In their new column for HELLO!, former Strictly Come Dancing stars James and Ola Jordan tell us all about their daughter Ella's first-ever baby class.
Like many new parents, the couple have been in their 'baby bubble' at home over the past year during the three lockdowns. Now that children's classes are resuming, they decided to take their one-year-old little girl to a music group – and it was a special experience, captured in our exclusive video below.
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Ella's first time at playgroup
"It was very emotional," says Ola of their first parent and baby class. "You go, oh it's my baby! Ella really enjoyed the class, clapping and stamping her feet to the music. It's quite sweet."
WATCH: James and Ola take their daughter Ella to her first baby class
Ola told us how she'd felt a mixture of excitement and nerves about Ella meeting other babies for the first time, and their daughter acted differently to how they expected at the class.
"I was worried because she's quite a wild child," she reveals. "At home, she throws stuff, she's not into cuddly toys, she runs around and climbs - she's quite like a tomboy - so I was worried that she was going to run riot in there. All I could imagine was all of the children being quiet sitting with their mummies and Ella just going crazy.
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"But when we went in, sat down and the class started, she was so quiet. She was looking around; she didn't know what was going on. There were a lot of people in the room – there were only eight children but then the mums too."
James and Ola welcomed their daughter Ella in February 2020
James adds: "Eight children she hasn't seen before!"
Ola continues: "There were actually a lot of children coming up to her, grabbing her top and she was like, oh my god, what is this? It was very funny to watch for me."
Due to COVID regulations, only one parent is allowed to accompany their child to the group, so unfortunately James had to wait outside. However, having daddy watching towards the end of the class was a little distracting for Ella…
READ: Ola Jordan gushes over 'unbreakable bond' with husband James after becoming parents
"Ella wasn't really paying attention to the class. She was just going 'Dada, Dada, Dada' and the class were going 'Who is this man looking through the window?' I was like, 'He's mine, he's mine, don't worry!"
We ask if James found it hard being outside. He told us: "Yeah, I would have liked to have gone in but I understand the reason why I'm not. It is what it is. It's a shame, but as long as one of us is with her. I might go next week just to annoy the women maybe! Because I think Ella's naughty when I'm around. She's naughtier with me because I'm quite funny!"
Ola tells us that Ella was really well behaved and enjoyed the class.
James found it hard not being able to attend Ella's baby class
"She was really good. She was sitting on my lap, then she got up slowly and was just standing watching," she says. "Then eventually by the end, she started to go into the middle in a circle where all the children were running around. She slowly got there but she still wasn't like a wild child or anything, which I thought she would be."
"They did all the nursery rhymes, If you're happy and you know it, Old MacDonald's Farm… They had different things to play with like rattles.
"Everyone got one rattle each but Ella wanted two! So she went up to the teacher and wanted her rattle. The teacher said, 'No it's my rattle, you've got one rattle already'.
MORE: WATCH: Ola and James Jordan's baby girl shows off her adorable new skill
"Ella got angry because she couldn't get another rattle! Eventually, she found another one so she had two rattles in her hand, just shaking it. She wanted them in both hands, she didn't want one!"
After such a long time at home in lockdown, being in a room full of other children and parents must have been a big thing for both Ola and Ella.
James and Ola's parenting milestones
"It was fun for me, exciting," Ola explains. "It's just so nice seeing Ella discovering everything, from smelling flowers to the simplest things that we do, seeing other children and how she reacts.
Ella loved discovering new things at the baby class
"There was one little girl in the class who was bigger than Ella and she came up to her and started pushing her. I was like, oh dear there's going to be a fight! But Ella just turned around and ran away!
"You don't know what she's going to do. Is she going to push that child harder? She was walking backwards and then she turned around and ran away."
The baby class is especially important for Ola, as she reveals she doesn't have friends with children the same age.
READ: Ola Jordan looks pretty in pink for special photo with daughter Ella
She says: "I don't have any friends that have little children like Ella. Most of my friends either don't have children or have older children now because we're an old mummy and daddy! It's difficult for me to introduce her to other babies."
Little Ella is quite the independent lady, as we can see from the video above, where she chooses to walk on her own rather than hold her parents' hands.
Ola agrees: "Yes she is, she is very independent. She wants to do it all on her own."
"Even climbing the sofa," reveals doting dad James, "It took her ages to be able to climb the sofa because she was just too small - she couldn't get her leg high enough. But she kept trying and trying and trying, and if you helped her, she got back off the sofa because she wanted to try it again. She's quite stubborn like her father."
Ella turned one in February this year
By the looks of things, all the excitement of Ella's first baby class tired her out, as we see her soundly asleep in her car seat on the way home in the video.
"It's a lot for her isn't it, and then on the way home she just basically collapsed in the car. It was quite sweet," says mum. "And obviously because of the time it was nap time as well," adds James.
James and Ola on their future plans
Ella will be going to her music class again next week and Ola and James also hope to take their daughter to a swimming class soon where they hope she can make friends.
"It's about being with other children, that's the part of it," explains Ola. "Being out somewhere else, being a bit more social with other children. Maybe she can find a mate somewhere because it's difficult for her to make friends at the moment."
And a day out meeting animals is on the agenda too.
"The next thing for us is the farm and zoos," reveals Ola, who tells us how much Ella loved her recent trip to the park.
"She likes the swings, especially when daddy pushes her really high!"
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