You're getting my coffee time today. It's cold and dreary outside with just a little bit of snow in the air. I made the comment to Elizabeth that we should be thankful for our warm house on a day like today. When she walked outside, she looked around and said, "I sure don't see the snow...oh wait, there it is."
Speaking of drama, we started back to gymnastics yesterday and I was a little bit worried by how our little sister would do. I braced myself for the worst, half-expecting tears and tantrums. The night before, she insisted that she didn't want to go.
"But Mama!! (Italicized for whininess) I don't want to go to gymnastics!! I don't want to wear a yeotuck (i.e. leotard).
"Why Rachel? We've been waiting for you to turn 3 to start gymnastics again. I thought this was something that you wanted to do."
"Nooooo!! I want to sit on your lap and eat goldfish!!"
When Rachel turned two, we were going to a wonderful gymnastics facility that catered beautifully to the younger crowd. The only problem with it was that it was 45 miles away, one way. But we continued the trek because we had good friends there and I wanted to give Rachel the early opportunity that Elizabeth had had. However, no one told that to Rachel.
She cried and screamed and refused to go out on the floor. So she ended up staying in the stands, cuddled up in my lap, munching on goldfish or a similar snack while Elizabeth did her class. Even when Caleb was born, it continued the same until I forced her out on the floor, literally kicking and screaming.
|The beginning of Elizabeth's gymnastics career. She had just turned two and was a wild woman. Her friend, Kensley, is on the balance beam.|
|First day Rachel agreed to get on the floor.|
I never once thought that wanting my one-on-one attention was keeping her from going out there. Until she fessed up during her fit the other night. (#middlechildproblems)
"Rachel, you can't sit on my lap anymore, I have Caleb and I won't be sitting down. And I am not going to bring any snacks. You need to try it at least once. If you don't like it, I won't make you go back any more."
Well, this just hit the new three-year-old like a ton of bricks.
We compromised on the "yeotuck" and let her just wear a shirt and some leggings and, after confirming that I indeed did not bring snacks with me, out she went on the floor with Elizabeth, without a fuss.
That is not to say she participated though. But she didn't cry.
The group did jumping jacks, Rachel stood there and looked down.
The group ran down a runway and jumped in a pile of foam blocks, Rachel walked to the edge of the pile and looked in.
The group did crab crawls down a line, Rachel walked beside it.
This was about the case for the first half hour. I was seriously considering throwing in the towel and trying the whole thing again in six months. To make matters worse, Captain Busy Britches was not thrilled to NOT be out on the floor with the girls and basically ran havoc of the place the entire time.
And then I saw it.
Suddenly, Rachel was on Elizabeth's heels, chasing and participating...jumping and climbing. She was laughing and having a great time. And at the end, she even inched her way into the pile of foam blocks...but just a little bit.
What a nerve-wracking parenting stage. I remember being dragged to my first softball practice. I was super shy and the girls were all bigger than me and I'm pretty sure my dad dropped me off and left. It was horrible...until it was fun. Looking back at that, I remember in living color the dread that overcame me, having to walk down to that field. And eventually softball became quite a large part of my life and eventually was one of the resources that lead me to meet my husband. So I ideally, should be thankful for the experience.
But I never told my dad about another sport tryout again.
I got in the car, praying endless prayers of thanksgiving that it not only went well, but that I could get Caleb strapped into one place again. And then treated my big gymnastics superstars to lunch.
And of course, they were famished...because there had been no snacks... :)