Can I Ask A Quick Question?

I’m wondering if I’m a crack mom for not enrolling Toots in any classes this year.
Last summer, we tried ballet, and she’s been on and off in Gymstars…but have there been any classes you’ve put your kids in that you’ve loved and/or that taught them discipline and to stop talking about killing things?


Maybe karate or judo? Archery?


Have you heard of AWANA? Should I do that?


Also, why do I think that t-ball is demonic (it seems so Stepford)? Is this a pre-conceived notion? And, is soccer all it’s cracked up to be?


I don’t want to over-enroll her, just pick a class or two for this summer. I’m not asking for much. I just want a class that will shape the person she is to become. One that will teach her teamwork and to love others and to build the foundation for her to possibly invent something that will make me a lot of money (Tinkertoys? But that teaches building stuff, right? Which wouldn’t be bad, I guess. As long as it molds her into a real estate mogul. And Tinkertoys isn’t even a class, I know that. And I’m kidding about the real estate mogul and inventor stuff. I’d be so happy if she became a writer. As long as she was famous and well-paid. Just kidding. Pretty muchish.). I don’t know. Also, I’m considering a class that teaches her to stay afloat.


I suppose swimming ought to be on my list.


Either way, any classes that’ve really wowed you and your 4- or 5-year-old? (Are there acting classes for four-year-olds?)


I guess that’s all. Thanks for letting me pump your mommy brains.


p.s. And to help you guide me in better running my child’s life, here is some important extra information that may be relevant:


She was born in the sign of wa-ter and it’s there that she feels her best. The albatross and the whale, they are her brother. (Sorry, every now and then the Little River Band assumes my identity.)


She often trips when walking.


She is social.


She is an alpha female.


She enjoys chocolate. A lot.


She obsesses about witches eating her face.


She is Toots. Hear her roar.


No really, I’m sorry. Seriously? My sinus infection is unresponsive to antibiotics and my snot is still chunky and yellow and while I joked about it before, I really think it’s eating my brain. For reals.


Please ignore that last sentence and just focus on my original question. I forget what it was.


20 thoughts on “Can I Ask A Quick Question?

  1. let’s see. around that age, both my boys played soccer and took swimming lessons.

    i’ve always thought t-ball was demonic — selfish of me, but the games and practices take SO SO LONG compared to soccer games and practices…

  2. When I was around that age, I enjoyed tumbling/gymnastics and swimming lessons. My little brother was on a t-ball team when he was five, but losing every week traumatized him. (That was back in the 80s, before they started giving trophies to everyone just for participating.) :)

  3. My girls started swimming and gymnastics at that age. Both are now great swimmers (ages 6 and 8). They love gymnastics and I love it – teaches them discipline and is very good for their self esteem. They do all kinds of things on the floor and on the bars that I could never do. Highly impressive.

  4. Thank you for the great feedback so far!!!

    RE: swimming — did you do private or group lessons?

    Thanks again!!!

  5. I’m always partial to swimming as it totally wears kids out. I loved gymnastics at age 4 (and for the next 8 years), but at a real studio, not Gymsters… maybe your daughter would like that better?

  6. We don’t have a lot of options here, unless I want to travel 20-30 min one way. I think there’s soccer but w/o child care for H, I’d have to drag him along.

    Swimming is always a good idea, IMO, but a 4 yr old might be young for actual swimming (but water awareness, play, etc. would be good).

    We did Kindermusik in Erie and loved it.

  7. first of all, there’s no need to pressure yourself about finding the perfect class for a 4 yo. at that age, we were just trying to get some social interaction for jake. i absolutely refuse to overschedule him. last year at 4 turning 5, he didn’t take any classes, but he rode his dirtbike all summer.

    this year, he’s taking piano, a constant, and we have a succession of 1/2 day “camps” in stuff he’s interested in (soccer, swimming, little scientists). i think at 4, anything you think could give a good social experience is great, and the activity is secondary. there may be some that disagree, but that’s what’s worked for us.

    and after all that, there’s always benadryl. JUST KIDDING!

  8. We enrolled both boys in group swimming lessons. That said, my older son would probably have done better (learned faster) in private lessons. He got too distracted in a group setting. My younger son, however, did great in the group. (In my town, there are typically 8 kids and 2 teachers in a group.)

  9. First of all, I think your mucus and my infected lips are cousins. Ugchk.

    My kids took swimming lessons at Murray Callan Swim School in PB. It’s a big commitment (especially during the summer at 3 x a week) but that place is amazing! My kids (yes, I’m bragging) were swimming solo before they were two. They LOVE the water and do all sorts of tricks. I fully owe it to Murray Callan. Not the guy, he’s probably dead, but the school.

  10. I would only put here in a class if YOU need her to do something, or she’s asking to do something. Swim lessons are de riguer in San Diego, but other than that there’s plenty of time later for that stuff. If you start her too soon you’ll be tired of it by the time it really starts to matter to her.

  11. Swimming is a valuable skill and the water safety issues…well, you know what I’m getting at. Pt. Loma’s Y has a great pool and swim classes. I love that location, too.

    Why not some cooking for kids classes? Chocolate and skills.

    Summer should be fun and free and loose. All too soon she’ll be stuck in a classroom and all that structure. Have fun and let her heart find its passion through play.

  12. Swimming seems the popular choice. I have to say I put my boy/girl twins on a tball team when they were in kindergarten with all the neighborhood kids and one of the dads coached – it was the single most hilarious thing we ever did. NO ONE could catch. Most could throw with no sense of direction. Everyone got a hit b/c no one could stop the ball. They made 1 out the entire season and the parents went wild like they won the world series. But unless you have a ton of parents you want to hang out with FOR HOURS, I’d skip the t-ball…”ballet” for little tykes is hilarious, too. I didn’t sign my kids up for anything in the summers when they were little (except swimming). They seem to be ok at 15…just do what’s fun!

  13. I think all kids should learn to swim, but as an answer, not sure that will do it! I enrolled our unruly, ADHD child in Tai Kwan Do and he loved it for a while and did develop more focus(of course it will also teach her how to kill effectively and perhaps force you to register her hands and feet as lethal weapons). What about dance? Not ballet, but other kinds? I’ve never explored dance for little girls (or boys) but if it was something more upbeat and faster than ballet – jazz, native, hula, whatever. What about the local city or YMCA publications they send out in the mail? They have tons of Summer classes you may not have thought of. Of course she is only 4, so you don’t have to stress too much just yet!
    I’m also reminiscing about t-ball. Our same ADHD was in t-ball and it was hysterical. He would run towards the base and slide about 1/4 way there, realize he still had a long way to go, get up, slide again, etc. until he made it to the base. In the outfield he would rub grass on his knees and watch the ball go by. You might want to do it for the entertainment value!

  14. My son hated Karate, Soccer and swimming so I have no advice for you except that I am keeping my fingers crossed that Sea World Camp this summer will fit the bill. Good Luck!

  15. two pieces of advice–
    don’t enroll her in something because you feel like you have to. AND, enroll her in something is convenient for you.
    at her age, she isn’t really going to be able to grasp the idea of a team sport yet. i have a friend who is a physical education teacher and doesn’t recommend enrolling children in team sports until they’re close to, or in their teens. of course, that didn’t stop me from enrolling my 4yo in flag football. during which he complains by saying, “can i have a snaaaack?” and “i’m thirstyyyy…” and has no interest in the sport whatsoever. but at least it’s SOMETHING TO DO every saturday afternoon. now that i have provided no help whatsoever, good luck! and whatever decision you make is the right one. ;)

  16. I agree wholeheartedly with the above commenter. I believe there is a place for activities and sports where there is a genuine interest, but our rule is one activity per season if it is once a week. If it is bi-weekly we will bend a little on the rule. This is mostly because I’m lazy and don’t feel like spending every evening and weekend morning at the ballfield, etc.. Plus, I do think kids have become way too over-structured and just need time to let loose and be kids. With school all day and activities in the evening there is so little time for this.

  17. Can I explain again how awesome I feel you all are?

    The feedback has been invaluable to me and I will benefit from your input and experience.

    Slouching Mom, Vered, Robyn and SeaBird: Thanks. I think I’m also set now on gymnastics and swimming, per your excellent suggestions.

    Eden: I’d been looking at KinderMusik for awhile now, so I’m glad to hear it was a good experience.

    Myra: I’m glad other moms are also not into the over-scheduling thing! And Little Scientists sounds fab! (As does the Benadryl)

    Jamie: I think I am going to go with Murray Callen. Thx. I think I e-mailed you how I always thought it was Marie Callen? (As if they serve pie after the lesson????)

    Jenn: Thanks for the perspective. You’re always the voice of reason, thank God.

    Cheri: Check. And check.

    Da Goddess: As usual, you’re a big help and idea-generator. And my personal field guide to San Diego.

    Girl Next Door: I love the t-ball story! And I also love how one of your class prereqs was what was hilarious. So me!

    Deborah: Ha on the Tai Kwan Do! And per usual, your stories make me laugh. Please start blogging already.

    Molly: Let me know how the Sea World camp goes! I’ve been looking at that.

    MOFM: Your advice is my command. :)

    Jen: Me? Also lazy. Good rule of thumb you got!

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