How I Learned to Play...the Fresh Beat Way

It's no secret that I love 2 things: music and dance.You know this about me, right? Then it shouldn't come as a surprise to you that my children love the exact two things I do. Oh sure, they love dinosaurs, trucks,  Super WHY, Thomas the (Incredibly Annoying) Train, Kung Fu Panda, Team Umizoomi and Dora the (ever questioning) Explorer, among others.

But they are just like their mama in the fact that they can't resist a good groove and enjoy picking up guitars, drumsticks, and rocking out....or dancing til they're pausing to catch their breaths. Why is this so awesome to me?

Because a year ago it was really difficult for me to sit down and play with my children and I was clueless as to how to connect with them. Not only was I battling PPD & anxiety that made me terrified of being alone with them and physically incapable of sitting still for very long, I was also struggling because I didn't know how to play with my boys. You see, my dad didn't play with me growing up. Aside from a stepbrother, I spent most of my childhood years as an only child and my head either buried in a book, doing homework or chores,  or alone in my room. Playing at home was something that just  wasn't almost wasn't allowed at times.

So here I am, a parent to two boys, and although I'd always envisioned myself as a tomboyish, fun loving mother, one who played with her kids daily, I found it came unnaturally to me. Playtime was a foreign concept. Sure I bought my sons toys and games...but to actually get down on the floor and play with these toys was a struggle for me.

But....Things started to change once I received treatment for my PPD and started peeling back some layers in therapy. Now I can chase them around my apartment roaring like a Tickle Monster, or slap on a clown nose and encourage them to use their imaginations. I've learned how to let my inner goofball out and doing so has helped our bond grow stronger.

When I first started trying to have playtime with the boys, sitting down on the floor and just watching them as my therapist suggested was really tough. But once I realized that they liked to dance and play music, it became easier. I'd throw on our Laurie Berkner music, or sit down to watch the Fresh Beat Band, and before I knew it we'd all be grooving, singing, and rocking along, having a blast.

Ahhhh the Fresh Beat Band. They are hands down our favorite. Yes, they even super cede Yo Gabba Gabba these days, probably because they are less LSDish, and their songs are more danceable. I have to admit, I'm secretly addicted to the Fresh Beats...and I'm sorely disappointed that all of their shows in the surrounding area are sold out for their tour this spring. I'd give my left arm for my kids and I to be there, so we could "feel just like a rockstar, hey hey hey!" I just know they'd pick one of us to dance on stage. I just know it. (If you're wondering if I have their album and know all of their dance moves, the answer is yes...Brennan taught me. )

So that's why rocking out with my kids and dancing with them is awesome for me and something I don't take for granted. Our music and dance times are my favorite times of the day.I wouldn't trade them for anything.



Did you find it hard to play with your kids at first? What helped you work through it? Do you have any kid show addictions? Do you have tickets to the Fresh Beat Band's show in Philly or the surrounding area? (I'll buy them off of you-I think I want to go more than my kids do. Seriously.)