Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Preschool Gymnastics Debacle of 2008

We signed Zander up for his first “class” of sorts – it was supposed to be a 50-minute preschool (ages 3-5) gymnastics class. Z had whined expressed reticence about going until we reminded him that two of his friends, Champe and Coral, were also in the class.

When we arrived, the first thing that my friend Laura (Champe's mom) spells to me is that the children have to go in “A-L-O-N-E.” Fine – usually more of a problem for me than for Zander. This is a kid who walks up and speaks into microphones at concerts, sings his heart out on stage, and does a variety of other things without his parents. But, noooooooo, not today.

Today, all he wanted to do was stay with mama. The other children dutifully followed the teacher into a big gym and Z clung to me for dear life. After a few minutes, he said he wanted to go in, so I walked him over to the class. Unfortunately, I then ended up doing this about ten or fifty million times. Each time he would say he was “ready to join the class” and then each time he would come back to me crying.

At one point he went over to the class and stood there. Now, all the teacher had to do was invite him in – even just ask him to sit down. But the teacher did not. Once, Z came running back and said, “They won’t talk to me.” Not that I'm blaming the teacher (named Slava) or anything, just that he certainly didn't help.

Anyway, Zander never did join the class and by the end, I was at my wit's-end. In hindsight, I made a few key errors, one of which was not getting there early enough for him to acclimate. Another was not checking ahead of time whether or not parents could go in with the kids. I just assumed we could. Had I known, we could have talked about it and gotten him psyched for it. (Brad is particularly good at this.)

There's another class next weekend, so keep your fingers crossed. Oh and this doesn't bode well for getting him to a ski lesson on our trip to Colorado next month.

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