Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Madrileno Baby Massage Choral Society By Kate

Massage is supposed to be relaxing, restorative, healing and at times, positively invigorating. In general, a pleasant and uplifting experience.

Perhaps someone should have told the fourteen or so babies in a room in Cuidad Lineal that. Gentle music was playing in the background while assorted parents armed with J&J baby oil earnestly followed the instructions from Maite the Matrona on how to give their offspring an enjoyable, sensuous experience and aid their sleep, digestion and co-ordination.
Only a few minutes of the session had passed when the first baby decided they had had enough and began to vocalise their displeasure. Then the next chimed in, then the next. Pretty soon, all but three of the infants were red faced and crying in perfect disharmony - Rosie, I'm pleased to say, was still calm at this stage. Gradually the clamour began to die down as various mothers applied a breast, bottle or pacifier to their babies' howling mouths. Calm was restored and after some time, the various parents tentatively put down their little ones and started again with the J&J.
For a short while, all was tranquil again. Then Maite instructed us to turn our babies onto their tummies to start on some back massage. That was too much for most of the tiny participants and the crying chorus began to reach a new crescendo, this time with Rosie adding her own distinct sound to the dischord. Breasts (including mine), bottles and dummies were once more brought into play and we had a new diminuendo. We tried a little more massage with Rosie, but it was clear her tolerance for being rubbed with oil, however gently, had reached its limit. We took her home.

But two weeks later, we went back for more. This time Rosie, after a little initial protesting as she got used to the situation, seemed more willing to submit to the massaging. This also seemed true of most of the others, as the infant crying chorus was a little more muted than on our previous visit and mainly featured a few soloists rather than the great mass of baby wailing. And even with a bit of annoyance on Rosie's part, she noticeably sleeps well after a baby massage session. Whether this is because she's worn out with all the howling or because the massage eased her body tension is a moot point.

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