Day 12: What Not To ExpectPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gymnasty-ics

So much for the Gavinator becoming the next Mitch Gaylord and starring in American Anthem II and giving me and his father all the revenue from his Wheaties ad campaign.

I hate to say it but I don’t think gymnastics is working out.

For the past couple of months or so, gymnastics has been more temper tantrums and chasing Gavin across the gym than front flips and handstands. It sucks because Gavin LOVES gymnastics and does have natural talent but he is bored, bored, bored. What started as a class with one on one instruction has now become a class of 7 with most of the children being in the 18 month age range with not one but TWO parents getting in the way assisting.

I don’t know what happened around the beginning of December but we had a large influx of new students. This did not suit Gavin for numerous reasons with the main ones being:

1. The new students took away all the attention of his beloved Miss Erica

2. We pretty much had to go back to the beginning and repeat skills over and over that he had mastered and grown tired of months ago.

3. He no longer has free reign of the equipment. For months Gavin could jump on the trampoline when he wanted to or walk across the beam whenever it suited him. Since it was a class of him and sometimes, one other girl, we could go out on the floor or jump off the horse or do whatever. He never had to wait his turn. It was much more active.

4. The new kids are itty bitty and they take forever. Never mind the fact we’re are repeating the same skills and circuits over and over again so the newbies can catch up, the newbies are half Gavin’s size and he has no patience for them. None. I imagine it is like a roomful of his sister and all he wants to do is clothes line them and spit on them.

This new arrangement does not work well for me because Gavin is upset throughout the whole class and begging to do the things he used to be allowed to do and I’m given the task of trying to keep him and line and not send one of the newbies to the emergency room while I’m keeping Grace happy. Remember when Gavin’s teacher told me it was fine if I brought Grace even though it was parent taught because she would be there to help? Yeah right. She doesn’t even acknowledge Gavin any more. She is too busy helping all the itty bitties even though they have two parents out there.

And don’t even get me started on the parents. Between threatening to spank their 18 month old for not stretching properly and giving me the big fat eyeroll when I drag a screaming Gavin off the trampoline because six months into gymnastics he has to learn to wait his turn, I’m definitely not feeling any love for them. The only mom I kind of sort of bonded with started her daughter in a new class when our class got so crowded.

Last night it all came to head. I was tired of spending an hour every Monday wrestling Gavin to the ground while he screams and cries while I stuff Grace full of goldfish to keep her happy. So twenty minutes into the class I picked Gavin up and carried his writhing and screaming body- while pushing Grace in the stroller with my hips- out of gymnastics. The gym was packed because they are preparing for a meet and everyone stopped and stared and not a single person helped me. Not even when I struggled to open the door while Gavin started hitting me in the face and Grace started shrieking because she dropped her Mickey Mouse (have I mentioned that Grace is obsessed with Mickey Mouse? She is. She sucks his little round nose. I imagine she’ll wean off of me onto Mickey).

I finally got Gavin in the car and he was sobbing and screaming for me to let him go back into gymnastics. He promised he would listen. He promised he would do the class. He promised he would stop crying. I wanted to take him back in and give him another chance but I have threatened over and over again that if he spent another class screaming and crying then we were going home so we were going home.

He sobbed and sobbed the whole way home and begged me to turn the car around. Finally he wailed “Mama! Class is my best friend. It’s my best friend, mama. I love class. I love gymnastics. I want Miss Erica. Gymnastics is my best friend. My best friend, mama.”

So, of course, I did what any other mature mother of two would do and started to cry, as well. I just hate that he is so miserable doing something he loves because of how the dynamics of the class has changed. I know we can find something else he loves and this is just the beginning of the joys of finding out what fits for your child through various ages and stages but I hate to make the decision for him that it is time to quit.

I hate quitting.

Note to self: Do not impose own neuroses on children.

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10 Comments:

Blogger venessa said...

Oh, honey, what an awful night for you! For what it's worth, I think you did the right thing by leaving.

We had the same frustration with A's ballet class. Even though they said there was an enforced deadline to sign up, kids were entering the class in the middle of the semester and they didn't meet the minimum age, either. So, A ended up learning the same stuff over and over and was bored to tears. So we are taking the year off and starting up next year (she really wants to do ballet above all other things on Earth), when they are more strictly arranged according to age and ability and the expectations are more demanding.

9:36 AM  
Blogger venessa said...

Also, I have found almost all pre-school age activities to be very understimulating for A and not worth the money if you are looking for anything more than socialization. Kids that age vary so widely in their skills, I think it's hard to make it challenging. Maybe it's just my area, but we have tried several programs and she is bored with ALL of them.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

First let me say, I feel so much better about our dance class. Along those lines, I hate going with all my heart.

I agree, you did the right thing. Amber knows that I am more than ready to leave dance class if she acts up. I think I have left twice when she wouldnt listen. This has lead to a perfectly behaved child, on dance nights.

This is our second year and I am surprised it is going as well as it is. I am sorry that things have changed. I have no advice, just wishing you good luck.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Ally said...

Awwww, poor Gavinator. And poor you, what a group of stuck-up, self-important *#(&$(*#*$. You'll find the right match for all of you.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Aww, poor guy! You did the right thing though - must follow through or all heck will break loose. It sucks for both of you. I hope you are able to find something more suitable soon.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

I'm sorry, what a horrible night!! :( I hope you can find a new gymnastics class for him, or find something else he is interested in.

:(

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Oh man that sucks for the both of you- yet somehow I think the Goose was enjoying it as she got an all you can eat buffet of snacks:) It sucks when your childs likes something and it's not the right environment. Maybe you can do private lessons for the two kids? It seems to suck when there are different abilities all over the place- and the sucky parents don't make it any easier. Good luck and I hope he finds a place where he can run around and be free! Oh yeah and did I mention I was an extra in American Anthem?

7:23 PM  
Blogger alimum said...

Other parents suck.

Is there any way you can discuss the change in dynamics with the teacher? Is there any way you can leave Grace with someone so that you can give Gavin the attention he needs? Can you, perhaps, transfer Gavin to a less crowded class?

What are all the itty bitties doing in Gavin's class anyway? It sounds like some of these kids are Grace's age. Also, if Gavin has mastered some skills, shouldn't they move him to the next class?

2:37 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Awww, so sad! Lucas starts gymnastics on Feb. 3 -- I hope he has a better experience.

I don't mix well with other parents, so I will be bringing baby Justin as a distraction.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Maria P. said...

Hey you gave him the experience. He's had enough. That is OK.

As for the parents - remember what it was like to be all new parented/self centered ish - everyone else is a shitty parent?

I do. I was reminded to today in the parking lot.... well never mind. LOL

Don't feel bad. There are lots of other fabulous things for you guys to do. :)

12:45 AM  

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