Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reluctant Tumbler

It’s tumbling time again!

This evening I took Elaina to the late summer session of toddler tumbling class. She had a good experience in “tumbing” when she was enrolled back in the winter, but hasn’t been enrolled since. When Lincoln was born, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself or have a standing Tuesday night commitment, so we took the summer months off.

I knew that we had missed the first class of this session, but didn’t exactly realize that they were already into their third class already. The session is half over! The instructors were kind enough to discount the rate, proportionate to the only three classes remaining. Based on Elaina’s behavior tonight, that’s probably a good thing.

Miss Thing was so excited to go to “tumbing” as she bounced through the house, smiling and gathering her jewelry to wear. She didn’t even mind that I made her take off all of her gems before leaving the house. We arrived at class and she immediately left my side to play with some new friends. As soon as the instructors beckoned the kids to the other end of the room, I was impressed how easily Elaina followed. “This is going to be a good class,” I thought to myself with pride in my daughter’s social skills. The minute the instructors clicked on the music and asked the kids to begin floor stretches, Elaina turtled around on the mats and wandered to the back of the room to dangle herself off of the balance beam before she ran back to Mommy. After a little pep talk from mom and some encouraging words from the other moms, Elaina ran back to the class with a fresh attitude. Which lasted all of about 3 minutes before she broke from the pack once again. After 3 more times of her boomerang behavior, I took her by the hand back to the middle of the gym and sat with her just behind the class and tried to motivate her into joining in. The whole time she hid behind me, saying, “Mommy, I can’t do it.”

Part of me wanted to take her home immediately and save my baby from failure while the more perserverent side of me wanted to push her hiney onto the exercise mat and make her pay attention and put forward some effort. It’s at this point that I realized more than ever that she absolutely did need to be in a structured class afterall. Once the floor stretches ended, and the class moved onto something new, her interest peeked and I was able to take my seat in the back of the class once again.

Guess who is going to be a regular in this class from now on.

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