Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mighty Mouse vs. Gymnastics

With no clear winner.

So - some of you may remember our dilemma with P.E. last year.

The Mouse HATED gym. (And I don't like using that word - but it is the only one that conveys her true emotion.) As in crying for 1.5 hours almost every Sunday night because gym was tomorrow at school.

It was brutal.

And it last ALL year.

Add to that the phantom leg pains. She would cry and complain about leg pain on and off all year. CRY. Like she was crippled. I had her checked at the doctor office (it was a joke but don't get me started) and we would literally wrap an ice pack around her whole leg and strap it on to stop the crying. She even used dads cane a time or two. She slept with ice packs on occasion.

Was this real? Was this put-on due to hating P.E.? Was this incorrect shoes (which we worked on)? Was it a lack of potassium (more bananas - especially on Sundays)? And just so you know - we've only had leg pains once this summer....just this week after the reality of going back to school sunk in. Hmmmmmm.

So, I have been on a mission to try and figure out what type of physical activity I could put this child in that would get her moving and using those body parts. We've gone over all the usual stuff and finally decided to give gymnastics a try. Lighter on the running than most team sports, girly and something she thinks she is interested in. Worth a shot -- even if it does slow down paying off our debt.

One of MM's scout mates had a gym sticker on her van and I asked about them. Sounded like a good place as they do not only teach to competitors. Whether MM ever wants to compete is not a decision I would make for her so I was very comfortable with the fact that they conducted both competitive and non-competitive classes.

We dropped by the gym to check it out and found out we could do a trial class to see if she would even be interested.

And she has been SO excited this last week while waiting for that class. Bugs me every day!

Very promising.

So the evening arrived. We picked up the teen from her friends house on the way so I at least had company while I waited. Plus it kept me from having to go out twice (snicker). And we got the little mini-tour when we arrived and then waited for her class time since we came early.

While waiting we were in the observatory and looking at her class age....but she was drawn to the other side where the big girls are. The ones doing major cool stuff. And her eyes were so big! She was astounded that she could do this when she gets big!!

How the child that won't speak to human beings can be so dare-devil brave just confounds me.

Now, even with all of this, I was not sure how all of this was going to turn out. She had no clue or experience. She would have to interact with total strangers. She would have to take direction and respond to the teachers.

Of course she did great.

As a matter of fact it was a very entertaining hour. Sissy and I were in stitches as often as not!! (Yes, the other mothers were giving me horrified looks as I laughed my butt off at my kid.)

Things I observed during this hysterical 50 minutes:

1. My child does not know how to do jumping jacks. No wonder she hates gym - she probably gets made fun of for being such a colossal fail at the beginners stuff!!

2. 6 and 7 year old girls are very willing to help a new girl learn how to do jumping jacks. At one point the whole class had joined in trying to help her and the teacher had to round them back up into their own stations. THIS WAS FUNNY.

3. Even 5 other girls her age all working together CANNOT teach Mouse how to do jumping jacks. Will assign this task to teenage daughter before next class. It's a matter of pride now.

4. Mouse does not weigh enough to use the spring board. Nor does she understand what the spring board does since it does not move when she jumps. BUT Mouse does not give up and is very happy to just do it her way and be proud of herself. Even if mom and sissy are laughing at the show.

5. The Bug Crawl is almost enough to make me wet my pants.

You see, the bug crawl is when the girls put their legs up on the wall and walk on their hands from one end to the other. It is training for being able to do a handstand and strengthening for the arms. Which means their legs are together for the most part.

But Mouse? She doesn't get the legs together part.

So she is crawling along the wall in a full splits. With her crazy toes just kinda tip-toeing along the wall. And she can make it from one end of the wall to the other on those little stick arms.

We were busting a gut. They couldn't get her to understand and she was just so happy that she could do it!!! And as I'm snorting and choking back the laughs (no she can't hear me) I look at Songbird and say....."very reminiscent of Jungle Book?" And she says, "MOGLI!!!!!!"

And we laugh again. Because I'm telling was like Mogli dancing!!! And ya know...the more I think about it...the more I think she could even pass for Mogli! Except she's a she. And not Indian.

And so the lesson ended. And it was a good thing because I think I'd had enough fun for one night.

And MM came running out to me.

And looked me dead in the eye.

With the biggest smile ever.

And said........



She did.

And I picked up the registration papers and wrote out the check.


I did.


  1. Oh my gosh! I wish I could've seen that, though I can picture it in my mind pretty vividly, and I bet it was adorable!

    Cakie starts ballet tonight. This will be interesting.

  2. Oh, I love it! Finding something they love is so worth it - and they can always get "good" later.
    Good luck with the jumping jacks... Z can't figure them out at all, and Canaan's are pretty choppy.

  3. THAT IS WONDERFUL! (I loved reading this! You wrote it so well!)

  4. Cute!!! My girls did gymnastics for awhile...until we couldn't afford it anymore. But so worth it!! I'm so glad MM loves it! :)