Extra-murals and activities are for the birds

I have stopped punishing myself and Aiden and Jonathan and the world.

We no longer enrol in Art n Move, Einsteinz Music, Gymbaroo, Playball, and all the other money-making garbage out there that sucks you in to thinking your kids enjoy it and you need it for structure in your own week.

The reality is that not all kids are into it and that as a parent you ended up working harder in the 45 minute class than you’ve worked in your life.

I thought, hey if I’m dropping +$300 for a term of 8 classes, I am going to sit back and chill with my newborn while the teachers deal with Aiden at all during the class.

I was so wrong. They expect you to “be involved” and “encourage” your toddler, blah blah blah. What a load of nonsense! What are we paying for then?

Every time we got the door at Art n Move Aiden would go nuts and try to lift the wooden latch so as to usher all the other kids out of the classroom like the Pide Piper. Not to mention that I had to carry Aiden on my back and push Jon Jon in the single pram because the structural facilities of the venue lacked a path wide enough for a double pram – insane.

On one occasion where Lance had taken Aiden to the class without me – the teacher actually had the audacity to convey to Lance that the reason for Aiden’s ill-ended response to the classes was because of ME! What did they expect of me when I had a 2 week old with me who needed to be fed and changed during the class – what the hell was I paying for anyway? Needless to say that Aiden failed to complete the course because I pulled him out and was 3 lessons short of obtaining a degree in finger painting and stencil drawing.

Don’t get me started on the gymbaroo, where I thought the whole point was for the kids to burn off all their energy on the equipment while you relax with a coffee on the side – not the case at all.

They expect 20 almost 2-year-olds to sit silently for “mat time” for a good 20 minutes listening to an almost inaudible story being read to them and then dance to some pre-recorded kids music from the early 80s – Aiden always barred mat time with his mate Hamish and decided instead to get his full money#39;s worth on the slide and trampoline – and so right he was!

As for the Music class, Aiden loved the first few until he and I realized that we couldn’t bring our coffees into the room and that drum-time and actual contact with any musical instruments was limited to the last 1 minute of the class – bummer.

So from all these lessons – what have I learnt?;Well, that my kid is not the type to sit quietly and listen without putting up a fight and getting his own way and making himself heard when he’s not having fun. Wonder where he gets it from!


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