Coming out of swimming classes on Saturday we ran into one of the mums from playgroup. “Have you been in the sensory room?” she asked. I smiled and was about to say yes when I realised what she said. Sensory room? What sensory room? It turns out they have a sensory room there along with a big ball pool thing and the swimming pools where we’ve just been. Oh. I had no idea. I’ve spent all this time on maternity leave facing some of the worst weather and wondering what to do when I hate being stuck in the house, going for walks in the rain and so on. It turns out I could have gone there. If I’d known about it.
At playgroup the other day they started comparing private play centres. There are loads of them in Nottingham, apparently, where you can take children to play. Perhaps better for toddlers onwards but again I didn’t know such a thing exists. I was already feeling unprepared as a mother at swimming because so many of the other babies are younger than E.
I seem to have spent much of my maternity leave going along to things much later than other mothers. I think this has something to do with how used you are to babies before you decide to have your own. I knew only a few babies before E came along and hardly any of them live near me. So although I knew people did things like go to groups, swimming classes, cinema screenings, it took me a long time to get round to them myself. For the first six months or so I was just getting used to the idea of having E around that I didn’t get round to doing things like this. I needed time to adjust to the idea of it and to get some kind of control together before I was able to get out of the house easily.
But surely I’m not the only parent who doesn’t know that some of these things exist? If you don’t know any babies until you have one why would you know about them? Perhaps a question for the marketing types at these places.
Anyway, we’ve booked 10 weeks of swimming lessons, kindly paid for by E’s grandparents. So far, it’s been going ok. It’s useful having something to remind you to do your bikini line for a start. And E has special trunks and nappies to wear in the pool. They’re a whole new challenge in themselves. They’re pull on things for a start. The first time I tried to put the disposable nappy on, it was back to front. This week I notice the word BACK written on it – didn’t see that before. Idiot proofing doesn’t work for me, clearly.
This week in the pool E (who loves the water and has been fine with swimming) got upset when the instructor took her away from me for a second. The instructor said this is probably the start of separation anxiety, which we already knew was afoot. Apparently the pool can make it worse. Great. I’ve probably blogged enough about this recently but it’s dominating things at the moment. The swimming people are very supportive though.
Somewhere in this week I may try and take E to the centre for a bout of sensory play. I want to do something nice this week as it’s our last full week of maternity leave together. No spring walks with this weather so twinkly lights and soft play sessions it may have to be.