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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:31 am 
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i plan to start ASL around 8-9months because it worked wonders for my eldest... and maybe swim lessons next fall around a your old.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:37 am 
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That's cool Stuck! How did it work wonders for your son?

I definitely notice that L's communication was kickstarted (she still doesn't say words clearly though we can recognize some) and we avoid a lot of upsets bc she can sign to us for what she wants and at least has the experience of us "getting" her communication.

I'll probably do another ASL class...

Does anyone know if there are any significant benefits to music? I like music but its kind of daunting how much all these baby classes cost.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:23 am 
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W haven't done any classes. I sometimes feel guilty about it, but it is really expensive. Luckily, we can play outside everyday since it isn't very cold, so I feel like we have a different experience. I am going to try and start taking him to the library for stuff, but the programs are almost always during his nap time. I swear there is not a single class in the afternoon!


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:30 am 
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I should clarify that by "classes" I also meant playgroups, which I get the feeling most of you do a lot before your kids are a year old. We just haven't felt like it was worth the effort to meet other people with babies here since we've always known we'd be moving when she's a year old. Plus we're introverted homebodies... Scarlett spends tons of time around other adults (I take her with me to classes and midwife-related events, meetings, etc. and just hanging out with friends all the time) but I don't know how important it is for her to spend time with other babies at this age.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:30 am 
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We don't do classes either! We do storytime at the library, and free building workshops at the home improvement store. We do the park a ton, playdates woth friends, plus lots of soccer and school events with Shae. Classes are expensive! I'm sure they are fun, but definetly not necessary at all. Shae didn't do any of that stuff until he started sports at he 4 and he is the most social, well adjusted kid ever.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:37 am 
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We just gave up on our music class with the possibility of joining Gymboree instead (priced similarly for classes, but gymboree has open hours so Mr. A can take Malka to play in a safe indoor space over the winter). Their music is much worse, but Malka likes to climb and jump!

The music classes were actually great when Malka was like 4-9 months old - yeah, she ate the instruments, but she also played them, danced, crawled to other kids and vaguely interacted, was in love with the instructor, loved when we played with scarves or danced, etc. We also don't have a piano at home so after our class before the next people came in I would sit with her at the piano and play (not strictly permitted, but f that). Once she started walking, music class became really tough because it was all about stealing other kids' instruments or wandering away from the circle. And now she has become slow to warm up, so it's like 15 minutes of her sitting in my lap being nervous, then 10 minutes of standing in the middle of the circle standing completely still, and the rest of the class is about stealing other kids' instruments. Her participation in the class has just plummeted.

The thing about music class is that it's supposed to develop their musical ear/intuition - this to me is valuable enough in itself because she comes from a family of musicians, but musical ability is connected to language and math skills, too. Since she also comes from a family of math and language oriented people, I'm not afraid that she'll be behind in any of these things, but I don't mind exposing her to things that will support those things developing. The best thing about our music class is that there's real attention to using music that uses a variety of time signatures, speeds, modes/scales - it may be a little harder to recreate that at home because popular music doesn't have much variety in modes/scales especially, but if you listen to music from a variety of countries and time periods at home, you'll get most of that. We also would get a new CD every 9 weeks and get a new repertoire of 20 or so songs, with a focus on different themes each time, and always including a lot of early Americana, which I appreciated.

Still, at $20+ for a 45 minute class...

Mr. A keeps thinking of signing up for a swim class at our gym (fairly cheap after gym membership), but it hasn't happened yet. He goes swimming with her on his own anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:11 am 
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My asparagus would be a lot less chapped over the $20/class figure if they weren't all parent participation. Hold it next to Trader Joe's and let me ditch the scene while I go on a quick grocery run and I would sign up for a million of the things.

The y is a little more affordable, but if we do My Gym + Music Class + Swim Class 2x/wk, it's going to be close to $300/month. That's more than my husband's grad school tuition in Amsterdam, for a comparison.. ;)

There are occasionally really good deals on groupon and living social, though. One place nearby was offering unlimited music classes from sept. through the end of the year for $70, and I dithered about signing up for it and then regretted not doing so for months.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:18 am 
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Ha! See, half of the reason we signed up for a class in the first place was because of my parental guilt over not knowing how to engage purposefully with Malka or ever planning anything for us to actually *do* when I was with her. I would feel differently I'm sure if I had to entertain the kid every day on my own, but I was trying to create some "quality time."


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:28 pm 
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confession: Dahlia is 3.5 and has never been to classes of any kind. A major factor has been $ of course, and the fact that we live in a total industrial wasteland that requires a car to take her over to yuppie Williamsburg where all of the too expensive classes are. And for some friggin reason all of the free events are always during her naptime which we have learned never ever to mess with (possibly the reason she still takes good daily naps!)

We take her to the park every damn day unless its under 20 degrees but she doesn't get a lot of socialization at all. Thing is, I'm just not that worried about it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:39 pm 
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We actually did more when Walter was less than a year than we do now. When he was a baby, and basically just a blob of needs, I was so lonely and bored we had to get out and do something everyday for my mental health. We went to several story times, free music at a cloth diaper store, LLL and new mom meetups at the hospital, lunch at a cafe, swim lessons... We did everything. It also didn't matter much when we were out because we didn't have a strict nap schedule; he just napped whenever he could.

Now that he's two all we do is music once a week (we go to Music Together--anybody else do that one?) and he has preschool Wednedsay mornings. We go to the library on our own every few weeks to get books, and we go grocery shopping, the playground, the bakery, and sometimes to the children's museum, but 1-3 days a week we just walk the dog and putter around at home. Two days a week with something scheduled is plenty; I like our flexibility. Now that Walter is an actual child with a personality and some language, spending the day with him doesn't feel lonely, so I don't feel the need to go out and meet other adults. Also now that he's only napping once, a badly timed car or stroller ride can screw me out of an afternoon nap/alone time, and almost nothing is worth forfeiting that.

Music is pretty expensive, but it's Walter's favorite thing, so it's worth it for us. He sings the songs all the time at home. If he weren't into it, I wouldn't fork over that much money for a class. We dropped swimming, for example, because I hated it and he was ambivalent. Oh, and we never have scheduled play dates with other kids because whenever I get the sense that a mom wants to be my friend I become terrified and never call them back.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:00 pm 
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We did Music Together.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:22 pm 
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@Tofulish : He didnt talk til he was 2.5yrs old. And we started ASL at 18months (should've started wayyy earlier!) and he could sign what he wanted within a month. Made things much easier!

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:04 pm 
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mittenmacher wrote:
Oh, and we never have scheduled play dates with other kids because whenever I get the sense that a mom wants to be my friend I become terrified and never call them back.


Lard, you sound like me. I really wish we lived closer together.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:30 pm 
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flavabean wrote:
mittenmacher wrote:
Oh, and we never have scheduled play dates with other kids because whenever I get the sense that a mom wants to be my friend I become terrified and never call them back.


Lard, you sound like me. I really wish we lived closer together.

Totally me too.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:48 pm 
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W used to have a more scheduled life and do things with other moms constantly. Monday we had a play group, Tuesday was a moms group, the rest of the week we made plans to hang out with other moms. I, too, was super lonely and needed the companionship. Even thou Grey isn't talking yet, I feel a lot less lonely. We also have a great tiny park in our neighborhood, I see people I know there often. I try to get together for organized play dates concerned or twice a week. Today we are going hiking with three other kids/moms.

I agree with annak. If I could pay $20 for 45 minutes and someone would watch Grey, awesome, I would do it. But to pay that much and have to hover? Ugh. I would rather gt my babysitter to watch him for two hours.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:00 pm 
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mittenmacher wrote:
We actually did more when Walter was less than a year than we do now. When he was a baby, and basically just a blob of needs, I was so lonely and bored we had to get out and do something everyday for my mental health..


This is exactly why we're doing swimming. Also the price is way more reasonable than most mom/baby classes. (leading me to fear pool scruzziness, but oh well).


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:04 pm 
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poopiebitch wrote:
flavabean wrote:
mittenmacher wrote:
Oh, and we never have scheduled play dates with other kids because whenever I get the sense that a mom wants to be my friend I become terrified and never call them back.


Lard, you sound like me. I really wish we lived closer together.

Totally me too.


Same. And my partner is even worse.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:21 pm 
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I figured I wouldn't have to pay for music if I set up a weekly dance party. I just got it set up and we have 10 moms attending! Apparently everyone is looking to have a fun time out of the house with their kiddos. We're going to rotate who hosts, and make it really simple to start - just throw on a CD and dance. If it goes well, I'd like to have every mom pick a song and lead us so we can do something a bit more organized. I got buy in from a few of the prettiest and most popular moms, so hopefully my little event will do well. Mom's group is like middle school except now I have better management and social skills, heh!

I figure if I do ASL 1x a week and Toddler Dance Party 1x a week, I can do another playdate or a library reading date and that means Leela doesn't get stuck indoors all winter and I don't spend too much money.

Thanks for sharing your experience, stuck. I think its so amazing to watch them start to use the signs confidently. Today Leela was trying to get another kid to give her a bagel, so she was signing "milk" at the other kid.

I would still be so thrilled if our playdates never had snacks. Todays was so fun, but it was exactly between breakfast and dinner and people still brought bagels, cheese, cheerios, crackers, cookies etc. So of course Leela is running around begging for food. I can barely keep her off other people's sippy cups, which I do because so many kids have colds around now. I can't imagine how much it would suck to have a kiddo with allergies.

poopiebitch wrote:
flavabean wrote:
mittenmacher wrote:
Oh, and we never have scheduled play dates with other kids because whenever I get the sense that a mom wants to be my friend I become terrified and never call them back.


Lard, you sound like me. I really wish we lived closer together.

Totally me too.


It would be great if we all lived close to each other and never called one another :) I have a ton of social anxiety, but I manage and mask it. Its one of my therapy wins :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:33 pm 
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littlebear wrote:
W used to have a more scheduled life and do things with other moms constantly.


Took me like 3 minutes to figure out that W was a typo for "we". I was thinking "who is W?". Things are funnier when you're tired.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:44 pm 
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We have been doing swim class with Sven since he was about 3 months. Until 6 months they were free, and then we paid for a few sessions. They are ungodly expensive, but I felt really strongly that Sven become comfortable with the water, and they did just that. Now that he adores water, can hold his breath under water, and takes showers with us and all that, I feel like I might take a break from swim classes and save some money. We spend so much time at the city pools in the summer that I can basically do the same thing on my own now.

We're considering a music class. I'm trying to talk my husband into doing it with Sven on the weekend, but he's a hard sell. It's called "Wee Rock" and it's more contemporary. We did a trial class of Music Together but it was terrible! The instructor was a major airhead hippie type and it was held at a nursing home with a captive audience of unimpressed seniors. The class we are considering is kind of pricey but I feel like music is so important for all the reasons Ariann mentioned. And I'm just so terrible at exposing Sven to music at home! I always forget to put it on in the background. I worry he is growing up in silence.

When Sven was younger and less interactive I definitely did a lot of things just to get out of the house and keep my sanity and try to meet people. Now that I've found some mom friends and we have play dates I feel like I can be more selective with our outings. Occasionally we'll do story time at the bookstore or library, but I find that kind of stuff pretty overwhelming.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:49 pm 
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I really love these for the music. And Carlos loves them too: http://www.amazon.com/Classical-Baby-3- ... B0009WPKYA We play them in the morning during jumperoo time.

We do a music class, but it is more for the fun and cuteness. I think it is a really good class though. We were doing a swim class, but it was too hard to go because it was so early. That was also a good class, but we only managed to make it there once!


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:56 pm 
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stuckunderhere wrote:
@Tofulish : He didnt talk til he was 2.5yrs old. And we started ASL at 18months (should've started wayyy earlier!) and he could sign what he wanted within a month. Made things much easier!


We had nearly the same experience with Silas! Except I signed with him as an infant and he knew a few signs that he stopped using after a little while. ASL was a life saver for us.

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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:58 pm 
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We take a music class (I thought I posted here, but it seems to have disappeared). We've been doing it since Freya was about 5 or 6 months. It's a class that I took with my nanny girls, and Freya now too *loves* it! On their website, they have promotional videos and she gets excited watching them even! (Its' this place, ridiculously upper middle class, but fun as all get-out: www.monkeymusic.co.uk).

We've been to a couple of playgroups, but haven't found one that is a great fit yet. The times are killer for us, as Freya's napped twice a day since she was teeny. We had one group we liked for awhile that we could push her nap around a bit for, but the moms were so very different than I that we never really connected with anyone, and then there was one mom who would always move her son away from Freya! Sigh. We're going to try again at another place next week I think.

Going to try a taster session of Sing and Sing too, but would rather mix it up than have two music classes, so will choose between them. Also like this session at our local health club called "Creepy Crawlies" with all sorts of large muscle stuff, but have to plan carefully to get thee because of naps.

Need to figure out swimming too. I wasn't able to go myself when she was teeny because of post-birth issues, then sorta lost track of it. Hoping that it's not too late now for her to be unafraid of the water.

We keep busy, but I feel like we need a bit more socialization with other kids sometimes.


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:59 pm 
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Always with the fooood, food, food!! Our baby gym just announced a parents' night out for 14mo+, no potty training necessary. YESSS!!! Except it's a pizza party, so that involves explaining veganism, bringing alternative food if it's allowed, and hoping they keep her away from other kids' pizza... and the $35/kid includes the cost of pizza I'm sure so for 4 hours it's not THAT much cheaper than just getting a babysitter (OK, a sitter for the equivalent time would be like $60 with tip, but our house is more centrally located than all the baby stuff out in bufu suburbia).


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 Post subject: Re: The Playground randomness thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:08 pm 
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Vi sounds like she is less obsessed by food than Leela is, so maybe you can keep her off the pizza, I couldn't do it with Leela. I swear Leela was a dog in a past life because I have never seen any other animal be able to locate food so quickly. I can't tell how she does it, but she finds food way before its even out. Its like heeeeeeeey where is she going - oh to steal that kid's cookie. Or pull their sippy cup away. Or eat all their cheerios. Or see if she can push them off the nipple and BF from their moms. I swear you'd think we starve her.

We were invited to a kid's party with pizza, and I fed her beforehand, brought snacks and fed her veggies constantly, but she still ended up snagging a slice of pizza and running away from me while eating the cheese off. I'm just glad it wasn't pepperoni.

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