I will never forget the day that Grandma taught me about infant symphonies.
Not my Grandma, however. Unfortunately, my grandmothers have since passed away. This Grandma is a volunteer at the high school that the staff and students lovingly call “Grandma.” She is an extremely affable woman, known to dance in the front lobby during fire drills all the while directing student traffic to the appropriate waiting place. She is a slight woman, probably no taller than 5’1″ with a bright smile and blue eyes that have the evidence of plenty of life experience. When she noticed my 35 week pregnant belly, she couldn’t wait to give me advice, just as most moms and dads do when they see a baby bump.
“You’ll start to notice different symphonies for different occasions. The first song you’ll hear is when he enters the world; then you’ll start to understand which songs indicate which ailments. There will be a song for hunger and a song for sleepy.”
She probably talked for another 15 minutes as I tried and failed to gracefully bow out of the conversation. As it turns out, Grandma is also my neighbor, and the only neighborly thing to do is to listen…despite the mountains of papers that were stacked on my desk.
Some parents are adept at hearing the subtle changes in their infant’s cry. I am not that parent. I suppose that is why the schedule has been so freeing for me as a cry just sounds like a cry.
Yesterday, however, little Bear tried out a new song. I hadn’t heard this one before but I was pretty sure I was feeling what he was feeling. Not only are we both sick and tired of being sick and tired, but the pair of us were desperate for something to do. This particular song shouted and screamed,
“I’M BORED, MOM! GET ME OUT OF HERE!”
It was five o’clock on the fifth day of our quarantine. I have been careful not to take Bennett out of the house as not to spread this nasty cold that both of us have. Yesterday, we both hit our limit. I put him in his carseat, and the symphony stopped: it was almost as if the promise of getting out of our little home was enough to soothe him.
The last five days have given me a taste of cabin fever that I’ve heard some stay-at-home-moms feel on a day to day basis. Up until this particular virus has rendered us both sleepy and lethargic, little bear and I have been on the go since he was three weeks old. I’ve had a blast meeting up with friends, taking road trips, going to the park, and spending time at the pool. I suppose it was a good thing that this wave of stir crazy hit me in the summertime, as I can start to prepare to have tricks up my sleeves for fun and free things to do on those days when a typical schedule has us both bored out of our minds.
Here are a free and cheap ideas for infant activities in Atlanta to get out of the home and be an on-the-go-mommy.
The High Museum of Art: When I began researching this particular topic, there was a Sweet Jack Deal for an annual family pass for $65…and unfortunately was completely sold out. Right now, there is a Groupon available for 2 full day adult admission at the high for $19, or 4 for $39. I may actually end up getting the yearly pass for $95 for our whole family as they have plenty of kids activities available (as well as adult activities) that would be fun for all of us. This particular deal could pay for itself sooner rather than later.
Centennial Olympic Park has free “music at noon” available for anyone to enjoy every Tuesday and Thursday. Although this bumps into B’s nap time, it may be a great activity to enjoy once a week in order to have something fun to look forward to. Since the park is large enough, picnics and jazz would be a great playdate activity, or one to just enjoy with my little guy.
Jimmy Carter Center: $8 for adults; I haven’t been here yet (as embarrassing as it may sound); but I hear there is an open air reading room that is kid friendly. It could be a great activity for Bear to enjoy in between naps.
Oakland Cemetery: This one may sound a bit morbid, but it could be fun to tell Bennett the stories of Maynard Jackson, Bobby Jones, and Margaret Mitchell and show him their respective resting places. Besides, the food across the street at Social Republic House, Six Feet Under, Agave…etc…is totally worth the morbidity. All of the restaurants in the area are absolutely delicious.
Atlanta Beltline: It is no secret that I love to run, and the beltline is a great place to get some miles in. This particular Atlanta attraction is totally free, and could be perfect for B and I to make our way to a picnic in the middle of my miles. Bear would enjoy seeing the people and nature in his stroller, and packing up the Bob could be easy for just the two of us.
Building Blocks Brookhaven Public Library: 10-10:45 Tuesday and Wednesday; Story Time Barnes and Noble Wednesday 11 Buckhead Location or 10 Perimeter Location: It is also no secret that I love to read and want Bennett to be immersed in good literature as soon as possible. I think hearing someone else read to him would get him some social time with other babies around the same age, and get him used to the beautiful ritual of story time.
I want to hear from you! What are your favorite activities with infants? What do you do to keep yourself from getting a little stir crazy?