Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Y'All Ready For This?

In our continuing quest to find mommy and me activities, today Jarrah and I attended a class at My Gym in Pacific Beach. After my recent post about Gymboree, I received some helpful tips from other toddler moms advising me to do my homework before committing, since there are several kids gyms in San Diego and all of them offer a free trial class.

I was a little nervous that getting to PB would take even longer than Solana Beach due to beach traffic, but even at 8:30 a.m. we made good time. I was also a bit nervous about parking, I assume illegally, in the Vons lot across the street, but no one in a fedora and trench coat seemed to be watching us as we slipped across the street.

From the moment we entered, I could tell this was going to be a different kind of play time than Gymboree, which had been cozy and gleaming, with a relaxed receptionist who had all the time in the world for me. The first thing I noticed was the incredibly loud music, the hootin' and hollerin' kind that reminded me of a Padres game, like the Macarena and "Shwoomp! (There It is)." Which was fine by me, actually. I found it energizing and got a bit of boogie on. Two leggy blonde girls were relaxing behind the counter (it was the first class of the day) and there was a distinct odor of disinfectant (hey, I can think of worse.) They were welcoming to Jarrah, and obviously made her feel comfortable because she allowed both of them to pick her up several times when she wandered away.

Once again, Jarrah couldn't wait to start climbing and tumbling and bouncing (there were trampolines!) and all that good stuff. The room really was as big as a gym. At the beginning of class, there was circle time with a few songs, but also sit-ups and calesthenics and other movement that Jarrah wanted no part of. Interestingly, if she wandered away from the circle, one of the blonde girls (they were both teachers also) would gently return her to me, which did not happen at music class or Gymboree. After it happened three or four times I felt a bit embarrassed and was relieved when they said "Okay! It's play time!" We had no bloody incidents today and Jarrah wasn't sure where to go first--the slide that you could climb up backwards because it was covered in felt? (This fulfilled a longstanding dream of hers--she is frustrated no end by the slippery ones at the park.) The big box full of balls? (I thought it would scare her, but she refused to get out!) The giant tubular thing-o that bobbed up and down when you sat on it? Wahoo! And, unlike Gymboree, the terrain kept changing: as the class progressed, the teachers would bring out and install new doodads, like hanging rings, and a train of attached plastic cars that fit four kids (that was a bit surreal) and at one point there were suddenly many vehicular swings hanging from the ceiling. Jarrah didn't know where to look first, until one of the moms murmured, "Oh, the Space Ride!" and the two gals began pushing the children one-by-one across a pulley in a big, padded unit that looked like a giant pumpkin. Jarrah was not pleased when it was someone else's turn on that one.

Once again, Jarrah cracked me up during the final circle time by foregoing the patient wonder that the other children were bestowing on an owl fingerpuppet, instead going "back stage" behind the teacher and attempting to snatch the other furry characters she had waiting in the wings. A session begins in two weeks and is considerably cheaper than Gymboree. Also not as far. And bigger, with more toys. It's tempting, though for some reason I still have a vague, inexplicable longing for Gymboree. Maybe it's because these teachers, though I thought they were wonderful with the kids, did not have the special, extra-loud delivery with the "Let's put on a show!" singing voices. In fact, they didn't really sing, now that I think about it. Jarrah was not mesmerized by them as she was by the Gymboree mistress. When they said time to put away the balls in the bucket, she took off for the slide again, whereas when the Gymboree gal said it, Jarrah was drawn to do her bidding. Still, we both enjoyed ourselves, and no one was dressed fancy or had special boobs.

Tune in later this week when we try out JW Tumbles. I'm trying to be an informed consumer, readers!


Anonymous said...

Must have more details on "Space Ride" -- what are all the ceiling swings about, and how does the giant pumpkin fit in? Most of all, can adults have a turn? ;) Sounds like you two are having fun! xxx lix

Unknown said...

Jarrah's response to Gymboree vs. My Gym might just have been her mood du jour, and yet it sounds like she had a great time there too. I personally liked our My Gym better than any Gymboree we experienced, but that could just depend on the particular teacher. My Gym changes the theme and equipment each week, while still somehow maintaining a consistent format somehow so it is familiar and comfortable for the kids (those lovers of repetition--hence the facsination with the Telebubbies who repeat every darn thing they say ad nauseum). Plus our My Gym was way closer for us too, AND they give GREAT birthday party (which you will find out over and over again soon enough).

On another matter, thank you for your sweet comments about my hunk-o-man and my blog titles. You, however, girlfriend, are Queen of the Blog and the Title Princess of the 'Sphere. I only aspire to your greatness and only blog because of what you have inspired in me.


Anonymous said...

My little grandkids have done most of them and the one they liked the best was the one closest to their house... wonder how that happened?

On the other matter (the matter above) her hubby is a hunk-o-man isn't he? Crimeny! And you ARE the queen AND an inspiration. I am not the writer that you (and Cheri) are but you may even inspire ME to start a blog too, although I suspect mine would be very dark and inky - with lots of bad stories 'bout the ex - in spite of having plenty to be happy about. Good therapy or just a bad week(?) not sure... this week I just feel like going to the dark side....


Maybe I could start something....a blog within a blog :-) Can I get a byline?

KelliAmanda said...

Have you tried The Little Gym, or is there one near you (I live in NC, so am not familiar with Calif. locations). http://www.thelittlegym.com/sm/country.180/state.5/locations.aspx

The kids I nannied for went to a Little Gym in Charlotte, NC, and it was fantastic.