Noob Baby and I went to Gymboree yesterday. For those of you who don’t know, Gymboree is a children’s clothing store, but they also have Play & Music centers where kids get to
terrorize one another, horse around exercise and learn “stuff.” These centers also appear to be Gymboree Corporate’s own little economic stimulus package during the recession ($74/month + $40 one-time membership) .
So, it was our second free class. I think we’ve actually maxed out our allowable mooching limits now. Technically, my friend gave me a coupon for another free class, but I may actually be too embarrassed to show up for another “preview” class…
a) Name all the equipment by their technical names instead of by identifiable features.
No, no… that’s the multi-sensory tunnel, not “The Tube.” And the Mega Crawler…well, that’s just called the Mega Crawler.
b) Sing all the songs before the instructor opens her mouth
c) Recognize familiar children
“Oh, how cute. Kaitlyn’s here with her dad this week.”
Aside from the fact that they charge you your left kidney, I’ve decided that I really enjoy Gymboree. Why? Well, because it’s your own little social experiment.
Both times that we’ve gone now, Noob Baby appeared to be shocked by the very existence of other noobs. It’s not like she’s never seen babies before. But from what I gather, when you have them sitting in a circle facing each other, the noobs become temporarily incapacitated and are only capable of staring suspiciously. BPM (blinks per minute) even lower to near undetectable levels.
Now, there is an exception to this study group: the bullies.
The bullies, from what I’ve observed (again, more research is necessary, in which case I just might HAVE to use my free preview coupon), are the noobs that have acquired the skill of mobility, yet have not graduated on to the next
experiment play group.
Bullies demonstrate outgoing, highly aggressive, egocentric behavior. Normal levels of stranger anxiety no longer apply. Bullies can be seen racing back and forth between the unsuspecting, statuesque noobs, snatching toys from their chunky fists. Unfortunately, the noobs have not developed their pack behavior yet, so defenses fall to the wayside. This is particularly intriguing since the ratio is typically 1:10 (bullies to noobs).
Bullies relish attention and heed no warnings from helpless parents. In fact, you can almost certainly identify a bully because the parent will be trailing in his/her wake. While the noobs are puppeted by their parents during songs, the bully uses this opportunity to loot the toy bins, hide in the sensory deprivation box, or attempt to escape the premises. I was shocked to discover that bullies do not fear unfamiliar adults, as was presented when the bully came up and patted my shoulder condescendingly before jetting off to ransack the cds… undoubtedly in search of Black Sabbath.
Closing remarks on Gymboree:
- Apparently Noob Baby gets motion sickness from being bounced to The Wheels on the Bus and Respect (there’s a broad collection of music there). She decided to spit up in protest.
- The Gymboree instructors have very good voices. Makes me wonder… was there a singing/childcare career that had a failure to launch?
- They need to issue a health warning to parents that you must be physically fit to attend class. I know I wasn’t the only one
sweating and out of breathglistening and mildly winded after lifting 22 lb. Noob Baby on my legs through the longest rendition of This Old Man (I swear, didn’t the guy just play 10??).
- Noob Baby met a “male friend.” They held hands for 10 seconds. Then decided to see other people.
Have you been to Gymboree? I’d love to hear if your findings are the same.