Summer will soon be drawing to a close, and so in many communities, it’s that time again: the time for registering children for their fall and winter activities.
For Stinkerbelle, this is a Very Big Deal. She is coming to an age where she will be soon be able to participate in a whole bunch of new activities, things she has had no exposure to before. Things like dance classes, sports programs, social programs and memberships generally start when a child is 3 or 4, and at almost 2 1/2, Stinkerbelle is going to be able to attend some pre-preschool sorts of things this fall.
She needs to get into some programs. While having a stay-at-home mom is a benefit to lots of kids, one of the drawbacks is that, unless the child’s mom is well connected with friends with children, the kid’s going to spend a lot of time playing alone. Stinkerbelle sure does. So it is time for her to get out and meet new kids and play and socialize.
When we met That Baby, two years ago now, the caregivers we spoke to said she was a very social baby. If she fussed or cried, all they had to do was put her down next to another child and she was as happy as can be. She loves other children, and always has done. So I feel bad that she was saddled with a mom who is old and has few friends with kids her age, and one that is unable to connect with other moms well enough to have playmates for her to visit.
She needs some time with other kids. It’s time.
So I have been spending some time this week looking at what to enroll her in for the fall. I don’t want to overprogram her; as a minor sports coach, I have seen kids who are way overprogrammed by their overly ambitious parents, and it is not pretty. But I do want to find a couple of programs she can attend during the week and have some fun.
First off, we always look at swimming. Stinkerbelle loves swimming (her visit to Grammy and Grandad’s and her reluctance to get in the pool we’ll put down to her being sick). The problem with swimming lessons is the age divisions. When That Baby started swimming lessons, she was a Duck. The Duck age division is something like 1 year to 3 years of age. That means that she has been a Duck for 3 sessions of lessons already, and will be for two more.
Even for a water baby like Stinkerbelle, it’s a bit repetitive.
So we are going to have to find something a little different. I want to keep her swimming, and so maybe a program that combines activities and playtime AND swimming might be in order. Or, maybe we’ll have to just suck it up and be Ducks again this year.
Another option I want to pursue is to enroll her in our local Little Gym. Stinkerbelle really seems to love running and jumping and the like, so maybe a gym class might be something fun for her. It’s also a segue into some gymnastics and dance and karate classes as she grows, if she likes the Little Gym and the environment. So we will probably give it a try.
So, that will be two days a week. That’s pretty good.
We’ve also got some drop-in programs at our Early Years Centre, as well as offered by the various social programs in town, that we could look into. I am hopeful that some of these might appeal to us as well. That way, when it is getting colder and we are feeling housebound, we can get out of the house and play for a couple of hours.
What we really need is a regular, reliable playdate, for some fun, unstructured playtime. Our weekly playdates will be ending shortly as Stinkerbelle’s little buddy will be going to daycare and his mom off to work, so we won’t have that time to get out and play as we are used to. So, that’s something I am going to have to work on.
Soon, I am also going to have to find some structured programs for That Baby where I just drop her off for a morning or two somewhere. You know, something preschool-like. Gah. Can time be flying that quickly, that we’re soon going to have to start thinking about preschool? Well, not this year, but this time next year, she’ll be 3 and it will be time. So we have to start looking to reserve a spot.
That prospect intimidates me to no end. And saddens me. Our time with Stinkerbelle as a baby seems to have gone by so fast. Too fast. And when I think of the fact that there probably won’t ever be another baby in our house…
Excuse me. I have something in my EYE.
In the meantime, I have to continue to find things for That Baby to do in the fall and winter. She will have a busy social life — certainly moreso than her mom, at this rate.
I can’t lie — I am comforted by the fact that we still have to plan her social life around naptime. My baby is still a baby for a little bit longer.