Activity shift

I’ve never been one of those parents with a great desire to overpack our family’s schedule with endless sports and activities. Most of the time, The Big Sis has just one activity going on at one time, especially if it involves a weeknight commitment. (Weeknights are crazy enough just getting dinner together, homework done, and everyone to bed at a semi-decent time.) Last year we did allow her to do dance (September through May) and then academic challenge team (I think that was from October until March), which at times was a bit much to juggle, but we managed okay.

At first we thought she wanted to do a different dance class this year, but when we got the class options, she was more interested in the cultural arts offerings than in any of the dance classes. These cultural arts classes run from October to December (10 weeks) instead of the whole school year, and they’re about half the cost of the dance classes. The two she was most interested in were Youth Drumming and Archery — and, miracle of miracles, they were being held on the same night of the week, back to back. (Youth Drumming = 6 to 7 p.m.; Archery = 7 to 8:15 p.m.) It’ll make for long Tuesday nights, of course, but I think I’d rather do that than have two activities on two different nights.

Once we got her signed up for those, she came home with an information sheet for Girl Scouts. She had shown interest in doing that last year, but we ended up passing on it. I’ve heard of others doing Girls Scouts or Boy Scouts and having just a once-a-month or twice-a-month time commitment, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to let her do that as well. Well, come to find out, her Brownie troop has basically a once-a-week commitment, which is more than I was counting on, but she’s very excited about doing this, and I do think it’ll be good for her, so we’ll let her participate this year and see how it goes. (And clearly it’s not like she has to attend EVERY week if it becomes too much.)

This week she ended up bringing home a flyer for the Girls on the Run program, which I think she’d like and would be a good experience for her and I’d really be interested in having her sign up for it because it’s a good program, but unfortunately that requires a time commitment of two days a week (Mon and Wed) right after school, which would mean The Husband or I would have to leave work early both of those days to pick her up, and that’s not ideal right now. Maybe she can consider doing that during another year, or perhaps even in the spring when she won’t have the drumming and archery classes at the same time.

Now, we’ve figured out The Big Sis’s activities for the immediate future, but we’ve sort of neglected doing anything for The Little Sis this year. Granted, a big reason is because we tried doing a preschool tumbling class for her last year and that didn’t go well (she didn’t want to leave my side, so we had to quit after three classes during we she never actually participated), and I’m a little gun shy about trying again. I’m considering, though, whether we should find a Saturday morning class for her this fall, perhaps swimming or a shorter (8-week) dance or movement class — one of the types of things that The Big Sis was doing at that age. I definitely don’t want another weeknight commitment at this point! I don’t love the idea of getting up early on Saturdays, but it’s better than another night of fractured dinners and rushed bedtimes.

When we get in the midst of this and I’m cursing myself for taking on more than we’d planned, remind me that at least we’re not doing something like soccer or softball that requires multiple weekday practices plus weekend games and tournaments!

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