Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page


We returned from a short vacation on Monday. After four days of riding around in a car, it felt great to be moving again: right back into a whole lot of walking and teaching the Toss Your Toddler dance class, with all it’s running, jumping , falling and rolling, stretching, and then walking more; this was the same day that we spent on an airplane coming home.

On vacation it was really difficult to keep active. It was hot and not at all like here in Brooklyn where we walk to get everywhere; Miami was all about driving. Driving to the beach where I did light exercise: Mateo and I jumped in the waves, ran from the waves, swam in the waves (well I sort of swam with him firmly suctioned onto me like a starfish.) One day we went to a pool and I swam a bit more, both with Mateo and without. Mateo challenged both myself and Guillermo by having us dive to the bottom of the pool and retrieve a toy. He thought that was a lot of fun, Guillermo also enjoyed it. I however, am a bit fearful of my head being under water and get a bit panicky, so I only dove to the bottom twice.

The day before the pool we didn’t get to the pool or the beach, we got lost on the Miami highways and  went many miles out of our way. Mateo had a nice long nap, but woke up ready to get out of the car and run around. We decided to pull over and let him out for a few minutes at, what I believe was the Ziff Ballet Opera house. Mateo wandered around a bit, then I started doing a little jumping to get him jumping. It was a brick sidewalk with names of patrons every few bricks in a predictable pattern, so we jumped over the names of patrons. Then Guillermo joined in and we began to compete to see who could jump the furthest from a standing still position(Guillermo). Then added a run and jump. We did this as a family for about 15 minutes, maybe more, we had a great time and then Mateo sat in the car so we could go to a restaurant and eat delicious Cuban food at Versailles.


The Problem with Independence Day

The problem with independence day is now we sit when we go to the park, which is nice; usually we are tired, the mamas, not the toddlers. So today I met my friend and the kids played and we sat. Cadman Plaza park was full of kids and nanny’s. The nanny’s sat, benches and benches full of nanny’s, some sat on the steps surrounding the plaza, and yes, here and there, were mothers sitting. Not all, but most. We sat.

What kind of an example are we setting as we sit? What kind of role models are we? Playing and running around is for kids. Adults sit. Oh sometimes the adults exercise, but that is the time for the child to leave the adults alone so they can do the all important EXERCISE. Exercise is something adults have to do, not so much something that is fun to do. Something they have to do to make up for all the time adults spend sitting. Running around a park and having fun, that’s what kids do.

But then I noticed kids sitting all in a row, 6 or 8 of them. And what were they doing? Watching. Watching some adults play tug of war!

Later we did stop sitting, we joined our children in a game of jumping off a tall wall, one by one, two by two and four by four. That was exercise and a whole lot of fun.

Father and Son


Today, after spending the morning cleaning, I carried the scooter for 2 hours around Fort Greene Park.  At one point I was carrying my son and the scooter, since he refused to walk up a hill; I guess the hill would look very large from the height of 33 inches. Part of the time I chased my son while he chased a ball. The ball would roll down the hill as he intended it too, but then a kind citizen would stop and catch the ball and hand it to Mateo, he would then do it again, because he really wanted the ball to roll far and all those people kept on thwarting his plans. His father, Guillermo, was playing tennis. Then 5:45 arrived and with it my time to rest, while Mateo and Guillermo played tennis together. Mateo was really too tired, but he wanted to play with Papa. 

I think Mateo’s tennis skills are amazing, unbelievably amazing for a two year old. Of course I am his mother and, as such, I am biased, but his hand eye-coordination really is quite good. He spends so much of his time being active with me, I really enjoy having the opportunity to step back and watch his father and him play together, tennis or anything really. I like being able to sit back and enjoy the way they have such a great time playing together. 

I remember when Mateo was much smaller, Guillermo world turn on the music, loud, and dance and jump around the apartment while holding a younger Mateo: supporting his bottom with one hand and holding his hand with the other. Around and around they would go. Laughing and smiling until Guillermo was too tired to do any more, but Mateo would insist and they would dance some more. I was usually busy cleaning or doing dishes while they did this, but I would always watch and enjoy their enjoyment. They did it again this weekend, Mateo didn’t want to, he was busy playing with his marble maze, but once they began, they kept on going and having a great time, marble maze forgotten.  

Guillermo and Mateo dancing

Guillermo and Mateo dancing


Before I had started teaching the Sling Your Baby dance class, it was actually Guillermo and Mateo who did most of the dancing around the apartment. I was just too tired to move mostly, so in many ways the idea for the class came from watching them together and seeing how much of a workout it can be to dance and move while carrying a 15 pound baby, and it’s so much more fun than traditional exercise; your exercise partner is right there with you from his (or her) birth.