Monday, January 16, 2012

Teeter Tots - Controlled Chaos (Guest Post by Jessica Duke)

Everyone automatically assumes that if you have children it means you like kids. I like my kid, and I often, though not always, like other people’s kids. The screaming children at the Fort Thomas Recreation Department’s Teeter Tots, however, was nearly a Friday the 13th nightmare. That said, the chaos of the Fort Thomas Recreation Department sponsored Teeter Tots was relatively well controlled and generally positive.

Now that the Chicken Dance induced headache has subsided, I can calmly and coolly reflect on the positives. My son was able to exercise and develop his fine motor skills all the while interacting with other children in a comfortable indoor setting on a 22-degree day. He was able to dance, run, stretch, tumble on mats, play with bouncy balls, walk on a balance beam, and even play with a parachute. The music, although loud and echoing in that gymnasium, was age-appropriate and some of the older children were even singing along.

There were thirty or forty children plus their parents, and although the class holds up to 48, I do not believe it was full. But with only one teacher, she was essentially trying to herd cats. The skills of these children also varied widely (huge difference in motor skills between a two- and four-year old). The space where the class was held was certainly large enough since all three gyms were utilized for the chaos class.

Unfortunately, the chaos did not begin and end with the class itself, but seemed to be in the organization as well. Several good friends of mine (mothers of 22-month olds) were asked for their child’s birthday when attempting to register and were denied permission to join the class. However, on the day of the class, there were numerous children under two.

Likewise, I only recently heard about the class and it has been going on since September. That is not to say that they did not advertise well but as the stay-at-home mother of a 2 year-old, it would seem I am their target audience and I had not seen it.

That said, at only $18 for five sessions (you mean I have to go back four more times!?), the cheapskate in me appreciates the value. And, my son was quite sad to leave at the end of class, even waving goodbye to the bouncy balls through gritted teeth and a quivering chin. So, every Friday morning for the next four weeks I will be taking two Tylenol and taking my son to Teeter Tots. Hooray!

I’ll be sure to post a follow up after more classes.

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