Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I'm going to miss the little bugger

Gabe starts preschool next Wednesday (SOB), which deserves a post unto itself, but there's been a lot of questions from moms around my neighborhood about what activities Gabe will be participating in this Fall. Now, Gabe's preschool is (unfortunately, in my opinion) five days a week. I would have been thrilled with 3 or even 4 days a week, but the school only offers a 5 day a week option, and the school is amazing, so we're going to do it. Given the fact that we're going from no days a week of school since March (!!!), I'm slightly worried about the transition to 5 days a week.

On the one hand, I think he'll be fine, because Gabe always surprises me. He's more ready for life changes than I ever am. On the other hand, I think he is going to be Exhausted, with a capital E. I suspect we are going to have a resurgence of nap love and perhaps some grumpy days.

All of this led me to the decision that we aren't signing up for any additional activities because honestly, isn't 5 days of school sufficient? He is still only 3, for goodness sake! My thoughts on this, however, are clearly unpopular with several of my friends. Today one of these girlfriends told me her son is taking 3 classes in addition to his preschool- soccer, swimming, and t-ball. Another friend is putting her son in an activity every single afternoon, in addition to 5 days of school!

Is it me or does this sound insane to you? I get tired just thinking about doing this much driving.

I am considering maybe signing up for one class, after I see that Gabe is firmly and comfortably settled into the school schedule. I'm thinking perhaps by October, if I see that he is ready or interested in something else, then we'll look into one class. ONE CLASS. Not 3 or 5 or 7.

Now, if I thought my friends were horrified when I mentioned that we weren't signing him up for any classes, you should have heard what they said when I told them what classes Josh and I were considering for Gabe. Dance. Not just any dance, but a series of different dance classes that includes ballet. GASP! Yes, I was told today that ballet is inappropriate for boys. And that they'd never put their son in any dance classes, and even if they wanted to, their husbands would forbid it. In fact, I may actually "make him gay".

Hee! I'm still chuckling over that one.

I'm less worried about Gabe taking ballet than I am with the fact that Josie is OBSESSED with Rod Stewart. Obsessed. Every time she hears a Rod Stewart song she proclaims from the back seat, "I yike dis song!" This is her absolute favorite song, oddly appropriate, I thought.

So what do you think? Yay or nay on the ballet front?


Anonymous said...

Wow. People are really saying it's "inappropriate" for a boy to take a dance class? Dude, you need new friends!

Of course he should take dance if he wants to dance! Including ballet!

What homophobic poppycock.

Lasha said...

Ballet sounds like a great idea! I can't believe people can be so close-minded about what boys should do. Sheesh!

And I'm with you on the activities thing. Luckily, we had a lot of choice with Will's preschool, so she's only going 2 mornings a weeks. Then we've added swimming and a Saturday ballet class. But I count her preschool as activities, so 5 days a week would definitely cover that.

Anonymous said...

I say YAY. Two words: Mikhail Baryshnikov

zeebah said...

Oh my gosh. What ridiculous people! Of course Gabe should take dance!

And though my girls are not even a year yet, I agree with you. That many activities is crazy for kids so small. They need some unstructured time too!!

PS- At least it's Rod Stewart as a whole. My friend's daughter is nearly 2 and insists on listening to Pie-cess (Pineapple Princess) several times a day.

Anonymous said...

Five days a week for preschool for a 3 year old and a SAHM is ridiculous - disgraceful really. What is it that this school is doing for a 3 year old that you can't provide yourself? As for the other moms who have their kids involved in the other programs - it's great. The kids learn to cooperate with other kids, take instruction from an adult other than a parent, learn things they are typically not doing in a preschool setting (sports, real art, etc.), they are socializing. These extracurriculars are really more beneficial than preschool to kids at this early age and if involved in these programs preschool is really unnecessary if you're willing to take 15 minutes a day to do songs, numbers, letters and read with your child. As a SAHM you should have that amount of time. As a PhD in Education I have tried all types of preschools w/ my 5 children and have found them all to be a waste of time and money. We homeschool now and my kids are involved in so many extracurriculars and are so far beyond their same age friends that attend school - it's astounding. In our state the equivalent time a tutor is required for a child who cannot attend elementary school due to illness or injury is 2 hours a day - b/c that is all the time spent on academics in the elementary setting - the rest of the day is discipline, specials, bathroom, lunch and recess. Makes you think...

divrchk said...

There's a boy in my daughter's ballet and tap class and one of the teachers assistants is a teenage boy.

Chatty Cricket said...

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. Please point out to these people how many PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYERS take ballet? To improve their coordination? NO LIE.

We let the kids pick their activities honestly, and if Mister came to me and told me that he wanted to dance, guess what he'd be doing?

(ps- OMG do you have a troll? does this mean you've MADE IT as a blogger? I think it does. I'm jealous!)

Anonymous said...

I have to throw in my two cents. (Mostly this is sparked by anonymous's comments....)

I was a stay at home mom until this week, and my kids (now 3rd and 1st grade) both went to 5 day a week preschool. And it was far from being a disgraceful waste of time. (Did you really write disgraceful??? Judge much???) In fact, they absolutely thrived!

Could I have provided 15 minutes a day of reading to them, etc? Of course, and I did, and most stay at home moms do. To the tune of FAR more quality interactions than fifteen minutes a day, by the way. That's why we are stay at home moms, after all.

But, the "academic" enrichment wasn't the reason for putting my kids in preschool. And it wasn't so I could sit around on my butt either. It was so they could have long-term relationships with other kids their age, and time for unstructured play with a diverse sampling of other kids. And, when I enrolled my oldest, it was so I could have some one-on-one time with my youngest.

Unstructured playtime is very important for child development, and I don't think it's quite the same as enrolling in a structured class (though those can be great too!). I also enrolled them in preschool so they could develop long term positive relationships with other loving adults besides their parents.

Of course, it's important to choose the preschool carefully, but in our experience five days a week wasn't overkill. They thrived. And, I think we did a few extra class-type activities, but they were really very much led by what the kids expressed an interest in.

I'm not saying you *have* to do preschool if you're a stay at home mom. There can be excellent reasons to either do it or not do it. The main point is that you know your kids, and you have a good sense of what will work for them. And if you are going based on that, then it will all work out.

And finally, I firmly believe kids should follow their passions, be they ballet or music or polka or whatever.

Sorry to get on my soap box.

You sound like you're an awesome mom, and you should just follow your gut.

--Neighbor Lady

Sugar & Spice said...

Seriously, I would think that "anonymous" having a PhD in Education would understand the benifit of preschool no matter what age. If we could afford preschool for my 3 yr she would be going this year.

The ballet comment made me laugh. My oldest took ballet last year and there were a few little boys that were in her recitial. IT's just to cute to see the boys dance, just as much as the girls. I don't think there should be sterotypes on that kind of stuff for boys or girls.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Ballet! Cool! My boys are all sports all the way. Sean starts the class "before" hockey (to learn to skate), in October. He's wicked excited.

How's pre-school going?