Tonight was the final night of our 4 week childbirth pregnancy class. The session, which focused on baby care, was nearly entirely useless. Ross has been suffering with a sore shoulder for a while and it was really acting up tonight and he was... not interested in playing along nicely.
We were asked to take turns dressing and undressing giant stiff baby dolls. When it came to be Ross' turn he picked up the doll without thinking about it and started to dress the doll. The leader of the class looked horrified and tried to (in a sing-songy voice) gently chastise him and asked if he'd actually pick the baby up like that. Ross stopped and looked at her like she was an idiot and said "No" in a tone of voice that indicated "Of course not. I'm not stupid." Ross dressed the baby as the leader looked on, shaking her head.
I started to feel anxious. I was torn. Part of me wanted to be irritated with Ross that he wasn't playing along- but at the same time, I was painfully aware of how pointless the exercise was. Skill at dressing a baby doll really doesn't translate to the real deal.
Next came a demonstration of how to bathe a baby. Not something I was worried about, but I get demonstrating it. Some people might not know how it's done and I'm happy to have a technique taught to me. But after the demonstration we were expected to divide up and all take turns bathing our stupid little dolls. This time, when directed that it was his turn, Ross just flat out refused. If he had been uninterested in playing along before, he was now at full animosity towards playing along. He said to me that if his shoulder hurt this badly, he would actually probably decline giving our baby a bath because he wouldn't feel confident in his grip and ability to do it safely- so he certainly wasn't going to bathe a doll.
I shook my head and looked at the teacher who looked like she was making a note to call Social Services on us. My anxiety mixed with embarrassment. I went into these classes knowing that Ross doesn't play along well with things that he thinks are dumb. And god forbid, anyone should tell him what to do! :) I figured out that, mostly, I just wanted the leaders to understand that I'm not married to a callous idiot. When it comes to our actual child, Ross will likely be one of the most conscientious, tender, and cautious dads in the world. Then I decided that as long as I know how awesome Ross is, I don't really care what the useless leader of a class thinks. And actually, I turned down my chance to bathe the doll as well.
(The reason the class wasn't entirely useless was that, at the end of class, one of the women came up to me and gave me her phone number! She and her husband were really nice and we'd shared several conversations, rolled eyes, and laughs over the course of the 4 weeks. She came to yoga last week for the first time and checked to make sure I was planning to attend next week. It only took 2 years, but I totally got a phone number from a potential friend! That I could imagine hanging out with! Huzzah!)
Did you take any classes to prepare for childbirth?
Do you (or your husband) play along with silly exercises in group educational settings?