I give up. Call me weak. Call me a failure. Call me what you want, but don't call me crazy. I know, I know that signing your daughters up for dance classes should not be this hard. I have spent, collectively, at least 5 hours researching, calling and pulling out my hair trying to find a reasonable extracurricular activity for my girls.
Apparent Hurdle No. 1:
The classes need to be on the weekend. I work during the week. Sue me! I swear when I call and talk to these people, they make me feel like I am committing a crime by not being available to drive my 3 year-old to Twirly Twos class at 10am on a Tuesday. Is it so unfathomable that in 2010 a mother actually goes to work?
Apparent Hurdle No. 2:
The classes need to be around the same time. This is one of those rare situations when having twins would be so much easier. I have 2 daughters that are, GASP!, 2 different ages. And so they most likely need to be in 2 separate classes based on their age. Is it so unreasonable not to want to make the trip to the same place twice in one day? Or one 2 different days? I'm willing to hang around and wait an hour, but more than that is tough. I'll have whichever child not dancing at the moment staring through the glass watching her sibling twirl and tap away and getting cranky and miserable. But that's manageable as long as her class is coming up soon. If I have to drive one for a 9am class and the other for a 3pm class, well, in addition to the 'afternooner' being upset, I'll have spent my entire Saturday driving to and fro from the dance studio. No thanks.
Apparent Hurdle No. 3:
I need to be independently wealthy. "Independent" so I can make the mid-week class and just generally "wealthy" so I can afford to PAY for these doggone classes. The average going rate is about $150 - $200 for an 8-week class. Multiply that by 2 and you've got $400 for 2 children. Add in the "1-time registration fee," the cost of the shoes and whathaveyou and you're looking at about $500 or so for a once-a-week class for 2 months. Sheesh. And forget The Little Gym. Honey, that came to over $900 for the 20-week seesion. Yes, it's 20 classes. But still, who has $900+ to drop on a preschool gymnastics class? And YES you CAN pay in installments, but that'll cost ya. One ballet studio was going to charge $730 for Chatterbox to take ballet because she will be 6 this year and would be required to take their formal Ballet Studio Curriculum. Can't she just dance? I've already put down my deposit for what will be a $976 2-week summer camp for them, and that was painful enough.
And so, I give up. It looks like our weekends this Spring will not involve organized activities. It will be up to mama to come up with something fun for them to do.
In the meantime, I'm looking into opening up my own kids' classes studio. I'll make out like bandit!