Part of our weekly routine now includes playgroup on a Friday morning, and we love it. Whilst taking toddlers and preschoolers to playgroups is an ordinary moment for most, it hasn’t been for us until now, and its taking some remembering, but we are now really getting into it.
Alice is obviously my 4th child, and the 3rd we are raising, and in some ways I am doing things differently. With the “Ethan and Megan at home” years, our routines were very similar for them both. We went to baby massage, Yoga, music sessions and soft plays – it grew with them. Despite being surrounded by various playgroups, I never accessed them or perhaps went sporadically but never felt a part of it. I guess I was a little nervous to break into what I assumed were already formed friendship groups and worried that i’d be a loner on the edge so just didn’t bother. With friends I already had, and family I already saw, I didn’t feel a need for it in my life as I had enough contact with other mums and tots! Either way it wasn’t until my sister in law told me how much her kids loved playgroup, that I felt perhaps I was missing out there and made a mental note to go … one day!
When we moved here and I received the list of the village baby and toddler groups I spotted that a playgroup ran every Friday and was rather excited! Despite that (and several invites from mum’s in the playground) I only made the effort to start going just a few weeks ago. Like all things here in the village I was made to feel so welcome, had plenty of people to talk to and get to know better, and we have both enjoyed the lovely little group that meet weekly for playgroup.
I think in a lot of ways it’s different to other playgroups I tried to go to, because it has that familiar community and inclusive spirit running through it that we have really loved here, and grown accustom to! Such welcoming, kind people instantly relaxes you and makes you want to return because everyone is just so lovely. For a newbie/outsider and first timer like me, that has made an incredible difference.
I am glad I went and continue to go… walking up after the morning drop off, because I have loved watching Alice become more and more comfortable over the weeks too and get into the flow of it all. Her confidence has grown, and she has gone from clinging to me on the first week, to now where she now plays for ages with prams, trikes, and her fave – the little slide! I love to see her waltz in, and see her at break time sit with the other kids drinking her juice and eating her biscuit (custard creme is her preference apparently!), and then running around with no real direction. Every week she ends up on top of the tables whilst I am engrossed in nattering, and every week at approximately the same time she whines at me to say its almost nap time and we need to hurry up and leave!
I love that she loves playgroup, and that we have both slotted in and have an enjoyable time there. I love we have these moments together that are so different to what life was like with the others.
Play group has never been an ordinary moment for us, and perhaps I missed something there with Ethan and Megs, but now it is with Alice, and we both enjoy it and I am grateful for that. We look forward to our ordinary moments of playgroup each Friday morning, from the friends we meet there and the fun we have, to snack time, and of course those custard cremes!!