It's been painfully obvious for quite some time that Doug needs to spend time with his peers. He will see other children his age here and there, and gets very excited about it. There was an incident a few weeks ago at a Barnes and Noble train table in which he tried to grab a little girl's face. Despite being a little older than he was, she was smaller, and he didn't realize that he could easily knock her over. I decided it was time for Doug to spend time with his peers.
So I started looking for classes or groups to enroll him in. The county we live in doesn't offer much in his age range. Montgomery County does have quite a lot of classes for babies his age, but most of them started a month ago. And then there's the problem of the drive back and forth. The local indoor pool offers classes for babies his age, but to be honest I'm worried about ear infections. I'm also not sure how much of it I can put up with either. Doug loves the water, but after taking him in the pool, I'm usually fairly wiped out. Then there's drying off and changing both of us back to our street clothes and everything else. Very exhausting. The other options were story times at the library and classes for babies at gyms for kids. I decided we'd try a free class at one of the gyms for kids.
When we got to the gym, a class for preschoolers was letting out. There were lots of excited kids running around, and Doug was quite interested in them. Once I got Doug out of his carrier and our coats and shoes off, Doug and I walked around a bit exploring. Only two other babies turned up for the class, one of which was also trying the class out for free. So they only had one registered baby in the class. The class consisted of songs and climbing up and down the various pieces of equipment. And lifting Doug. Up and down. Twenty pounds up and twenty pounds down. The instructor really liked activities in which we had to do this. Doug had an okay time, he didn't get terribly excited or hate it. He was mostly interested in the other babies and their parents. He met his first hippie. Doug was amazed that one boy's father had hair longer than mine. Doug also was really into the perky instructor. I didn't have the heart to tell Doug that she was paid to flirt with him. After it was all over, I was very tired and extremely sore. The physical toll on me wasn't worth the class. The price was also a bit much. Maybe when Doug's a few years older and there's less physical involvement on my part, we can try it again.
Until that time comes, I think we'll try story time at the library. The church nursery is also a nice place for him to socialize, but he's the youngest there by quite a bit. I'd also like to try to find him some play dates, so if you have a baby about Doug's age, I might start harassing you for some play dates. Now, I think it's time for a coke and some tv and not moving for a very long time :)