Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bye-bye Gymboree.

I'm so nostalgic I can barely stand it. Today we quit Gymboree and it broke my little heart. We've been talking about quitting for awhile but I kept forgetting and then the charge date passed and we went for another month. Today I finally quit our membership and got the big guilt trip about all we were passing up. This was from a woman who I've never seen before and we've been going to Gymboree for well over a year. I know the economy has everyone worried, and Gymboree is a business like any other, but I sure did get the spiel. I did think twice about quitting afterwards. She was a good saleswoman but I did not like her tone.

We started going when BB was 8 months or so. Gymboree was a great activity with having only one small child to coordinate. I kept taking BB when LB was born because I had Simone here during the day so I could leave the little baby with her. It was a great chance for BB and I to have special time together since most of my time was spent feeding the baby. When BB started Mom's Day Out this year I switched our membership to take LB on the days his big brother was in "school." He was never as into it as BB who loves to climb. LB mostly liked playing with the balls and I could buy a ton of them for the cost on one month's membership. It is also getting too hard to coordinate schedules to make it worth our while to go. If I miss 2 classes a month, which is about how it was going, it was over $30 an hour. It's not worth it.

I'm sad about it because quitting makes me feel like my babies are growing up, which of course they are. As I sat there today and watched LB really engage with the Gymboree toys like he never had before (and made me 2nd guess my decision again), I got really sad thinking about how Gymboree has been a constant for us for a year plus of un-constants. I remembered how BB loved to climb on the toys and pop the bubbles. On the other hand, LB actually really liked Gymbo the Clown and shooting hoops. As I was leaving I shelled out too much money for some Gymboree whiffle balls, but now we have a memento. I like mementos. I meant to get a picture of LB's Gymbo stamps, so of course I'm feeling a fresh wave of sadness right now.

Why can't Gymboree be free? Of course I know the answer. I don't think this is really about Gymboree anyway. It's about my boys growing up and about me not getting to spend as much time with them one-on-one as I would like. I know this might seem pretty whiney to those longing for children, and I'm sorry if that hurts. It's like anything I look forward to for a long time which then ends. I still feel nostalgic about dancing in the Nutcracker ballet every year in high school, about going to a Hannah's Prayer retreat and then returning home, about going out to the movies with my husband without forking over $40 extra for a babysitter.

Thanks for letting me whinge (for you folks in Australia and NZ) about my "sad" day. If this is as sad as it gets I'm in pretty good shape, but I still feel it. Pout pout.


Thelma said...

Phooey on the boys growing up too soon! Praying you have lots of fun growing up memories to balance out the nostalgia.

Speaking of mementos: I still have the card you sent me from the HP retreat two years ago! I don't think I'll ever throw that away!

Verification word: carina

That's a pretty name.
This is random.

I think you should post pics of Chez (Shea?). I haven't seen her in AGES! Uh huh.

Loved Ones said...

It is sad, but too $$ for us too. I now am a community calender junkie, finding all the free stuff to do, which is fun also. They Parks and rec do a cheap version of Gymbo here, but it's no replacement.

I hope you have some fun adventures ahead. After a year we still sing the gymbo songs :)