Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dads Playgroup


This morning I took Oliver and Lucy to Heaton Moor Evangelical Church where they were running a playgroup for Dads. The format was exactly the same as the one Hayley goes to every Wednesday, so it was nice to experience it at first hand.

Oliver and Lucy needed no encouragement to go off and find their favourite toys. Oliver headed for some cars while Lucy headed to the kitchen area: a quite untypical example of them aligning with typical gender roles. I followed Lucy around mostly, helping her with the puzzles, well, picking them up when she threw them all on the floor is a more accurate description. Then Oliver came over and did some dressing up.

The two of them both had a good ride on the rocking horse and police bike (pictured above).

Then Oliver went upstairs to do the craft with Judith (wife of my work colleague Graham), which this week was putting paper hair and facial features on a drawing of Daniel of lion's den fame. In fact there was another familiar face from my work there, Oliver with his son Evan. I knew one other guy there from a barbecue in the summer and that was about it. Everyone was friendly enough, but when these things are run for Dads so infrequently it's hardly surprising that we don't form the same sort of networks that the Mums do. Not that I'm criticising, I think it's fantastic that the church put this group on. I just hope they re-run it often. Judging from the turn-out it would be justified.

While Oliver did his craft, I took the opportunity to have a cup of tea and the discarded portion of some toast I ordered for Lucy.

Later, everyone went into another smaller room for storytime. Followed by some songs and play with musical instruments. When it came time to do songs in pairs, Oliver and Lucy joined together without any prompting to do "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" which is Lucy's favourite. I was so proud of them, especially Oliver who rowed with suitable gentleness for his sister. It brought the biggest smile to my face to see them playing together so nicely.

Both of them took part in the rest of the singing with some gusto, but Lucy especially enjoyed it. She touched her head and toes for "Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes", wound the bobbin up on cue and clapped enthusiastically in "if you're happy and you know it", at the end of which she clapped and cheered so loudly that the leader said "Yes Lucy that was very good, it does deserve a clap".

After that it was just tidy-up time and it was all over. I hope they run it again soon. We'll definitely be returning.