Sunday, October 19, 2008

Balancing Babe

The thing about two-year-olds in gymnastics is, well, it's cute. They get to try out all the apparatus, balance beam, bar, somersaults, spring-board thing to big foam block, and the most infamous Foam Pit. In the last 6 weeks, every Wednesday night it's been pretty easy to put Little Girl down for bed 'cause the draw of being rested for tumbling class the following morning is a great incentive.

Now, it is prudent to understand that taking a Tenacious Two anywhere can present certain challenges. I have found that it is extremely helpful to explain thoroughly what to expect and what is expected of her, in no uncertain terms and in simple language. At first I expected that she should follow instructions, but that's just silly when I stop to consider developmentally reasonable expectations. Fiona was into following the loosely defined syllabus of the day at first, but toward the end of these sessions she mostly just stuck to the trampoline having no interest whatsoever in the obstacle course, only periodically trotting over to the beam or bar where the rest of the class was migrating.

Of course the Foam Pit is a massive tempting thing that I must herd her the other direction until our class' turn. Some structure is good, too much structure only creates conflict. I have laid out a structure as a basis of operation and then from there we are free-form. Fiona can generally expect breakfast, lunch, nap, and dinner at essentially the same time every day. Between those times we do many other things, lately I find myself explaining how one day we do things for Fiona, another day we do chores & errands for mommy, then yet another day we do something again for her. Sometimes this concept goes over smoothly, sometimes not. The egocentricity of Two never ceases to amaze.

Anyway, a dozen or so toddlers tumbling around, chasing hula-hoops, bouncing in foam blocks, thoroughly enjoying simplicity of exertion and movement is really a treat to behold. There are invariably explosions here and there, when a tot does not want to cooperate in someway or other, particularly direction, but it passes, and it's back to enjoying the multitude of distractions. Top the entire thing off with a stamp for each appendage and it's a super morning activity.

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