This “guest blog” entry was completed by NYC Dads Group member Robert J. I have a challenging time juggling all of the responsibilities that comes with being the primary caregiver to one child. Robert is fortunate to be an at-home dad with twins.
Today we “Jammed with Joanie Leeds” in Central Park. Eighteen dads and their kids came to the Great Lawn to meet our guest musician. Joanie was a great guest for the group because she was so personable and talented. She made a point to introduce herself to all the dads and kids before the event started and kept us engaged for forty-five minutes. After a welcome song to introduce the kids, she combined some classic songs we all knew with some of her original songs. We sang songs like Old MacDonald, the Hokey Pokey, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star among others. She also sang some of her original songs including Ice Cream and Blast Off. I am sure it was fun to be a passerby and see eighteen dads throwing their babies into the air with the Blast Off song! She concluded her jam session with bubbles, parachute time, and a few extra tunes.
Her never-ending bags of goodies and high energy kept the kids and dads entertained. Her props included maracas as ice cream cones, farm animal puppets for Old MacDonald, scarves for the Hokey Pokey, and bubbles. My kids preferred to eat and gnaw on the props, but some of the older kids had a better idea of what to do with them. Joanie had a knack for getting the dads up and moving too!
I don’t think we can beat live music under the trees in Central Park to start off the week. Overall, it was clear to me that Joanie knew what she was doing, was well-prepared, flexible, and talented; all things that are very much appreciated by a dad like me! There were lots of onlookers & tourists gawking at us with big smiles & taking multiple photos as they passed by watching us have a good ol’ time. One dad joked, that the only thing missing was the sign saying, “Please don’t feed the Dads, and don’t tap on the glass.”
And what would a Central Park visit be without someone from the media checking in? Another producer asked a few questions and will hopefully do some research to learn what we are all about. Finally, this location was a great place to feed kids and hang out once the music ended.
We need to thank member Joe B. who introduced us to Joanie; we were sorry you couldn’t join us today, Joe. It was the biggest turnout for our NYC Dads Group that I have seen. As Lance said, the best ideas for Meet-Ups come from us — keep the ideas coming, guys.