It's tough being a baby. There's the sleeping and the constant nursing to contend with, not to mention all the shiney, crinkly toys at your disposal and that mommy lady who caters to your every whim at the first sound of a cry. One can imagine the stress, right? That's why all babies need massages. You know, to ease the tension of every day baby life.
In another lifetime (okay, 5 years ago), I seriously considered leaving my teaching career to pursue the life of a massage therapist. The thought of being surrounded by aromatherapy, candle-lit rooms and the "plinky plunky" music (Phoebe's words, not mine) of new-age artists piping through the sound system appealed to me beyond words. I imagined the sense of peace and well-being I have after a massage and figured that giving a massage must be almost as good as that. I was *this* close to drop-kicking my teaching certification out the window and enrolling in the local massage institute---I even went on an interview at the massage school, looked into buying the anatomy text books and gave my notice at the snooty private school I was working at. For any number of reasons, the switch never happened and now here I am.
Enter "Infant Massage"--yes, the class where I get to live out, in some tiny little way, my dream of being a massage therapist AND my poor little overworked, stressed out baby gets the much needed deep tissue massage his hectic life demands.
E and I took a 3-week massage course taught by my yoga instructor, Jennifer, who I LOVE. Her favorite little mantra is "I honor farts, poops and belches in my class." This is a woman who understands babies, people! Far more than the old ladies in the cereal aisle at my local grocery store, who fail to find amusement in my son's colossal adult-sized gaseous emanations while Mama selects her Special K Red Berries. Jennifer also makes up fabulous little nonsense phrases that I find myself repeating to Ethan when he is fussy....example, "ooohka linka lakka shinka, that feels good! (after a yoga pose or a massage).
Aside from the fabulous bonding time with Ethan and the miniature dream fulfillment, I also met, interacted with and established budding friendships with other new mommies. I find myself almost giddy at the prospect of having people over the age of 6 months to actually do things with on week days. And at the thought that perhaps Ethan will have other children to socialize with, lest he become that weird, socially awkward kid in kindgarten who is way too smart and grown up, thus making him the most likely to be picked on until college.
There has been talk of going to matinees, and there has been one bona fide Starbucks *date* between me and two of the yoga/massage mommies. If all goes well, we MIGHT even invite a few couples over to our house for a dinner or game night. But wait, I'm really getting ahead of myself--we've only had one date. Maybe we're not ready for that kind of commitment yet.
So infant massage really worked out quite a few kinks; my son's muscles, aching from all that sleeping, eating and rolling; and my own fear of throwing myself out there into a social world again, as opposed to hiding at home and wallowing in my own sense of "otherness" now that my life has changed so dramatically.
And here we are, "graduating" from massage class: Massager & massagee