When I was invited to attend the Juno Baby BlogHer brunch I was eager to bring the toddler mostly because it was at FAO Schwartz and if she had no interest in Juno Baby at least it was some much needed Mommy and Me time after I had been holed up in school for the past 9 weeks. I was not prepared for what ensued. First of all, I’ve tweeted and mentioned on countless occasions my daughter’s intense fear of characters come to life. We’ve missed some opportunities that most toddlers would die for like a Meet and Greet with the Yo Gabba Gabba crew and Thomas the Train. Of course as we walked into the party room, we were greeted by a GIANT Juno Baby. My mind was darting like a moving target, taking a quick survey of the scene, I was trying to mentally calculate the room size and strategically trying to figure out how to maneuver the toddler away from the GIANT Juno Baby without her causing too much of a scene with her expected intense fearful meltdown. She completely caught me off guard when she pointed at Juno and asked, “Who is that?!” There wasn’t one ounce of fear in her, instead it was replaced with curiosity. With one eyebrow raised and on guard, I calmly said, “That’s Juno Baby. This is her party…” Still ever so cautious, I made sure not to engage Juno and stood as a barrier between Juno and the toddler. Oddly enough that made her even more curious! As I filled our plate with delicious breakfast treats, she peered from behind me to look at Juno, darting away, peeking and darting, peeking and darting. She was mesmerized.
As if there was a step by step playbook, she went from darting to standing in front of her, to touching her ever so slightly… always returning to my side with each advancement until finally she was flat out HUGGING Juno none stop! It was so flabbergasting I had to take photos and videos and message my husband. It was sheer insanity to me! My toddler didn’t have a meltdown! This is a little girl who started shrieking at the sight of Elmo and dug her nails into my husband’s neck, made my skin bleed as she clung to me for dear life when Clifford the Big Red Dog came to say Hi! with her legs wrapped around my waist, weeping and trembling in fear. SHOCKED!
I still feel a slight pang of regret when thinking about all those wasted piano lessons in my youth and while I can appreciate classical music, you won’t find it on my radio’s presets. Now and then I come across a piano and I tap the usual chopsticks and if I happen to find a sheet of music, I’ll even play a broken form of it as I recall the notes in my head for nostalgia. If all things that goes around must come around, I guess this is where my parent’s investment in years of piano lessons pays off as I happily introduced my daughter to Juno Baby. The irony is that I thought the toddler would have no interest in Juno Baby and was thinking rather of the infant’s interests, already nodding off the toddler as a lost cause as her current musical palette includes Jay Sean’s Down on repeat … Train’s Hey Soul Sister… and Eminem’s latest releases – gasp! Now I wouldn’t exactly call it sophisticated music taste but I also couldn’t believe I was mourning the days she danced and sung to Barney… What happened to those days?
These are one of those reflecting moments which reminds me why I love my daughter so much and why I feel so lucky to be her mom. While she had no interest in the speech — sorry Belinda and Barrett! — her eyes were glued to the teaser for Juno Junior and she reminded me what a unique and amazing kid she is. She fits no stereotype, she’s one of a kind — Just like Juno Baby! As Barrett and Belinda talked about Juno Baby and how it came to life, I couldn’t help agreeing with them about the quality of music available to kids these days, mostly synthesized, and how kids have these amazing capacity to absorb and appreciate a wider variety of music similar to language acquisition. The music is all original composition by founder Dr. Belinda Takahashi and is performed by live orchestral musicians. While my daughter’s new obsession with Juno Baby helped, I left a believer and couldn’t wait to get home and play it for the infant.
Still on guard, thinking this was a complete FLUKE. I figured her fascination with Juno Baby would be short lived and still my mind was focused on developing the infant’s musical palette. Instead the toddler and I have watch Juno Baby every night and sometimes several times a night. Much to my surprise, I actually had a Juno Baby DVD at home already and luckily it was a different DVD, so we have 2 Juno Baby DVDs in our repertory. Not to leave the infant out, she sits and talks the infant through each episode and sleeps every night with her Juno plush. The infant squeals with delight every time his big sister is around, anything she loves, he loves too. We now are anxiously awaiting the debut of Juno Junior, adding to our growing collection!
Become a fan of Juno Baby on Facebook and check out the toddler in practically every shot with Juno here. For every Juno Baby product purchased they donate one music education DVD to a child in need — how awesome in that! To all my mommy friends, expect lots of Juno Baby gifts as they have just been added to my list of Gifts of Choice.