Shake Your Maraca

Shake Your Maraca

Ryder and I took our first music class together last week. We signed up based on the fact that you had to purchase a maraca to be in the class. “A maraca” I thought, “Awesome.” In the past, I had avoided signing us up for other promising classes based on their respective equipment lists – most notably, “Self-Defense for Infants” and its requisite “baby switchblade.”

We arrived late to the first class. This should not be shocking to anyone who knows us or who has made plans with us. Being late is our well-worn calling card. It is often referred to as “fashionably late,” but the presence of a drooling, vomit-spewing 7 month old has generally precluded the use of the adjective “fashionable” in most situations. Neither the class leader nor other participants seemed bothered by our tardiness, so I knew we had made the right choice in signing up. The fun was about to begin. The teacher appeared to have walked straight out of Woodstock (slightly updated for the new millennium) – strumming a guitar cross-legged on the floor (made of carpet, not mud), surrounded by a circle of clappers. The class caption on the website should have read “Just like Woodstock – only less electric Kool-Aid and more breast milk.” She got right after it and starting strumming and signing ‘the wheels on the bus’…and it was the parent’s job to make appropriate motions with our infants. For example, bicycling their legs like the wheels on the bus. I had no idea what I was doing, so I found one move that seemed solid and I went with it (the aforementioned bicycling of legs). I interpreted all songs as having a “wheels” or “circular” component, and thus, the activity was well within my discretion. Ryder was a good sport and didn’t complain about the monotony. I think he understood my poetic interpretation of the music.

One woman tried unsuccessfully to use her maraca too early in the class, which was met with “not right now, Brooke’s mom, we’re working on gross motor skills first!” I was thrilled I didn’t make that mistake. Being tardy seems like our biggest problem, along with my lack of grace, so we don’t want to bring any more trouble or attention to our neck of the circle. “Keep your head down and your legs cycling,” is what I say. Overall, Ryder P. seemed to enjoy himself, and once it was truly maraca time I was excited. I couldn’t wait to see how he’d shake it like a teeny Latin pop star. He is only 7 months old, but I’ve noticed that his hips don’t lie. My hopes were dashed as he grasped green maraca and quickly shoved it in his mouth. There was very limited shaking and a whole lot of gnawing – none of which could be generally considered rhythmic.

I am considering buying him another maraca so that while one is in his mouth the other has to be doing something.

Thankfully it’s not violin class. There’s no way he could eat one violin while playing another one, though certainly he wouldn’t lack for trying.

Leave a Comment.