The first day we went to playgroup, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been part of a mom’s group when we lived in the city just after Sunshine’s birth, but there had never been opportunity to attend a playgroup. This seemed like a great way for our little social butterfly to meet some other kids, and hopefully for me to meet some moms. So on the first day after the September long weekend, we walked over.
There Were Kids…
There were kids. And toys. And moms. And snacks. Sunshine was all over the place, trying to take it all in. During the “circle” time, when the children were supposed to sit quietly on little carpet mats and listen to the songs and stories, Sunshine was still bouncing. She wanted to sit beside this little friend, then that little friend. She wanted to hold the leader’s puppet. She wanted to run around the outside of the circle. And Lily wanted to eat.
When it was over and I told Sunshine to say goodbye, she was not happy. I almost had to drag her away, kicking and screaming. She wanted to stay with the toys and toddlers. While I knew that she’d had fun and that it was a good experience for her, it was a lot of work for me. I’d hoped to connect with some other moms, and that was hard to do when we were both supervising our kids.
We’ve continued to attend playgroup sporadically over the last month and a half. It runs for two hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Tuesdays is a music program, in which it was even harder to make Sunshine sit still; she wanted to get into the rattles, run around the circle, play with her friends. Some days, if Sunshine slept in, I didn’t mention playgroup and we didn’t go. Other days, it was a good way to get us out of the house. I thought that maybe, if she had a few hours to play in the morning, she’d be quieter in the afternoon so that I could study.
This Week, We Went to Playgroup Once Again
Sunshine sat in the circle quietly, without a single whispered threat from me that if she didn’t we’d go home. She was the first one ready to play “roll the ball” and even rolled the ball back. After snack, she put her dishes away on her own. She shared with the other kids. And when I said we needed to go, she walked happily out the door with me.
As I looked back to the first times we went, I was amazed at the change. She really has learned a lot about interacting with a group of children, waiting for her turn, following routines in another place, and even that it’s okay to say goodbye because this will happen again another day.