Creative Outlet or Repeated Disaster? The Kid, Who Can’t Sit Still, Goes to Gymnastics

I burned enough calories so I felt good about missing the Squat Challenge O’ the Day. Probably more energy than all of the 2- and 3-year-olds combined at the gymnastics class. It was the first structured instructional setting since the last time we ventured into gymnastics and I’m not even gonna mention the story time fail of all eternity. Humnoy is still the kid, who can’t sit still and I felt the burn of the judgey eyes from the non-gymnasts of the group.

Warm-up? No, Humnoy was most interested in the instructor’s son, who brought the shiny ass toy monster trucks. Really, kid?! REALLY? Foot on your rubber circle? No, rubber circle on the face. Wait in line? No, cut in line and shove everyone in the way. Listen to mama and daddy? No, shriek and throw a fit after the threat of leaving for the outrageous behavior. We were ready to head out the door as he kicked and screamed “No!” and I saw the instructor’s concerned side-eye towards our ridiculous family interaction. I also caught a couple glimpses from other adults (not all were parents, some were nannies) and before I could lunge at them with, “Come at me, bro!” they quickly flash their sympathetic grins when I notice them and just as quickly glance back lovingly at their boring child.

I was terribly embarrassed. Terribly tired. Terribly annoyed. Out of almost a dozen toddlers, my child (mine) was the only one, who wandered aimlessly as others sat and listened and watched. Even Lanoy sat and listened and watched. Given she doesn’t have the means to do much anyway, my infant received all the praises whereas the toddler received the angry-mom voice behind clenched teeth. I gave great specific praise for practicing the stunts (when not cutting), participating in the parachute activity, and receiving hand stamps but he then totally peaced the fuck out by the goodbye song.

toddler gymnastics

Humnoy responded really well when neither of his parents were hounding him and, would you believe it, when the instructor stepped in. I’m no expert but in my former life, I was primed to identify the varying levels of learners and how to best respond to increase that learner’s success rather than allow opportunity for an undesired result and delay any further repeated patterns. She spent more time with familiar students and those who clearly knew what to do. I know it’s not her “job” to helicopter my son nor is it to regulate his behavior. This class requires parent/caregiver participation, of course. I guess I really appreciated our last gymnastics experience when the instructors gently assured us it is completely okay for the toddler to roam around, which he perfectly did. I’m *that* parent, guys. *sigh* There’s always next week, right? And the next. And the next.

How can I make gymnastics go easier for everyone?

You can find me tweeting my hatred for pants on twitter, filtering the shit outta my kids’ mugs on Instagram, pinning food I’ll never make on Pinterest, and being a wannabe grownup on Google+

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6 thoughts on “Creative Outlet or Repeated Disaster? The Kid, Who Can’t Sit Still, Goes to Gymnastics

  1. It is ok! Gymnastics class and all the equipment is like a colorful new playground. Who wouldn’t want to run around? My suggestion is to make it really fun, even if he’s not following exact directions. The moms of the “crazies” are encouraged to try the obstacles (if possible) and not say a word to the child, but rather exclaim, “so fun!” Or something like that. It takes some kids one time to follow the class, others never really get it, but they have a fun time and get some exercise. Good luck mamas!

  2. do not even worry about it. Max went to a “bring a friend day” at a Little Gym and he would not sit still either. not only that, he would not keep quiet. He was yelling and singing to himself. the instructor and my friend assured me that it wasokay for him to just explore and totally normal especially since he was not a regular. she said it took her son a month to sit in the circle with the other kids. it just takes one rude stare to make a mom feel uncomfortable…I despise those rude starers!

  3. Meh, when you feel those judging looks pointed your way, hold your head high, cuz your kids a bad ass who wears pillowcase capes! 😉 Also because you’re a great mom with a very active TWO year old who’s just learning best he knows how. He’ll figure it out in his time. But I agree with Macrae, the cheesy “this is so fun” stuff always help with my more busy kids.

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