Mike and Robbie take a gymnastics class one evening a week at the local university. It is taught by the assistant coach of the men’s team and his wife — mostly the wife.
Originally, I was thinking that it would be a great sport to introduce Mike to. He’s probably not going to be super tall, and he loves physical activity. This class is fairly serious. It is traditional gymnastics for 4-5 year old boys, not at all like Gymboree/My Gym etc.
I still like the class, but they are both learning something totally different than I signed them up for.
The woman who does most of the teaching is really young and sometimes loses control of the class. She does a lot better job than I would (“Get your ass DOWN here!” would be me), but there are days when I wonder what exactly got taught that day. Then I figured it out.
There are 7 boys in the class. They are all frenetic energy machines. Some can’t keep their arms still, and others can’t help but throw themselves on the ground at random intervals. You know, excited boys.
The other night I was talking to another mom who told me that all she wanted out of the class was a way to calm her son down before bed. I’ve met this child. I understand her desire.
However, I have a completely different set of expectations.
Mike, Robbie and I now talk a lot about what to do when other kids are messing around and you know it is wrong. This is turning out to be worth the price of tuition all by itself. I’ve taught Mike some strategies for when he gets so excited.
So now instead of starting a pushing game with the other kids, I see him move back a little, stand up straight, breathe in through his nose, breathe out through his mouth, and put his hands behind his back.
Holy crap! I never thought I’d see the day!
One hour every week where they’re really expected to toe the line is OK with me. I’m not looking for little robot soldier kids, but I just love than most of the time he can control himself and pay attention to the teacher. Breakthrough, and totally worth $15!