back to the ol’ typewriter

I am working on one more essay for my book, to replace my ruminations on Cookie magazine. I wrote most of that essay before the announcement that Cookie was going out of business, but while those thoughts are very pertinent at the moment, they will be ancient history by next spring.

So this week, I’m working on a chapter about “Mommy and Me” classes. I took Connor to eight different classes before he was two years old. Seamus, two or three. Maggie? Her babysitter takes her. I assume this is a quite ordinary progression for families with more than one children. But I am wondering if the “Mommy and Me” class landscape looms quite as large in places that are not New York City. Here, there are hundreds of offerings, many just a short walk from our door. Some are great, some are pretty lame. But what they all offer is an overpriced way for a mother and her baby to get out of their cramped, dark apartment for 45 minutes on a wintry Tuesday morning. Mothers in New York City go to tons of these classes with their babies, but we don’t have yards, or basements, or dedicated playrooms. (We eventually created a playroom in our apartment, but that meant giving up a den.) We don’t even have superstores to drive to and wander the aisles thereof. Mommy and Me classes are where we have to go.

So I’m wondering: where you live, are Mommy and Me classes popular? Do you go to them? Do you feel the pressure to sign up so that your baby can keep up with the rest? Do you love them or dread them?