A month or so ago we got a community ed booklet, and I thumbed through it hoping to find some sort of playgroup for Daughter. And what do you know, there was a Creative Playtime class just for 2 year-olds. I was a little perturbed about paying $32 so my kid can make some friends (I mean, can you imagine our parents paying actual money for us to have other kids to play with?!?), but there just aren't any toddlers within shouting distance of our house. My poor kid stands at our front fence and watches the 5 and 6 year-old girls across the street, trying to call out to them and interact, but of course they could care less about a toddler. And I wouldn't be real cool about having her play with kids that big anyway.
So we signed up for playgroup. It started this morning. It's a nice thing, this Creative Playtime. The 'teacher' is maybe in her mid-30s and has 4 kids of her own. It takes place in a preschool classroom so there are tons of toys, and there are several specific activities set out for the kids to play with (today it was painting, rubber stamps, and coloring). I guess 14 kids are signed up, though only 9 showed today. And 6 of them were boys. Poop. I wanted Daughter to start interacting with some little girls, so I hope more show up in the future.
I quickly discovered that most of the kids are older 2s, and several are actually turning 3 in a month or so. Daughter, you may recall, turned 2 last Thursday. So she was the smallest and youngest by far. I was also probably the youngest mom, and it seemed I was the only mom with only one child. Lots of kids were with their grandmas.Everyone else seemed to know each other because they've been participating in this Creative Playtime for 2 year-olds since their kids turned 2. Many have been through 2 sessions already.
I felt like the new kid in school. Didn't know where to put our coats. Didn't know the routine. I think I was the only one who had to leave the room to change a diaper. My child was the only one who couldn't drink from a dixie cup at snack time - thank goodness I thought to throw a sippy cup in the diaper bag (I was the only one with a big fat diaper bag, too). She was also the only one who didn't know exactly how to conduct herself during storytime. At first I was psyched because she ran right over and sat on the rug with the other kids, but that lasted about 30 seconds. She got up to play with toys, and when I tried to bring her back she started a hissy fit with the shrieking and the stiff body - you know. And the room was so, so quiet. Except for the shrieks. Luckily the teacher was freaking amazing and asked Daughter if she'd like to come sit next to her, which yes, she wanted to do.
The moms/grandmas were really nice. I don't mean to say that anyone made us (me) feel bad. They all kept commenting on how sweet and tiny and birdlike Daughter is, which is totally true - she is 36 inches tall but only 23 pounds, with these long, slender feet and hands. And I made it a point to mention that she is only just barely 2, so people would know why she wasn't going on the potty or drinking from an open cup. Which, I mean, why? I don't really know why I felt I had to do that. There is nothing wrong with my child. She is developing in a totally normal fashion and on a perfectly average timeline. I know I don't have to explain why she can't do all the things another child can do - especially a child who is one full year older than she is. And frankly, she can speak better than several of the children - the little girl sitting next to her asked for more juice and goldfish crackers and that girl's own mother couldn't even understand her. I couldn't either. Whereas Daughter can say many, many words perfectly. I'm sorry, re-reading that I guess I sound a bit braggy and snotty. I don't mean it that way. I'm just trying to process some thoughts and feelings here.
Anyway, Daughter seemed to have a blast. She talked about "playing with new friends" all morning. We're definitely going back. I just hope it isn't too much for her (me). Five kids were missing today and I am hoping some of those will be younger 2s also.
Our day to bring juice is May 23rd. Good heavens, I hope I bring the right kind.