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To loathe toddler music/dance/tumbling classes and never take DS again?

(42 Posts)
YankNCock Mon 19-Sep-11 00:00:47

Am I just grumpy? Does anyone enjoy or even feel neutral about these things? I only took him because other mums were banging on about how much their DC enjoyed these classes.

First we tried the one about climbing all over stuff. Maniacal women with fixed grins but unsmiling eyes shouting 'YAAAAAAYYYY!' at top volume. DS, normally very outgoing/friendly/can't-keep-him-away-from-strangers wouldn't go near them and clung to me through 5 sessions before we gave up.

Then we tried the music/movement one with the stupid doll (buy your own stupid doll for £12, oh no, it's not all about selling crap hmm). The woman running it is a proper loon. Her CD player was on so loud, DS would startle every time she turned it on. Again with the maniacal fixed grin, ridiculously loud voice, forced cheerfulness. Made it to 3 of those before giving up as DS wouldn't move from my lap (this is NOT normal behaviour for him!).

Went to a birthday party today where the latter had been hired for entertainment. From what I could tell, at least half the kids and most of the parents hated it. DS hardly smiled and just looked overwhelmed the entire time.

That's it really, I hate these things. I can appreciate it must be a hard job to do, but I really think a lot of kids would enjoy it more if they toned down the fake cheerfulness, crazy grinning, and general volume that seems to be the norm.

LineRunner Mon 19-Sep-11 00:04:59

I agree it's bollocks.

I used to blast out Nirvana or Guns'N'Roses at home instead and let the kids jump off my dressing table onto my bed and bash pans with wooden spoons.

I strangely enjoyed that.

Alambil Mon 19-Sep-11 00:05:02

you may have just been unlucky with the session leaders. We run a music / movement session at work and the woman who does it is awesome - totally "gets" the children and they all adore her. She does tone it down with the shy ones and encourages the more outgoing ones though - it isn't all fake smiles; she really means it!

I don't think you are unreasonable to loathe them though - until I met this woman, I hated them all too!

madhattershouse Mon 19-Sep-11 00:05:48

Local playgroup hired an entertainer for end of year party. The woman not only put on ultra high-pitched voice but added insult to injury by speaking through a mic with the amplifier set way too high. DD spent most of the time with her hands over her ears, most of the parents were wincing too. YANBU I think there is a certain type that does this job that thinks being high pitched and loud is a prerequiste when dealing with small children.

squeakytoy Mon 19-Sep-11 00:08:23

Having seen a few of those manic inanely grinning, very fake and loud women on tv, I can only think it would be my idea of hell too... it must take a special talent to run those sort of classes, and not one which I would like to be in possession of grin

splashymcsplash Mon 19-Sep-11 00:09:02

YABU as not all classes are like this.

I wouldn't shell out lots though: sure start and local library can be very good smile

RedOnion Mon 19-Sep-11 00:10:27

I never did any of them. Perhaps lucky as my sisters have 6 neices/nephews between them so it wasn't particularly "necessary" but i'm not sure I would have done it anyway.

OP - you would be happier just going through the nutters mothers and picking one who is closest to your parenting style and inviting her for coffee (wine) etc.

YankNCock Mon 19-Sep-11 00:14:24

splashy, we do rhyme time at the library and storycraft at sure start already, and DS generally enjoys those. I guess I'm trying to make sure we do something each day, and there are so many classes out there, I think I've been brainwashed into thinking he's missing out if not going.

The tumbling one I knew was stupid because DS can climb TOO well already. Nearly on top of the filing cabinet the other day, and balances perfectly on the arm of the rocking chair trying to hang out the window and yell at neighbour's dog!

RedOnion Mon 19-Sep-11 00:16:03

Your being brainwashed into forgetting your a woman too. Not just a mother.

Step outside it for a moment. Its refreshing :-)

YankNCock Mon 19-Sep-11 00:16:28

squeaky, I think today's lady's special talent was drugs. Lots of 'em. I passed the time by imagining her leaving, lighting up a fag and having road rage in her car. No one can be that cheerful all the time, surely.

sunnydelight Mon 19-Sep-11 00:24:02

YANBU. I spent a lot of my time with DS1 at various "activities", hating a lot of it, because I felt I should to be a good parent. Ten years later when DD came along I really couldn't be arsed. After a disasterous foray into "baby signing" (why, just why) we never went to an organized group again, just hung out with other mums and kids and ate a lot of cake, and life was so much more pleasant.

squeakytoy Mon 19-Sep-11 00:24:22

I recently (along with several dozen other guests who were trying to relax by the pool) spent a week having to listen to some woman who clearly thought she should entertain all of us as she played in the pool with her child who cried throughout every time the water went near her...

She had a built in foghorn and would spend a good two hours daily very very loudly saying "who is a special little princess" "weeeeeeeeeeeeee the little monkey is swimming" "yes, mummys little mermaid is so clever" hmm while she dangled her child (about 3 months old) in and out of the water... and then look around at everyone with a manic grin on her face.. I am not sure if she wanted a round of applause or what, but she came close to getting a lilo slapped round her chops when she got out of the pool...

LineRunner Mon 19-Sep-11 00:41:44

Sunny I remember baby signing grin but never went to an actual group. Was it at least quiet, or were they all screaming 'Look at my hands making the sign, poppet!' at the tops of their lungs?

KaFayOLay Mon 19-Sep-11 00:47:17

YANBU - those kind of set ups seem to attract a certain type of mother/child combo that are best avoided.

I did go to a Gymini's session with my dd on two occasions by which time I realised I would never be 'that type' of mother and never set foot in one again grin.

MsMarple Mon 19-Sep-11 00:48:17

Not Unreasonable at all. Rhyme time at the library is great round here, but I was put off all others by a mad dance based class where the leader talked about herself in the 3rd person all the way through the class - eg 'we have to be quiet, Miss X doesn't like it when we chatter, Miss X won't give us a sticker if we don't wait our turn' etc. All delivered with a mad grin. I really thought she might have mental problems. Most irksome thing of all was DS plonking himself on her lap at the end to get one if the aforementioned stickers!

Was all too stepfordish for me and we never went back.

TheBride Mon 19-Sep-11 00:49:51

Some of them are a bit insane, but I go to some brilliant ones, although most are pretty unstructured- it's just free play with a few songs (so playgroup basically). You just have to suck them and see. To be fair, I think people who say "Oh why do you go to these classes, just let the kids tear around the house/garden with their friends" forget that not everyone has the space/a garden, plus it's boring (for you and them) being at home all day.

ZhenXiang Mon 19-Sep-11 00:50:25

I took DD to a toddler group at the local church for only the third time the other day, she enjoyed it because it was calm, had kids of varying ages and lots of toys. The mums and organisers were really chilled out.

Previously DH tried to take her to song and story time at the library, but the mum's wouldn't let him sit down (reserving seats for friends that never turned up).

We have also taken her to messy play at the local children's centre, but we had to teach the lady running it some nursery rhymes as she didn't know any and most of the kids (some age 3-4) were non-verbal so DD couldn't really interact with them fully.

Normally she just goes to the park or to see family, it hasn't disadvantaged her in any way, plus she loves the park and seeing her cousins.

ohnoshedittant Mon 19-Sep-11 00:52:20

ooh no we go to one of these and it's lovely. The lady running it is lovely (no crazed grin) and all the DC's have enjoyed. She also teaches DD ballet and she still likes her age 6 (still no crazed grin!). Maybe you've just been unlucky? I tend to think the more expensive it is the bigger the fake grin. We go to ones that cost a £1 no-one can be arsed to fake smile for that money.

TheBride Mon 19-Sep-11 00:56:34

I actually think that the ones that are more like what I remember (from my 1970's toddlerdom) as "playgroup"- i.e. just toys in a room/church hall and kids tearing about, bouncing off the walls, for a few hours- weak orange squash and Maxwell House-, are better than the super organised, super shiny "educational" ones, as toddlers just don't want to sit still and do "body awareness activities" and half the thing is that you want them to wear themselves out.

Mowlem Mon 19-Sep-11 01:09:21

I'm totally with you. Took DD to some of those things a few times but found them totally cheesy / naff, so took her out and instead took her to a baby gymnastics class at a local gymnastics club. Twas great - DD got to do the fun class without all the cheese.

ZonkedOut Mon 19-Sep-11 05:13:35

I take DD1 to one of the "tumbling" ones. I thought she'd like it because she was climbing a lot already, and really into things. She really enjoys it, plus it has taught her how to climb more safely. The ladies who run it are lovely, with nice smiles, not inane grins. I appreciate that sort of thing isn't for everyone though.

Thumbwitch Mon 19-Sep-11 05:23:21

I think it's all down to your experience of your local group and leader, as Lewis says.
My experience of Tumbletots, for e.g., was lovely - very relaxed, friendly leaders, no frogmarching or insisting on people going round in the right direction and in the right order (such as I have heard about on here) - DS had a ball there. But from what some people have said on here, they're not all that good, so I'd be wary of recommending them now (except in my area)!

DS is 3.9 now and does dance classes proper (tap and jazz) and has a whale of a time - I just sit and watch though, so it's far better.

BimboNo5 Mon 19-Sep-11 05:54:26

Urrrghh. A colleague of mine who's just had PFB (first woman in the world to ever become a mother, that type) does all this crap with her 6 week old.

etyksm Mon 19-Sep-11 09:07:51

I would suggest trying out as Many of the free raster sessions as you can to find out what they are like before shelling out money.

Different groups can be very different.

I hated Jo Jingles as it was too noisy and the cd player was too loud and everything was hyped up.

On the other hand I loved tiny talk / baby signing as there was no cd player so the volume was far better.

Both were basically singing along to nursery rhymes with actions. (OK baby signing did have other benefits too if you wanted to take it further bit there was no presure to do so)

I guess what I am saying is try stuff you think you / DC will enjoy but don't feel that you have to go to everything, and not every group is the same (even if it is the same franchise) so try it and see if you like it.

Miette Mon 19-Sep-11 09:22:32

Funny we had a maniacal woman running our tumbling one. She had the loudest most screechy voice i have ever heard. How she didn't damage her vocal chords i'll never know. There is also a local Rainbows leader whose only way of speaking seems to be loud, excited yells.

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