I thought I’d share some of the fun (educational) things my girls do during the week. I’d also like to highlight that raising kids in Center City Philly is very cool, enriching, and exciting. And otherwise, I thought I’d sneak in … part deux in the mulitipart series–Why Having an Au Pair is Awesome.
I schedule one activity for each day of the week–except Friday which is a free day to go to the zoo or the library or to a play date, or whatever. It adds a little structure to the day beyond naptime, and it gets the girls out and about on the town. When I was home on maternity leave with Caroline, I realized that it was all too easy to just schlep the baby along with me on every errand under the sun instead of focusing on play time with the baby. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly benefits to taking your children with you everywhere. But I needed to build in a ‘stop and smell the roses’ part of the day. There is only so much shopping that one baby will benefit from.
My friend and neighbor told me about a music class called Enchanted Music Together. It was the first class Caroline and I tried. And we loved it! Music Together is a class for babies and young children that is designed to nurture the musical growth of your child. It is a “thoroughly researched program” that encourages active participation of both parent/caregiver and child in a playful atmosphere. The songs are super catchy but not too ‘kiddy’–they have a folksy singer-songwriter feel, as well as some international flavor. We pop a cd in the car for kiddo claming effect anytime we have to drive anywhere. And I guarantee that if you try it, you will be singing along too. And maybe singing it out loud at your desk at work . . .
(Photo courtesy of Music Together)
When I went back to work at the firm and Jaqueline (our first au pair from Brasil) came to look after Caroline, I decided to keep up with the music classes.
And then some. I added a few more classes–which I heard about through word of mouth from other moms and caregivers.
For example, the Children’s Boutique on Walnut Street has a Storytime class and Ms. Lori’s Music Monkey Jungle. Both of these classes are stimulating and fun (although I think storytime may be on a hiatus) and the kids get little snacks at the end. Which, if it were me, would definitely be one of the highlights of the class. Ms. Lori also has a cd that is fun to have at home and in the car.
The girls also go to swimming lessons at the Christian Street Y. And they do tumbling classes at The Philly Kids Gym. Sometimes the girls go to storytime at the Library and othertimes they go to storytime at Barnes and Noble. There are so many things to do, and only so many days of the week.
Jessica (our current au pair from Brasil) (the reason for Brasil in our next installment) gets a little structure, and maybe some breathing time (when I have both girls by myself I am certainly
relieved excited when it is time to go to class) and the girls get to learn in a fun social atmosphere that isn’t too structured.
And a funny unintended side effect of the girls about town–is that more people know my kids than know me. I can’t walk through Rittenhouse Square without some mom saying hello to Caroline. Which I get a kick out of. My little socialites.
Here is little Caroline and her bestie hanging out in the Square. (so I might mention that Jessica is best friends with Kerly, an au pair from Venezeuala–and Kerly minds two little girls roughly Caroline’s age. Voila, Caroline has two best friends)