I saw a posting for the playgroup last week when my issue of Expat magazine arrived. I know, I know.. I'm no longer the expat, I'm back to native status (yeah! "Bumiputera"!) but I was looking for info on international schools for Connor and so I signed up for a free sub to the mag.
Most of my mum friends are working mums. So they can't exactly come out to play with us on a weekday. On weekends, most of them want to spend time with family and that's something I understand completely because that's the only time most of them get to spend with kids and hubby.
So I looked and looked for a toddler playgroup for Connor. I just wanted him to be able to play with some kids, run around and tire himself out and Mummy can make some new mum friends. Every website I checked said to join the ibu playgroups but they've been shut down due to some legal problems. Boo-hoo. The GIS playgroup was the answer to my prayers.
It's held at the GIS Early Education Centre which is separate from GIS main campus in Mont Kiara. The group meets every Tuesday at 9:00 - 10:30am. Mummy was a bundle of nerves the night before our first visit to the playgroup. Would my son be the social outcast? Would the other kids be bigger and older and therefore more liable to bash Connor with the shape sorter? Would Connor freak out and cling to my leg all the time we were there? If you think you were nervous your first day at school, you have no idea what your mother was going through on your behalf.
Turns out I needn't have worried. Connor was a little hesitant for the first few minutes when we got in and he looked at all the strange new faces smiling back at him. One of the mums came to greet me and her little girl (about 4yo) looked solemnly at Connor. "Connor, say hi." And my little boy managed a soft "Hi..." in his little boy voice before being overcome by bashfulness and hid his face in my shoulder.
But the moment he spotted the ride-on toy (Oooh.. wheels! Typical male - loves wheels more than the women in his life), he was off and running. I didn't exactly see him again for the next hour or so. Mummy enjoyed herself chatting with the other mums who were all very friendly while Connor played till he dropped. I was really pleased and proud that Connor didn't cry or cling to me. I suppose it's because he was used to the creche at the American Club in Jakarta where there were other older kids screaming around him. Because he's an only and not used to having other kids around him all the time, I'd thought he might find it frightening. So I'm really happy that it turned out well for him.
The playgroup is organised by the PTA of GIS and it's really an excellent way for families to check out the school facilities and activities. They have lots of toys and the playroom is next to the indoor exercise area. So when the big kids are done with their exercise, they open up that area to us and the younger kids had a blast running around.
There's about 10 mums there now. The children are mostly around 2-3yo I think. Connor was the youngest one there at 17 months. They have some snacks, milk and hot drinks on hand so you needn't really bring snacks for your little ones.
We enjoyed ourselves very much and I'm looking forward to this weekly activity for us. The GIS playgroup is located at:
The GIS Early Years Center
No. 1 Jalan 41/70A
Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
How to get there:
1. Coming from KL, you will turn right at the traffic lights to Desa Sri Hartamas. Turning left will take you to Sri Hartamas while continuing straight on will take you to PJ/Bangsar.
2. Take the first left turn after the traffic lights. That will be Jln 32/70A I think.
3. Follow the road until you see a left turn. Take that left, it will be Jln 48/70A.
4. Go along the road until you see a security post on your left. Turn there and take the first right turn (not the road immediately parallel to the main road but the next). You'll be able to see the EYC from that junction.
See you there!