Today was our first expedition to the local Playgroup at the Bulimba Senior Citizen's Centre, an easy 5 minute bike ride from our place.
I told Zoe we were going to Playgroup when Sarah dropped her around this morning, and she got very excited and jumped up and down. When Sarah asked her if she knew what Playgroup was, she said "no!" while continuing to jump up and down excitedly. We all laughed.
I must have put this on my calendar when I was in Sydney last week, because I had it down for 8:30am, and we rocked up and there wasn't anyone there. A lady arrived to set up for a music class, and she said that the Playgroup didn't usually start until much later, so I figured I'd had a timezone fail and we went for a little bike ride around Bulimba while we waited.
The lady who was running the Playgroup arrived at about 9:15am, and so we helped with the set up. Basically lots of toys, a couple of slides and some basic craft stuff. Heaps of the little IKEA round plastic stools.
Parents (almost exclusively mothers) started trickling in from 9:30am. I've got a total name overload. We need name tags. Most of the girls seemed to be about 2 and a half, and a lot of the mothers had very young second children. Apparently a mother's group had joined en masse because they all had second children who were crawling, and so meeting in a park wasn't practical any more.
Structurally, the first hour or so was just a free for all, and the last half an hour was some songs, a story and some playing under and on a parachute.
All in all it was a good morning's activity, and at $20 for the term, nice and cheap. Apparently you're supposed to join Playgroup Queensland as well, for $40, but that takes care of liability insurance and whatnot. If only their website used SSL.
Zoe mostly just wanted to play with me. We did a lot of role playing with some dolls, and she checked out the various toys. She loved that there was a stage, and took it upon herself to give an impromptu dance performance for a bit. We also did a little craft activity. She seemed more interested in helping flap the parachute than going under it, but enjoyed having a ride on it when the time came.
I've just finished reading How Not to F*** Them Up by Oliver James. It was quite an interesting read, although not particularly applicable for my situation, as it more dealt with the first three years. It was interesting observing a whole bunch of different mothering techniques in action, both in dealing with their toddler children, and how they responded to their second infants.
After Playgroup, we biked over to the local toy shop around the corner from home, and grabbed some birthday presents for the birthday party on Saturday and came home for lunch. Chicken quesadillas and some mango (I hadn't realised how much I've missed Queensland mangoes until we moved back, and I'm glad Zoe loves them as well).
I got her down for a nap earlier today, and after she woke up, I asked Zoe if she wanted to write on the birthday cards we'd bought for the twins' birthday presents. She said she didn't know how to write her name (which isn't true) and wanted to paint them instead, so we compromised and used some sponge letters to stamp "Z O E" on the cards in paint.
Zoe said that Eva's favourite colour was purple and Layla's was pink (or it may have been the other way around), so we stamped one with purple paint and mixed red and white to make something that looked more orange than pink and stamped the other one.
Then Zoe wanted to glue the two paper plates together that we'd been using to hold the paint, so we did that, and then she wanted to "hand paint" a cardboard tube, which seemed to involve me directly squirting various colours into her hands and then her "painting" the tube with what was in her hands. The tube quickly ended up a brown/grey colour. All in all, it was a fabulous mess, and fortunately no walls or doors copped any paint on the way to the bathroom to clean up.
After that, we cleaned up Zoe's room a bit, which resulted in her going off and playing with her Magna Doodle with Smudge for a bit, and then we played Doctor with her doctor set and then we did some baking.
It was a good afternoon, and she only asked to watch TV once, when she first woke up from her nap, and we managed to successfully divert to other much more fun stuff.