Monday, March 9, 2009


I don't get how child events are scheduled. Every day care I spoke to when I was still working had set nap time for toddlers starting around 11:30 or noon and lasting 2-3 hours.

If this is the 'institutional norm' for nap time WHY are all child events scheduled precisely at that time? It's not like my child is unusual in being unavailabe from 11 to 1 or 2. When exactly do event planners think kids are sleeping? Or is it that they actually want cranky and annoyed tyrants running loose through their facility biting at will and refusing to share?

We are at a stage where the babeola is bored at home. She's going through an intense motor go-go-go phase and, just in case we weren't having enough fun, she is teething which makes her edgy. The only solution? I have to keep us busy outside of the house. Since all the kid events are during her nap time, I'm stuck going from one store to another and letting her run loose. With the result that I end up spending money I don't have on things I don't need because I like bright and shiny objects. Coincidentally, stores are full of the bright and shiny. Have you noticed that? Yeah, that serendipity is crazy.

So I signed us up for Gymboree making my crossover to the mommy consumer dark side. I think all I need now is a soccer sticker on the minivan, some mom jeans, and a Katie Holmes bob.

On the one hand, the play gym is awesome. I want to play on it and am disappointed they didn't think to make the maximum weight limit 'mommy'. One the other hand, the brand brainwashing is over-the-top. To wit, one poster gives this recipe for fun:

One baby
One adorable Gymboree outfit
With a Gymboree play and learn class

The music also uses the word Gymboree liberally, like a whole shaker of salt in your eggs.  They even pepper traditional rhymes and finger plays with Gymboree. Did you know the Old Duke of York loves Gymboree? It does kind of set my teeth on edge after an hour and I have to resist the urge to act like a sarcastic robot and chant 'Gymboree, Gymboree' over and over again.  Note that this urge hit during our first class ever which says something, probably not good, about the Gymboree marketing plan.

But it keeps me out of the stores and the babeola has a wonderland of fantastic slides and climbing walls to explore. However, Gymboree is expensive* and we can't go everyday, so I'm still going to spend some time cruising the malls. I'm actually sitting down now and making a schedule, trying to pair up errands with the need to get the babeola out of the house. This week looks something like this...

Monday: Mall, Neighbor girls come over to play
Tuesday: Target (usually we have music class, but this is Spring Break week)
Wednesday: Gymboree Art, Neighbor girls come over to play
Thursday: Do a price check at a new grocery store, Gymboree open gym (free with membership)
Friday: Grocery shopping, Gymboree open gym (free with membership)
Saturday: Gymboree Play and learn with Daddy (leaving mommy to sleep in and lounge)

I know everyone says be careful what you wish for, but I am really looking forward to the babeola being more verbal and being able to keep her busy with at-home activities. In truth, I am a homebody and would happily nest all day, every day in the house. So this go-go-go stuff is killing me!

*We have hit the grandparents up for a Gymboree donation. Yes, I am shameless. I am panhandling for Gymboree.

OH! And unrelated to the topic, my writing buddy has her official website up. Go check it out if you have a chance.


Midwest Mommy said...

I have heard great things about it but I have also heard how darn expensive it is.

Amy said...

Let her play at the mcdonalds, artic circle, carls, etc playlands for free.

Motherhood for the Weak said...

Amy: Her motor skills aren't ready for McDonalds and the germ factor squicks me out a bit.


Jenners said...

We did Gymboree back in the day and it was great ... though do they still have that Gymbo clown puppet thing? My son loved it and was scared of it at the same time. It was a bit of a lifesaver for the reasons you described and I made friends from the classes who had kids the same age as me, which was a lifesaver for me, honestly. And I know they are expensive clothes, but they wear better than any other clothes I have ever gotten -- and they last forever as far as size -- not sure how they do it but my son has been able to wear Gymboree clothes (purchased with those Gymbucks of course) for much longer than other brands. I do believe in the program even though their marketing is a bit heavy-handed. Can't beat the safe play environment for children that age.

Motherhood for the Weak said...

Yes, they still have Jimbo. I am not surprised some kids are afraid of him. I had a little clown phobia flashback myself when I saw him.

I do like Gymboree clothes alot. They are just expensive. True story, when I was pregnant, I got some super great deals on the sale rack which make me think they were a medium price point clothing store. I went back and bought 2 things that weren't on sale and my jaw dropped when it rang up to $60.