The three children pictured here were setting off to go to their first “trial” gymnastics class. Don’t they look sweet and innocent? That would be a grossly inappropriate assumption to make about these three maniacs.
It started off innocently enough. I have been trying to find a music or gymnastics class that my nanny could take the kids to this summer since they won’t have their little two day a week “school” program. That sounds easy enough. However, most programs require one adult per one child for classes where children are under three. That’s never going to happen in our lifetime (hence me feeling like a guilty mom for my kids not ever doing Mommy & Me classes). We found a wonderful gym near our house that offered to take them on and suggested we come for a trial class last week (you’re just now getting to laugh at our travails because I was preoccupied with the Easter mayhem).
The kids were thrilled. They talked about it all day. They couldn’t wait to go – you can see the eager anticipation on their faces before heading out the door. Bray met us at the gym a few moments into the class, already descending into unmitigated disaster territory. It’s a 45 minute lesson and, thankfully, that day there were only two other poor toddlers that had to endure our invasion. They would NOT listen to Coach Butch (I kid you not, our two year old gymnastics coach was called “Butch,” it’s like Napoleon driving a Ferrari). Understandably, they were on sensory overload. This is one of those massive gyms that has wall to wall mats and uneven bars and balance beams and ball pits and there were kids aged two to twenty training from one end to the other. In addition to ignoring ANYTHING that Coach Butch told them or tried to get them to do, when they would attempt something, they would cut the other kids off to run to do the fun part. For example, there was a toddler obstacle course and if you did everything correctly, at the end, you got to jump on a trampoline into a ball pit. One child on the trampoline at a time. I am so sure. Maybe none of these kids have siblings, but we’ve not mastered the one at a time concept around here. If we get lucky, we’re two at a time. That’s if somebody naps late. So they kept circumventing the “obstacles” to all go pell-mell onto the trampoline regardless of whether it was their turn. The straw that broke the camel’s back, and nearly a talented tween gymnast’s back to boot, was the careening about the gym that then began. Tired with the toddler area and cutting off unsuspecting wee ones (because we were far and away the largest two year olds in the class), they moved on to investigating other areas despite loud and repeated imploring by Bray and me. At one point, while I held the wriggling baby under one arm against his wishes, Bray ran off to recover the little lady dodging in and out of the balance beams and uneven bars that were IN USE.
We carried them out, against their will, and to the very loud protestations of the little lady who was the most smitten with the big girl gymnasts. Screams were bouncing off of the walls around us, and we were quite the red-faced spectacle. It was very possibly their most disobedient display to date.
The most frustrating thing, besides being unable to resurface at this particular gym in the next two years, is that I really DO want them to have a class to go to this summer. We have swimming lessons coming to us once a week, but I want them to be able to go out and DO something fun. I’m desperate for ideas, but maybe it’s just that I have to wait one more year until they are older………..if you do happen to have any suggestions, I am all ears. Although after this story, I’m sure you won’t be recommending any place that your family frequents!