The first day did not get off to a good start. I arrived at the address where I thought the class was being held, but could find no sign of it. I called Martin (who had to come out of a meeting) and asked him to check my email because it appeared I was at the wrong spot. I had been corresponding with the instructor in German, so I would not have been surprised to have misunderstood where the class. Turns out - I was at the right address. What I had overlooked was the words im Hof, which means more or less in the Garden. I hadn't noticed or thought to check a little courtyard area that you can find behind many buildings. Only 10 minutes late - we had arrived!
We walked in and joined 7 other mamas and their babies on the floor mats of a nicely heated room. All of the babies were either naked or their diapers, so I stripped Simon down to his unterhosen as well.
I would describe it as a support group for moms. We sing songs and give the babies a chance to play and interact together. Most importantly, it gives moms a venue to connect with other moms and talk about frustrations, successes, worries, doubts, etc. Is this normal? What should I do? When should I start this? It reminds me of Parents Anonymous, a support group program for parents in the US, only with a name that doesn't seem to suggest some sort of parenting deficiency (love the program, not the name).
The song we open with has these lyrics, which I think are a good reminder to all parents:
Erst ich und dann du (First me and then you)
Simon's best German buddy - Tim.
For me, it has been a great opportunity to meet German friends and force myself further into German culture. I participate in German, and usually understand what we are talking about, but maybe not everything that is being said. And, of course, Simon loves playing with his new buddies!
A quick google search lends a more formal explanation as to what the program is and where it got started. You can find it here.