Babies at the Museum: Five reasons to visit this fall or at all
Oklahoma City family fun is for children of all ages, even the very youngest.
This week's post is all about an ideal way to spend time with your baby: Oklahoma City Museum of Art's Babies at the Museum class.
If you have older children, I'll get to them next week, promise. This week, though, is all about the parenting stage that might be new to some parents or has repeated itself for a few us. Either way, we all have a lot in common. Threenagers, lack of sleep and opinions on the new car seat recommendations are all part of the deal but so is a sense of community.
My sons are 11, 6, 3 and 5 months. The baby stage is great but can feel lonely and somewhat consuming. I've found that the more small people who spell my name M-A-M-A, the more I reach out to other adults who know all about having children at different ages. Babies are like rare creatures, beautiful on Instagram but no one I actually know has a new squish right now, certainly not in our neighborhood or nearby. Can we just admit that's lonely sometimes? Even as all this technology connects us, there are some gaps and babies have a way of isolating as well as uniting their primary caretakers.
Babies at the Museum is for you and a little one up to 24 months.
Here are five reasons to attend an Oklahoma City Museum of Art Babies at the Museum Class:
- The schedule: I've gone to a plethora of Mommy & Me classes throughout the past decade. What I like about this one, though, is that it takes place on Saturdays, typically the first Saturday of the month. Yes, they do tend to fill up quickly but I would rather plan ahead than try to make the stars align during the work week. The 10 a.m. to noon time is also perfect because that's not too early and I can grab lunch on my way home from our favorite Oklahoma City restaurants to bring to my family.
- Time with just baby: I really appreciated the one-on-one time with my youngest, Jacob-Peter, without the distractions of phone notifications, housework and his older siblings. He played on the floor for the first time, with developmentally appropriate toys. There was a story time and singing time, kinesthetic activities and an art tour of the museum's current exhibitions.
- The company: Meeting other moms was also a plus because that element of socialization has changed so much in the past decade. I remember a lot of gossip, sizing up and comparing when my oldest was small. The conversation seems to have evolved. I feel like women are more tolerant of each other; we extend grace more readily and hope that it comes back to us. I suspect that's because if you want to compare lives, that's available on our Facebook feeds and also available in a much prettier filter-hued version on Instagram. In person, moms being catty has largely gone the way of the landline. Instead, we compared developmental milestones in a non-competitive way and talked over the provided coffee about life outside our content babies. #selfcare is a thing now and we all seem to mutually recognize there's life outside of parenting. Enter our date night contest; that too is self-care and it even includes $50 cash for a babysitter in addition to a $100 Stella's Modern Italian Cuisine gift card and Melinda Doolittle concert tickets.
- The kid-friendly aspects: Babies can be babies at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. No one panicked when they cried during story time or teetered on the edge of the taped barrier for the public near works of art. All the usual aspects we're used to taking into account when considering a museum visit are removed. It's family-friendly because and planned with those eventualities in mind. We've all been there.
- The art: Last but not least is the art itself. Although I was skeptical about what a baby who is just months old would actually get out of a museum class given all that we know about pruning in early childhood, I see why it's important to go. Learning experiences are cumulative; they build on each other and time with a child is never wasted. Visiting was good for me too, since seeing art can be restorative, which is easy to forget between diaper changes.
The Isabelle de Borchgrave Fashioning Art From Paper exhibit featured all summer at the museum is still available this weekend, Sept. 8 and 9. The Babies at the Museum class is full but you can register for future classes. There are also separate sessions available for kids ages 3 to 5.
The baby stage doesn't last forever but it can feel that way when you're in the throes of it. Find community resources here that our editors have put together to help families connect and parents to enjoy these early years. You can also discuss all of it in our Ages and Stages Babies & Toddlers closed Facebook group.
We're also doing a giveaway this month for a Dispatch Kids school readiness subscription box plus new Penguin for Kids books.
Enjoy your time with your baby and at the museum, the park or anywhere else that makes you happy, together, this fall.