The first thing I ever bought for my first baby (whom I hadn’t even conceived yet) was a shirt and matching blanket with appliquéd donkeys and cacti on them. I also got the small donkey plush to go with them. Just a year before, Scott and I had donkeys at our wedding. They delivered cold Shiner beers to guests during cocktail hour. We had a thing for donkeys.
I happened upon that sweet donkey set in Gymboree, and it left a lasting impression. What other baby store was selling stuff with donkeys on it amongst the predictable ducks and puppies? None. Nobody.
Less than a year later I became a mom, and shortly after that I would gladly call myself a Gymboree mom. I bought a lot of clothes for Kendall at Gymboree, especially the first few years- never at full price. I’d wait until they had a great sale and I knew how to work my Gymbucks. I took so much pride in dressing him.
Whatever I saved at Gymboree on clothes I spent at Gymboree Play & Music. From the time Kendall was 3 months old until he was 18 months old, he and I went to Gymboree classes 2-3x a week. We bought the special Gymboree bubbles, and sang all the songs together at home and in the car.
Was Gymboree Play & Music a necessity? No. As a mom of 4 now, it’s a little laughable to think of taking my 4th to a music and play class 2-3x a week. The only songs we sing with him are Spotify playlist favorites that we sometimes try to censor.
But back when I just had one, and I was so new to being a mom, so worried about doing the mom thing “right,” and not having a single clue what “right” even looked like, it was a nice outlet for me. It gave me a reason to put on clothes and be somewhere by 10:30 am every few days. It helped me feel more in control of this runaway train called motherhood.
When I heard that Gymboree is closing all it’s stores and filing bankruptcy, I felt a little sad thinking of all the adorable outfits I found there that became a part of the fabric of our family’s memories and moments. But then I thought, “oh no, not the classes!” That was even sadder to me- all the moms and dads who feel like those classes help them figure out what to do with a baby who just, like, lays there, and all the caregivers who love seeing their babies and toddlers learn new songs and skills week after week- how sad for them.
GREAT NEWS! The classes aren’t going anywhere. This statement from Jenna Tarleton from Ogilvy, on behalf of Gymboree Play & Music just landed in my inbox and I ran here to share:
“While we are sad to see our friends at Gymboree clothing stores going through hard times, we want to make sure you and your readers are aware that Gymboree Play & Music is – and has been since 2016 – a separate company from GymboreeGroup. In fact, Gymboree Play & Music continues to grow, with plans to open additional locations throughout the country in 2019.”
I’ve been out of the Gymboree loop for a while now. The clothes aren’t what they used to be (probably a big reason the stores are closing), and we have plenty of hand-me-downs to choose from now. So I had no idea they were 2 different companies, and I’m SO HAPPY to hear that I was wrong to assume that Gymboree Play & Music would be closing it’s doors, too.
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