Lots going on here, but none of it really all that interesting to talk about (unless you all really want to hear about the details of M's birthday party planning, but since it kind of bores even me, I'll skip it).
One item of interest (if only to me) is that I took M to a gymnastics class today. She's been hopping around the house doing "tricks" for at least the last month or so, so I figured she'd enjoy actually learning how to do those tricks instead of, you know, looking like her neck's going to snap every time she does a somersault. The class is for 3-5 year olds, so M's just a hair too young (she'll be three in two weeks), and it's also a non-parent participation class, M's first ever. To say I was apprehensive would be to understate the case wildly.
As usual, I need not have worried. M ran into the room without even a glance behind her, and she absolutely had a blast. Turns out most of the kids in this particular class are almost or over 4, so M's young by quite a wide margin. As a result, she's not as physically capable as some of the kids, and I think there were times when following directions was hard for her. But M likes to please and she really liked the teachers, so she responded really well to correction (all three teachers were college-aged women, so there was a lot of hero-worship going on). I was so proud to see her right in the thick of things, trying everything the class did and clearly enjoying being part of the group. I don't think she stopped smiling once the entire hour. And I was similarly impressed by the program, which broke the kids into skill-based groups for part of the class, so the younger kids could get more individual instruction without holding back the more skilled kids. Needless to say, I signed her up for the rest of the semester on the spot.
I've been fretting for months over whether I did the right thing keeping M out of preschool this year, but I'm starting think it was the right thing to do. Between playgroup, play dates, story times and now this class, she has plenty of interaction with other kids, as well as exposure to situations that require some discipline and separation from me. That's pretty much all I'd expect her to be getting out of preschool right now, anyway. That all said, I'm starting to research preschools now for next year. It's a daunting task, since I freely admit to being clueless as to what's out there and what kind of program would be best for M. I'm sure you'll hear more than you ever wanted to on the issue in the next several months.