Photo Credit: coolkidsites.net
Before I had a child I could not understand why parents would sign their babies up for infant and toddler classes. “Can’t you entertain your child at home,” I thought. “Isn’t there a better use for your money than singing nursery rhymes next to other kids?”
I signed my son up for an infant swim class when he was small, but the reason for that was simple, the swim class provided us free access to the pool. Without it we would need to spend significantly more for a membership. Every Saturday since my son was about 6 months old my husband and I have diligently taken him swimming.
I recently signed my son up for a toddler art class. During my child-free days I saw this as a complete waste of money. As a stay-at-home parent I now see it’s value. The truth is that the value is not exactly for my son. My son loved painting and getting to see other children’s faces but the class is actually more for me. It’s a way to get out of the house one morning a week. It’s also a way to meet other moms who stay home with their kids and it’s a place for my son to make a complete and utter mess with paints, glue and other art supplies that I don’t have to clean up.
The class is held at a community center not too far from home and it costs just a few dollars per session.
I still think it’s odd to see very young children enrolled in these classes. The children sitting across from us were so young that they were still crawling. I’m sure the moms wanted to get out and meet some new people, but it was funny to watch them trying to participate in organized arts and crafts with their small babies.
It’s easy to judge and reflect on other people’s choices when you are not familiar with them. I clearly remember laughing at the notion of signing up toddlers for art classes. Two years later I see the value in them. Go figure.