So, aside from preschool I've done a really great job of avoiding activities. No Gymboree, no Kindermusik, no art classes, none of that crap. We do that stuff at home, we go to the park (not nearly often enough, because I hate the park), we sometimes make it to library story time.
I don't really like being in a room full of strangers. I don't like having to sing songs and do dances. I don't like parenting under the supervision of an unnaturally cheerful young person. I kind of wanted something for the girls to wear themselves out doing, while I sat and knitted and watched them with absent-minded affection. I really, really hoped this gymnastics class I enrolled them in was going to be that.
Yeah, it wasn't. It was me running around after them as they went around an obstacle course of padded blocks and balance beams and trampolines, and having to small talk with strangers. HATED it. It was exactly like I imagined such activities would be. Bunch of kids who've done this same class over and over again for a year and feel a very strong sense of entitlement toward the equipment which seems to extend to their parents, some of whom stood benignly smiling as their little angels took their sweet-assed time, while my girls salivated for their chance and I passive-aggressively repeated over and over "Just be patient, it'll be our turn soon".
Also, Maggie's not so much for following rules. Or taking turns. Or waiting in lines. Or listening, or being good. Or any kind of forward somersaulting, either. When I wasn't feeling frustrated by having to wait for Princess Yogapants to finish her Olympic trampoline routine so my kids could take one quick jump before moving on to let someone else have a turn, I was feeling intense shame over Maggie's total disregard for authority.
Molly, on the other hand, was awesome. You know why? Preschool, that's why. Well, that and a shyness so crippling that public misbehavior is almost physically impossible.
What really sucks, for me, is that they both really loved it and I'm probably going to have to do this again and again until they learn to drive. This is not my area of parenting expertise, and I really don't even want it to be.