Sometimes I'm amazed at how naive I am about this whole parenting thing. I've been doing it for a little while now, I've been told just over 3 years but who knows for sure. "I'm supposed to remember each kid's exact birth date? Our wedding anniversary too? Crap, I'm going to need an assistant or something." Since it's not my first day on the job you'd think I would remember how resistant my kids can be to trying new things. Luckily, my kids are kind enough to remind me when I forget important details like that.
Yesterday we took them to their first gymnastics classes. The older one had done it before but only in the class where parents participate. That was the class the little one is in now while her big sister's class is just the kids and instructors. We got there a few minutes early and the entire time we were waiting it never occurred to me that it could go wrong. I don't know what I was thinking. The little one went with her mom and the big one went to her class. Inside I'm thinking "yes, all I have to do is sit, watch, and maybe take a few pictures". That was the case for about two minutes, it was a truly magical time, and then the tears started. Not sure whether it was seeing her sister getting to have her mom in the class, the sight of me watching from the viewing area, or a combination of the two that set her off. Whatever the cause was, I had to leave my parental refuge to console her. That took a little bit of time and effort. I used to think it was impossible to express both joy and sympathy in one facial expression but that's was the expression on the faces of all the other parents. That I feel sorry for you but I'm just glad that's not my kids freaking out look that every parent knows. At that point, parental participation in the toddler class seemed like a welcome relief so I was thrilled when I heard the words "I want mom".
I jumped at the chance to switch kids like an Olympic gymnast running down a vault track. That quickly turned into that clip where the gymnast missteps on the springboard and slams chest first into the vaulting platform, when I came to a couple realizations. I have no idea what we're supposed to do at the different stations and it's hot as hell in here. So now instead of trying to calm down a three year old so she'll participate in the class, I'm sweating buckets as I chase an 18 month old and try to stop her from taking all the hula hoops. As near as I could figure, she was supposed to go through a series of hoops that were standing up, hug a teddy bear while she rocked back and forth, and then climb a series of mats. Apparently the instructions she heard was run around and make your dad look like a bumbling jackass. Who knew kids that age had trouble following instructions?
Needless to say, I was more than happy to trade kids again when I saw the other one wasn't crying anymore. Until I got back over to her that is. "Damn it." Thankfully, that was just brief and she happily started jumping over the balance beams with the other kids. I took that opportunity to gradually move further and further away. By the time they moved over to the trampolines she didn't even notice I wasn't with her anymore. So it started out so very poorly but turned around by the end of the class. Looking back at the other activities we've had them in (swimming, dance, play classes) it was par for the course. I should have realised going in how it was probably going to go. I guess it's not always a good thing to repress memories like that.
9 years ago