Thursday 5 March 2009

Tearful gymnastics

Yesterday I broke one of my own cardinal rules. The one that says that I should always remember that hovering around Ads can be extremely counter-productive. He started a gym class yesterday afternoon. It’s offered by the Santa Clara Parks and Recreation department, a 45 minute session once a week for 8 weeks, designed to introduce kids to basic gymnastics. At Ads’ level which is the 3-4 year old class, all it involves is a 10 minute warm-up session, followed by some sliding down poles, swinging from monkey bars, jumping on a trampoline and cartwheels 101. All very interesting and fun for a 3-year old, wouldn’t you think?
I made the strategic mistake (when will I learn?) of deciding to stay back and observe the class. The experience at Ads’ school has shown me that he will cry when I am around, but sobers down when I leave. This is the case with most kids and their parents, of course. The lil fella started crying his heart out as soon as the (very nice and friendly) teacher took them through their paces. The rest of the nightmarish class consisted of medium to high-intensity crying episodes. Ads kept getting more and more agitated and I kept getting more and more irritated (with him and with myself, for not having left the class sooner).
Next week, I will drop him and just leave and hopefully he will do better without me around. As excruciatingly painful as the whole experience was for both of us, I kept reminding myself that the reason I have signed him up for these classes (he starts basketball next month -- another nightmare-in-the-making!) is not to teach him new skills but to expose him to various environments so that he learns to be less shy, less timid and more confident.

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