It all started innocently enough. Last summer, E. was prancing around the house all the time on her tippy toes and kept saying she wanted to be a ballerina.
You all even helped talk me into my decision to sign her up for dance lessons.
And it was love at first jeté.
Since August, we’ve gone to a one-hour ballet/tap class every Wednesday evening at 6. Sure, it’s made Wednesdays more hectic but it’s also been a great carrot to
threaten motivate E. to behave the rest of the week.
Around Christmastime, DadJovi got it into his head that E. was ready for piano lessons. After he initially lied to her piano teacher about her age (she normally doesn’t start taking students until 5 or 6), we fessed up and started a trial period of lessons.
So, every Saturday morning since January, we’ve been taking E. to her 30-minute lessons, and her teacher continues to tell us that she’s doing extremely well. E. still loves going to lessons but is less and less fond of practicing during the week. We’re trying not to push it because we want it to still be something fun at this point, not a chore, but I’m starting to wonder if maybe it’s time to hold off on the lessons for awhile.
And, then, because apparently I wasn’t spending enough time chauffeuring Her Highness around town, we’re just added something new — swim lessons!
Can I just say that this year’s lessons are already 1,000 percent better than last year’s? Last year, we did the infant survival lessons and they were traumatizing for all of us, but especially E.
Her instructor even threw my fully clothed baby into the water to make her float. It was torture, but, when the lessons were done, she was a swimmer and had no residual fear of the water.
I knew she’d probably forgotten a lot from last year’s lessons, so we wanted to get her back in lessons before this summer. I mean, we do live in Florida. There is water EVERYWHERE. I wanted to make sure we could all be comfortable and relaxed around the pool, at the water parks and at the beach this summer. Clearly, she will never be out of our sight but at least I won’t have to tether myself to her.
And my little fish has picked up right where she left off. On her first lesson last week, she was back to jumping into the pool and swimming underwater for at least 10 yards. She’s blowing bubbles, diving for pool toys and starting to float on her back again (her least favorite part of lessons).
This week, her second lesson, she even started learning freestyle. Of course, I’m hoping to pick up some pointers myself since I nearly drowned when I started swimming laps again last summer after many (many, many) years off.
I know the lessons are not only fun for her but they could also be life-saving. But it’s just one more thing to add to our hectic weeks. The lessons are only 15 minutes each, but they start at 6 p.m. That means I bolt out of work at 5, rush to E’s school, pick her up, drive the 20 minutes to lessons, change her there, have the lessons, drive the 20 minutes home, then try to get us all dinner at 6:45/7. Good times.
To recap, that means we now have swim lessons on Tuesday evenings, ballet on Wednesday evenings and piano on Saturday mornings. And she just turned 4.
The ballet will end for the summer in June and we’re currently signed up for 11 weeks of swim lessons. So, conceivably, by mid-June we’ll just be down to piano lessons (maybe). I just need to figure out how I’m going to make it that long. I’m already terrified about the future when she really starts playing sports or joining activities. Do parents just live in their cars? If so, I want a really sweet swagger wagon.
And she better be an Olympian and/or perform at Carnegie Hall by 16. I just saying.
How much is too much when it comes to kids’ activities?
Caroline Calcote says
There have been periods in my kids’ lives when we were definitely overscheduled. I guess I have learned, and now they basically just have karate twice a week, and soccer once a week in the fall. Also, some after-school clubs (like book club). Maybe it’s just the calm before another storm for us, though, because my friends with teenagers are crazy with the activities and the driving around. I just can’t wait until Cal is 16 and can drive himself (and his brother). Of course, I can’t wait, and I’m terrified at the same time. However, I was the oldest kid in my neighborhood growing up, and as soon as I got my license I was conscripted as the neighborhood kid chauffeur. So I definitely plan to do that to Cal also.
I know I’ll probably look back on these days as “calm” someday. I remember all too well having activities/sports every day after school. So I suppose three days a week isn’t so bad. But it feels like a lot some weeks!
Does future Cal do carpooling in the Orlando area too? I may need to hire him!
I definitely can relate, especially with two of them that each have their own activities. Our Tuesday and Wednesday nights are gymnastics and swimming (one night for each kid) – but Brett’s already talking about soccer in the fall, then basketball and ice skating (to eventually play hockey) in the winter… and my head is already spinning. Part of being a mom I guess!
I have been living in fear that E. mentions the “s” word — soccer. I know I probably SHOULD have signed her up for it by now, but I’m just putting it off as long as I can. She also started saying recently she wants to play basketball too. I’m hoping to buy at least another year or two before we get involved with team sports — I can’t quite handle weekly practices PLUS games yet. They really need to lower the driving age in this country as long as your kid is only driving him or herself to practice and sports!