Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Infant Massage

When Lucas was a month old we started going to an Infant Massage class. If anything, it was a treat to have something scheduled twice a week, to see other moms and babies, and to have a trained coach for our many new mom questions.

Seriously, though, we both loved the class. Lucas really got into it. To this day, he thinks getting his legs massaged is one of the funniest things that could happen.

Our massage teacher is of the Vimala McClure school. Besides teaching us the massage technique, she taught us about the philosophy behind it, which, in a nutshell, centers on respecting your baby and learning how to listen to him.
Vimala McClure's book explains the massage technique, complete with illustrations, and gently encourages the reader to build trusting and loving relationship with his baby. Of all the parenting books, it is one of the most respectful, ie, it details a parenting philosophy without threatening dissenters with unhappy children, problematic childhoods, maladjustment, family discord, unearthly juvenile horrors and dreadful adulthood- and, oh, yes, guilt.

At first, I gave Lucas a massage daily. Now, between the cold weather and Lucas twisting and crawling it happens less frequently. I feel guilty because it really is so good for him; and that because of my laziness we are both missing out. And then I give him a massage, and although it is not as complete as they were when he was littler and less mobile, I am always surprised and so happy to see how much he enjoys it. He still laughs when I massage his legs; he looks up at me and smiles, relaxed, enjoying.

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