As I’ve mentioned before, Ali is pretty much obsessed with all things gymnastics.
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.
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.
But somehow, the Olympic-gold-medal-worthy price didn’t curb her enthusiasm at all.
We then tried on her next choice. At first, she wasn’t sure,
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:
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.
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.
I know she’s cautious and shy, but this was BEYOND her normal level of shyness.
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:
And then, it was time to go.
“No, no, I don’t want to go I want to stay.”