Monday, April 11, 2011


I don't know why a sheep says "Baa"
So in light of recent face-shoving, I've signed Willow up for Music For Aardvarks, an urban-focused version of your regular neighborhood baby music class.  (Which leads me to--do that many babies really see cows and roosters and sheep on a regular basis?  Why is everything "A cow says moo" and other farm-related activities?  Willow moos when asked what a cow says, but she knows not what a cow is.)  And it was great--she was confident, she interacted calmly with the Head Aardvark and all the little aardvarks.  And while she occasionally came rushing over for a hug or two, generally speaking she was participating and dancing and couldn't really be bothered with what I was doing.  Which is pretty much my parenting goal.

Plus it gave us something to do for a whole morning.

Along those same lines, I needed something to do Saturday morning.  Dave was out of town this weekend, and the whole thirty-six hours of just me and Willow time loomed over me like some kind of thundercloud.  So I booked us a free Gymboree class. 

Let me preface this by saying that the first five minutes there were great.  Willow was climbing all over the slides and tubes and throwing the balls in the baskets and saying hi to the other kids--it was chill and fun and really good for her.  And then class started, and we descended into hell.  If Music For Aardvarks had Willow participating and ignoring me, then Gymboree had her wanting to climb back into my womb.  Instructions were shouted at the kids (and these are quiet little babies, and it was a small space.  Shouting was not called for) and pretty much as soon as they grasped what it was they were supposed to be doing (well, most of the kids.  It being Willow's first time, she never understood a single thing) then they were yelled at to move on and do something else.  We were then instructed to "follow our child's lead" and explore the room, which nobody needed to tell me to do, but then the instructor somehow managed to be everywhere, yelling at Willow or some other poor child to "grab the PURPLE BALL!"  "PUSH the see-saw!" 

After twenty minutes, I was convinced that television and video games and computers are not to blame for the short attention spans and general craziness of children today--it's all Gymboree's fault.  At the end of class, the instructor was all, "Yeah, Willow had a hard time, didn't she?  Well, come back next week, she'll get used to it after a while!"  Lady, I don't want my kid to get used to this.   In fact, I'm having a hard time not following her example and pushing you over by the face. 

So.  To summarize--I do not recommend Gymboree.  The end.


kate said...

Gymbo pretty much sealed the deal for me. And the bubbles smell.

Nikki Van De Car said...

And they get stuck in your hair.

Although--confession, Willow loved Gymbo. We're still playing with the nametags.

Vicki Suan said... Flashback. I hated Gymboree too when I took my oldest when she was a toddler. Hated the instructor, hated the other parents, and felt sorry for the babies. Do they still have the huge parachute thing that they flop/flip up and down and knock the babies around? Horrors! My oldest is now 21 years old.