As we prepare ourselves for adventures in parenting, I have spent a lot of time researching local baby and parent swim classes, sign language and playtime groups.
One class in particular that I think is great is baby sign language. They say that your baby can begin to sign and communicate with you by the age of 8 to 12 months of age! The theory is to be able to better understand your baby’s needs before they can verbally speak. I think key words would be great like Milk, More, Full or the ever important Poop.
I don’t think I would take it to the level of a complete song every time I changed a diaper like in this video…
but you get the idea. It could be very useful
There are many great things out there, but the one thing that is consistent is that nearly all are targeted toward the Mommy and Me crowd. What about Daddy?
They either all have cute titles like “Mommy and Me” or the descriptions and photos are very “Mom” specific. What happened to Dads?
Fortunately for us we are confident enough that we would participate in playgroups, even if we were the only Dads there. Would everyone?
To me this speaks to the need for inclusive language. As our society evolves, so does the look and dynamics of families. Many more Fathers are taking paternity leave to care for their child. Or in our case.. you have two Dads.
One great example of inclusive language used to describe baby classes is by a local private swim academy called Aqua Essence. Under the brilliant leadership of Rishona Hyman, Aqua Essence provides one on one or smaller classes. One class offered is Aqua Babies. Definitely a class that we will be taking when our time comes! When you read the description, Aqua Essence has taken a gender neutral approach in their language and avoided gender specific pronouns or Mommy specific references. This is so easy to do, yet all baby marketing plans are targeted just at Moms.
I get it, I get it.. the number of Moms that participate in these classes out number the Dads. Maybe that would change if we changed how we communicate and use more inclusive language?
In the mean time we will just do our thing… and I now know the sign for Poop.