Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Over-Scheduling Raphaela

Since Raphaela started Gan in October, I have left her there for a full day (until four pm) only two days per week, and the rest of the week I pick her up after lunch.  Today I arrived around one pm, and the head of the nursery asked me if I would like to switch the days around so that Raphaela could stay later on Tuesdays, when they import a Music performer for the children.  I would want to give her access to music lessons in any case, and it would make it a lot easier for sure if Raphaela could stay in a place she already loves.  The head of the nursery also mentioned that they are planning on bringing in some soft and tame animals - bunnies and chicks and gerbils and such - on certain afternoons as well.

So I left Raphaela there, and since I had not scheduled patients for this afternoon, puttered around the house, and started thinking.  I realized that if I simply pay the Gan for one more long day, that means that I am essentially spending 15 NIS extra per week, and Raphaela will receive some music, and they will feed her an afternoon snack as well.

However, I am concerned that I am overscheduling and overstimulating my daughter, as we have our regular swim lessons on Tuesday evenings.  Is it too much to attend nursery from 7:30 am through 4 pm, including the music lesson, and then swim that same day? I can't believe she is not yet one and a half years old, and this has already become an issue.

I always thought that I would be a more mature and evolved parent than those who start the process at a younger age.  If Raphaela wants some extra attention and wants to stay home every once in a while, I am very cool with her taking a so-called Personal Day.  I want to expose her to creative pursuits or sport classes, but not overwhelm her with demands on her time and skills.  I want Raphaela to feel that sometimes it's OK to simply sit on the floor in the living room with her Mommy and play.


Sarah said...

It sounds to me like you have a balanced approach to it, and that there are two separate questions:

1- will Raphaela be overstimulated and overtired if she has a long day at Gan and then swimming the same evening?

2- if so, which activity should be moved or cut?

If you don't have a feeling one way or another for the answer to #1, maybe you can try it one or two times? See how she reacts and go from there. Does it make sense for her to have a nap in between? Is there sufficient "wind down" time after swimming for her to go to bed at her regular hour without being overstimulated?

If you feel without trying it that it's too much, or if you try and it doesn't work, or if you can't switch the swim lesson to a different day, then it sounds like you have the wonderful problem of having to choose between two very nice things: music and swimming! May all your problems be like that!

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s5 said...

why not pause baby swimming for some time?

perhaps this could be a good tool against over-scheduling in the future: swap instead of adding.