Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Renaissance or Cyber-kid?

Today, our "fall schedule" begins.  We have been in school for three full weeks but none of our activities really started until after Labor Day.  (Remind me again why we had to go back to school so early? Sigh.)

Anyway, one of the things I love most about being planted in this tiny town is it's proximity to a larger college town.  It's 30 minutes away and it's where I was destined to live some day.  I love being able to take advantage of programs and events that are not available in small towns-- yet in a "city" with a very small town atmosphere.

Today was our first session of  Kindermusik.  Last fall, C took Kindermusik and loved it but   unfortunately, we weren't able to take the class spring semester due to scheduling conflicts (mainly, eating supper was more important).  This year, it's going to be a bit tricky and I think we'll be dining on some PB& J in the van on the ride home, but I'm hoping C handles it okay.

We are also planning to attend "Kindergym" which is a 6 week class on Saturday mornings for kids between the ages of 2 & 4.  From what I understand, it's a bunch of gross motor activities like running, jumping, crawling, swinging, skipping, and hopping in a giant gym.  We haven't taken it, but one of C's two speeds is "RUN" (the other is "Sleep") so I'm hoping he'll enjoy it.

I thought about signing up for "Paddling Panthers" which is little kid swimming lessons, but then I thought, "Holy Frijoles, your two year old has a busier calendar than you!" And then it hit me:  Am I starting to over-schedule?  Am I on the path to being "that parent"?  I always swore that I would never never never have my kid in more than one or two activities at any given time and here he is, two years old, and I'm signing him up for stuff like he needs resume builders.

This cartoon seems so true!  

So now I'm experiencing this weird conundrum.  What is the difference between providing opportunities though different experiences and setting your kid up for failure due to an over-scheduled crazy hyper-cyber lifestyle?  Omg, I don't know!

I do know that I want C to participate in music stuff. I want him to attend theater events. I want him to play basketball ("shoot it in the net"), soccer ("kick it in the net"),  track ("ready, set, go") and baseball if he loves them.  I want him to swim ("reach & pull")-- no, I take that back, he WILL swim.  I want him to love books, I want him to enjoy painting & crafting, I want him to play outside, I want him to use his imagination, I want him to try new things, I want him to have the world at his feet, and I want him to be happy.

And those last two things-- I think that's probably where things start to unravel.  I mean, who doesn't want their kid to have the world at their feet?  Who doesn't want them to experience all this world has to offer?  And is there anything sadder for a parent than seeing your child sad?

But honestly, nobody can experience all this world has to offer.  Nobody can try everything there is to try or visit everywhere there is to visit.  (Except maybe Matt Lauer since he gets to play "Where in the world is "Matt Lauer" every year.)

So I guess it comes down to some decision making.  I want to give C opportunities.  I want him to be well rounded (just like his perfectly well rounded toddler tummy).  I want him to find academics, the arts, and athletics all meaningful.  In the words of my father, I want him to be a "Renaissance Man".  But I also want him to be able to entertain himself. I want him to explore.  I want him to be okay hanging out with his family-- either at Spahnville or on a little adventure.  I want him to be able to unwind, relax, and be still.  I want him to be able to just be-- without his mother carting him around from one 'enriching activity' to another.  So I guess I have some deciding to do.

But while I decide, here's what we have on the horizon.  Does it look too busy to you?

Paddling Panthers  (Mama will teach private lessons)
Story Hour (during daycare)
Clay County Fair- Spencer (September)
Cheering for Mama's Triathlon (September)
Tailgate-ISU (September)
Cheering for Mama's Color Run (October)
Tailgate- UNI Homecoming (October)
Pumpkin Patch-NIU  (Maybe?)
Train Ride-Boone?
Gallagher-Bluedorn Theater event (maybe next year)
UNI Football Game
UNI Volleyball Game
LORAS Soccer Game
Santa Train--NIU (December)

1 comment:

  1. That's a busy schedule for anyone, but busy doesn't mean unmanageable.

    I think you have to take cues from C to decide. There isn't a magic number of activities that becomes 'too many' to handle. The threshold is different for each kid.

    I have an overachiever who wants to do EVERYTHING she can, and one who goes into system overload if he has more than an activity or two scheduled at a time.

    C will let you know when he's had enough. If he can't handle the pb&j on the way home, then it's time to rethink the schedule.