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)…