessons!
Oh my, what a cutie. My son took dance for several years when he was littl(er). Clearly he gets his dance style from his father also. Lots of “Robot” and “Shopping Cart.” Now the only dancing occurs in our kitchen, out of public view. :)
Ha! Love the Shopping Cart! I’m hoping that Reid continues with it… I was such a quitter growing up, hope he doesn’t inherit that from me ;)
My daughter and I are signed up for dance, music and swiiming classes. She is 9 months. It is just fun and I like to see her smile when we are in class.
That’s wonderful Kathleen!
Cute post. Make me smile
:) Thanks Florence.
The ET comment made me laugh…love your sense of humour…I remember checking that Sara had 10 fingers and toes…
Hahaha I can just picture it! While he doesn’t look like E.T. anymore, I can’t help but smile whenever I see that photo.
Aww I think that Reid and your husband are so lucky to have each other as dance partners :)
I agree Victoria! It’s so cute to see the two of them together :)
also that’s a great photo of your DH… mine is a wild one too lol
LOL mine is still a wild one, though then he’ll complain of back pain for weeks!
My kids aren’t in any activities yet..we are going to enroll them in swimming lessons this summer though. We do however frequently have dance parties around the house..blasting music and dancing like nobody is watching lol it’s a good time :)
That’s so sweet! Love family dance parties!
my oldest looks like me and the baby looks like my husband. neither of them dance but oldest loves the playground and is a little daredevil. youngest is starting to walk with help.
That’s wonderful francine!
My kids are grownup but I have grandchildren, so Mickey would be great for my grandson when he is older. My granddaughter she loves to dance.
:) I’m sure your grandchildren would adore Mickey!
How cute to have a mini you. I did not realize that dance helped children in so many ways. Your little Leno sounds so adorable. What a wonderful article; thank you Lena. Very touching and informative. :)
Thank you Michelle, it’s great to have a Mini Me!
Lol, my eldest came out looking like an old salty fisherman! (she was a girl btw)