Monday, January 18, 2010

Not Playing Around... Yet

I so badly want to enroll Ethan in toddler-oriented classes, somewhere he can interact with other kids and at the same time build his developmental skills in a fun environment. I searched around (thank you, Internet) and found Gymboree-- and it sounds like exactly what I want. They have a variety of classes for young children from birth to five years old, and the topics range from art to music to active physical play. It just seems so awesome; the equipment they have is perfect for kids, with tunnels and bridges and soft mats to land on, and lots of other developmentally appropriate toys.

The parents whose kids attend seem to love it, and comment that their kids are still excited and interested even after going for a year or more. I would dearly love to enroll Ethan, if only there was a Gymboree nearby. Unfortunately, the nearest one is in Stockton, about 30 miles away. I can't see driving 45 minutes to a 45-minute class, then driving all the way back afterwards. It's not like Stockton outnumbers Modesto's population by two or three times; they are at around 290,000 and we are at 211,000, as of last year. So what is the difference? Why do they rate a Gymboree activity center, while we don't?

I suppose the easiest answer is that someone up there decided to open up a franchise, and no one down here is savvy enough (or financially able, I guess) to do the same. Personally, I think that would be such a brilliant investment. If I had the opportunity, I would definitely do it. Thinking of how many young families are here, and how little there is in town for their kids to do, it seems clear that a Gymboree would be a huge hit. I have had a really hard time finding a mom's group to join, or fun things for me and the baby to do together, and I know that many other parents are in the same position. And it wouldn't only serve Modesto, either, but all of our outlying towns-- Salida, Ceres, Riverbank, even Oakdale and Turlock parents would probably love to get in on the action. Hopefully someone with a little ambition and secure financial backing can get this going soon, because I would sign up in a heartbeat!

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