Jun 012010

Mother Goose is….

“A group experience for parents with their toddlers, focusing on the pleasure and power of using rhymes, songs and stories… This is a nationally recognized Early Literacy Program.”

While that definition is correct, it doesn’t really do the program justice. I did two consecutive sessions of Mother Goose with my son at West Side Family Place. I found it welcoming, endearing and engaging. Unlike other programs for kids that are organized and regimented, this program was mellow, loving and “free” (for lack of a better word). The “curriculum” changed with each session; it evolved, if you will. Most importantly, there were songs, some puppets, some sign language and some pure playtime.

My son, the energizer bunny, lives to do the opposite of what is going on around him. If everyone is sitting, he will stand; singing, he will be silent; sitting in a room, he will fight to escape the room. Never one to be overly held or cuddled, he is an inquisitive, impatient little boy with a huge smile and sense of humor to match.

Some days I think I’m going to lose it, and they’re going to carry me off to the loony bin. You blink, my son’s on the coffee table; you try to do the laundry, he’s pulling the outlet protectors out of the wall. Sometimes, I stop in my tracks, close my eyes and breath deeply, only to open my eyes and see his adorable face grinning from ear to ear about an inch from mine. That’s what gets me through. Well, that and a little “Mother Goose” seemed to help a lot.

The coordinators (Eva & Jill) are loving people; you can tell they care. They are genuinely interested in you and your child. This is a place of comfort and compassion. It is easy going, everyone is welcome, and nothing is perfect or polished. You leave with a good feeling, like you visited a friend’s house. Somehow, as crazy as your child behaves, it’s no big deal. The environment is safe, there’s a slight diffusion of responsibility which allows you to relax so when it’s time to leave, you feel almost refreshed. At least I did. This is a special place.

If you have a child that likes to swing from the chandeliers and there are some days you think you may “lose it”, I suggest you give Mother Goose a try.

West Side Family Place
2819 West 11th Avenue (@ Macdonald)
Vancouver, B.C.