Disclosure: I love working with Chicago-based companies to find the very best in kid-friendly, body n’ brain-stimulating activities all across town. Although I’m compensated, all thoughts, opinions, and stubborn children are entirely my own.
Windy City Ninjas
Let’s lay it all out on the table, shall we? Even though I have three children, I only have two types of children: One is the kind of kid who shies away from newness, believes wholeheartedly in stranger danger/”Mom, can I sit on your lap,” and would prefer to sit quietly and watch. The other kind is…Suzy. (For better or worse, that kid has never met an activity that wasn’t her absolute favorite.)
Since starting at Windy City Ninjas with the younger two, I have two reasons to adore this places: One is because they work so gently with Jasper, taking things at his pace, checking in with me, and allowing for a positively crazy amount of “water breaks/sitting on Mom’s lap.” The other reason is…because of the freedom and encouragement they give Suzy (as she climbs sosososohigh).
Goldfish Swim School- Bradley Place
Ah, but what’s the dynamic when all three kids take a swim class at the same time at their beloved Goldfish?
Suzy rushes in with her favorite goggles, gives a high-five for the teacher, and cannonballs into the water. Nora- the original Jasper- takes her time, chooses the right goggles, sits and listens for the day’s instruction and, every so often, looks over her shoulder to ensure I’m still sitting behind the glass. (I am.)
Jasper, a.k.a. Nora 2.0, sometimes decides that he won’t speak, instead choosing to purse his lips in silent protest (which also works to keep water out of his mouth). But he always back floats, and when it’s his turn to sit on the ledge and watch his swimming mates, he 100% of the time looks over his shoulder to ensure I’m still sitting behind the glass. (I am.)
And while I’m sitting, I’m even enjoying a book, a snack, 30 minutes of zero question-answering, and the knowledge that right then- right at that very moment- I’m being an excellent Mom.
(Sign me- ahem, them– up for the next sessions.)