As I’ve mentioned before, Ali is pretty much obsessed with all things gymnastics.

Everything long and narrow, whether raised or not (including but not limited to painted lines in parking lots and tile designs at the mall), is a “balance beam”, and she must walk on it.

Every kind of long and (hopefully) sturdy bar is a pull-up bar, and she must swing from it, hang from it, and do pull-ups.

(It takes all of my persuasional power to keep her off of the handicap bars in public bathrooms. If only I weren’t always sitting just out of reach and somewhat compromised in my ability to get up…oh, the irony.)

And, of course, flips. She LOVES her flips.

So, I went against my don’t-start-your-child-out-in-organized-activities-too-young philosophy and signed her up for a weekly “Mommy and Me” Gymnastics class.

When I told her, she was absolutely elated. When we went in to register last week, she almost kissed me of her OWN accord.

And THEN we went leotard shopping. I let her pick out the ones she liked, and we headed to the dressing room.

This was her original favorite, and she can be seen here having a heart attack of joy when she tried it on:IMG_1841Yeah. A bit blinding, huh?

Pro: Getting lost would be out of the question.
Con: The traffic cone resemblance is uncanny. And we all know what happens to traffic cones.

She thoughtfully checked the price tag,IMG_1842

But somehow, the Olympic-gold-medal-worthy price didn’t curb her enthusiasm at all.IMG_1843
We then tried on her next choice. At first, she wasn’t sure,IMG_1847
But after fully examining herself from all angles,

She was ready to plead her case:

We finally decided on Leotard de Froggy, along with this one:IMG_1856 IMG_1858

And, like all people of the female persuasion, getting to buy the OUTFIT for an upcoming event makes it infinitely more exciting.

(Speaking of, that’s what made me finally get excited about football last year. I’m thinking it’s time for a shopping trip for Mommy, compliments of Daddy.)

So, between her excitement, her obsession with Gymnastics, and how amazingly well she played on all of the gymnastics equipment when we went to Kid’s Gym, I was certain that our first lesson would be a smashing success.

Why, oh why oh why oh WHY, am I always wrong when I am certain?

Yeah. She wouldn’t do anything.

When I tried to get her to walk the balance beam (something that she has NEVER EVER turned down in her life), I got,

“I don’t want to walk on the balance beam. I want to sit in your lap.”

When I tried to get her to do stretches as her coach illustrated,

“I don’t want to do stretches. I want to sit in your lap.”

Surely she would want to swing on the bar.

“I don’t want to swing or do pull-ups. I want to sit in your lap.”

The issue certainly wasn’t classmate intimidation – there were only two others in her class – both boys – 12 months and 18 months old. Who, despite their age, were MUCH more willing to do anything and everything than she was.

When I finally managed to pry her white knuckles and clinched knees her from my lap, she sat, as far away from everyone else as she could.IMG_1879

And the only thing that DID seem to interest her was collecting and hording all of the gymnastics toys and, of course, NOT using them.IMG_1875
I know she’s cautious and shy, but this was BEYOND her normal level of shyness.IMG_1888

However, right before class was supposed to be over (of course), she made a new friend – Sydney, the coach’s daughter (who will, of course, be back in school before next week’s class). But seeing Sydney do tricks on the bars was enough to make her FINALLY want to actually DO something:IMG_1882
And then, it was time to go.

“No, no, I don’t want to go I want to stay.”

Of course.

15 thoughts on “Olympic Doubtful.

  1. There is hope for next week!!! Maybe you all can talk Sydney's mom into letting her out of school for a little while! hehe!!!

    PS. I love the leotards!

  2. Maybe next week she will want to do gymnastics and not sit in your lap.

    I am very shy too so I know even 2 other people can be alot. I hope she warms up to it.

    Love the leotards, they are adorable.

  3. Oh Rachel, they will NEVER do what you think they will do!:) I bet next week will be better though. It will probably not be so overwhelming for her. But, like I said, you never know…

    She looks adorable in the leotards though. And you color-coordinated the barates (sp?) perfectly. The picture of her looking at the price tag is GREAT!

  4. That is so funny:) Mia will probably be a bit nervous at her first class next week too. She cried the first couple weeks of ballet but ended up loving it when she got in there!

  5. Kids are absolutely the only ones that leotards look adorable on!

    Here's hoping her toilet gymnastics translate to floor gymnastics!

  6. I'm with everyone else. I bet next week will get better. It's a new thing in a new environment. Hard to imagine now but one day you may be sad as she runs off to new experiences without clinging to Mommy. I'd enjoy the cuddle time now. :)

  7. PS Love the leotards, too. Quite the little shopper you are raising. BTW, I used all that info from your "long butt avoidance" post when I recently went shopping for vacation clothes. THANKS!

  8. She'll get the hang of it. In the mean time, she will be looking cute sitting in your lap with those cute leotards. Haha!

  9. That looks like so much fun…if she would have done it. :) Haha, kids are so unpredictable! My daughter is always terribly shy for about 5 to 10 min. then she goes nuts. :P

  10. That is one bright orange leotard…can't believe some one would actually buy that for their kid!
    Love the pink frog leotard, Ali looks so cute in it!
    I hope Ali warms up to her gymnastics class; she really looks like she was built to be a star gymnast!

  11. When did they start making everything so stinkin' cute. Now that she knows what to expect, maybe next week she'll get more involved. :)

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