I signed Kaia up for the spring session of a well-known and popular music class in New York City. I originally found out about it a year ago, but I didn’t think it made much sense to pay for a music class for her back then when she wasn’t particularly interactive or responsive; to me, that felt like I would be paying for entertainment for our nanny vs. our own baby, which I did not want. Plus, before the age of 1, she would be exposed to plenty of music at home, on TV, and outdoors when we’d be out and about. So I waited until now to sign her up. It’s 13 weeks, with one class per week. You get two makeup sessions if you are out of town/have to miss a session for any reason. The ones I signed her up for are in Central Park. Her makeup sessions, which I’ve already pre-scheduled, are in Riverside Park, so all are quite close.
The annoying thing, though, is how specific they are about charges. So for example, because I signed Kaia up for the outdoor sessions, if I do a makeup session that’s “indoors,” they will require me to pay a $20 surcharge. Why…? Is it because they are paying for the indoor space, and that space, given we’re in Manhattan, is quite the premium? And they also suggested we purchase a “band in a box,” which is a box full of class props, like scarves, music-related toys, etc., for her to use during and outside of class. That costs $30. And because I didn’t want her to feel left out or like she was getting a half-assed experience, I sucked it up and paid for the box. Yep, I did THAT parent thing and just got it for her. Part of me thinks: this class is quite expensive at $35/pop (assuming you purchase the full season’s session), so why aren’t the props/toys just included? I suppose they are just being capitalists in a capitalist society and want to find every possible way to make more money. And of course, parents like us are going to pay for it because who, in this neighborhood, is going to cheap out on their child’s education? But the other part of me just feels annoyed that seemingly everything “baby” or “toddler” related has to be so expensive and has to have yet another price tag added to it. It’s exhausting sometimes. And when you do find the “free” things (paid for by… my TAX PAYER DOLLARS, like the library), it’s super competitive and cut-throat to get in, or it requires you queue up for hours on end. It’s just another thing to make parents’ lives more difficult, or to make child-rearing itself more challenging and expensive.