If I were a SAHM, or a WAHM, I am sure by now, at age three (crap, three!) M would have had her fill of classes and playgroups. It would likely be one of the only things keeping me from completely going bonkers. There would be ECFE (or as Julia likes to call it, Communist Playgroup), there would be music, there would be something physical to keep her from tearing up our very small house.
Instead, of course, I prefer to leave my child in the care of (very very capable) others. These others do pretty darn cool things. They teach her to put away her toys, to try to correct my Spanish for yellow (I swear to god kid, I know I'm right, I may have flunked it three times, but I know amarillo), and once a week a hippie with a guitar comes in for music class. She then sings songs that I only vaguely remember from the kid's tent at the Winnipeg Folk Festival when I was a kid. She also spends a state mandated minimum of 30 minutes outside climbing on a climber. It is good for her.
When she was younger I tried to be the overachieving parent who sends their kid to daycare, still does mommy and me classes, and works hours and hours of overtime. I nearly lost my mind. For one thing, there are very few classes for the under 5 set that accommodate a working parents schedule. I don't get this. For one thing, even if mom (or dad) stays home, wouldn't the other working parent want to do stuff on the weekends to bond with their kids? Not to mention, I don't need to do laundry, I have plenty of time to for tiny gym music geniuses right? I kid, but it is rough out there. None of the YMCA's near my house offered much in the way of options for me. The only things that were available, were seriously over priced. The city of Minneapolis does great swim lessons, and we live less than a mile from a city pool, but they offered no swimming lessons on weekends.
I sort of put it out of my mind. Otherwise it was going to drive me crazy. However, now that she is three, we have a number of other options available to us. Now there are dance classes available (including some downtown at Zenon dance company, yay!), as well as a wide variety of park & rec programs. Which is good for us, because the girl needs some lessons on coordination.
I am not graceful. I can climb a tree (I think I still can) and I can ride a bike, and use power tools, but I am not graceful. Not even some ballet as a kid helped that. I can can still walk in to a doorway despite watching where I am going. It is a rare gift, I know. It is a rare gift that I seem to have passed down to my daughter.
After reviewing all of the options, as well as my budget, I signed M up for a toddler tumbling class through the Minneapolis Park Board (love those guys). It started three weeks ago, and we missed two classes already, but we went on Monday. I also signed her up for the follow up class this summer. It is weekedays, around dinner time, but I can pack a snack, and A had dinner on the table when we got home. She loves it. She loves it so much that she asked me on Monday on the way home if she could go back on Tuesday after "workandschool". She loves it so much that I am pretty sure she will be heartbroken when it takes a break for a month inbetween sessions in May/June.
I'm not sure it will actually help her coordination, but her big feet are coming in handy for the balance beam. I knew we had them for a reason. ;)