This morning I took Katrina to "minastics," which she claims to have great enthusiasm for, but then refuses to do most of the exercises. I got chatting with the mom of Zoe, a darling and very athletic little girl in Katrina's class, who turns out to be just 2 weeks older. Zoe is cooperative and willing and follows instructions and has a great time, whereas Katrina really stands out in the class as being resistant and refusing to try most things.
Another mom of another cooperative girl, Kira, said also that Kira wasn't so hot on gymnastics at first either, it took a session or two. But when I pressed, both conceded that their girls were hesitant and reluctant, but didn't scream or resist so furiously the way Katrina does.
Still, despite refusal occasionally escalating to full-on tantrum at the mere act of being asked, overall we did pretty well at "minastics" today.
Katrina completely refuses to join the warmup -- running and hopping across the room, one of the few things she can do easily.
She likes the trampoline though.
Inexplicably, she doesn't mind the "spider walk," which is walking her feet up the wall.
She's also OK with the low balance beam, provided she's holding my hand.
But daring to suggest she go on a different trampoline to get into her favorite, the donut? Forget it. The floor tantrum followed. Of course I don't force her, I encourage her, I suggest it, I imitate it, I sometimes carry her as I do it myself. This isn't about insisting she do something (except about turn-taking and not holding up other cooperative kids), she gets furious at the mere suggestion. Such as, "look, Katrina, Zoe's have a great time jumping on the trampoline!"
She did like watching Kira very competently climb the ladder and walk on the balance beam.
"No way Mom!" Katrina won't even touch the ladder, and I do mean touch -- she shrieked when I suggested she just put her hand on the ladder to see how smooth it is.
Stamp time! She likes the hand and foot stamps they all get at the end of class. Today none of the boys in the class showed up, but all 4 girls did.
I think that part of the problem is that Katrina's really not in her element. I joke about how clumsy she is, but watching how the other kids move around the equipment, it really does seem that physical coordination is a huge mystery to her. The rewards of swinging or jumping are a bigger stretch for her. I can appreciate that. But she loves finding shapes, colors and numbers around the room, and relaxes and lights up when there's a blue circle with a 9 in it to point out -- the contrast in her comfort level is remarkable.
After gymnastics, Katrina and I joined the boys at Bobbi's for breakfast. She's always happy to see them, and declares happily, "Brothers!"
Then we all went home for a busy and mostly productive afternoon at home. Dave and I are still starved for time at home getting things sorted or straightened out, and have a lot of energy for usually drudgerous projects like getting rid of stuff in the garage (still packed with furniture and leftover construction materials). I'm also sorting through all my remodeling-related papers, getting rid of most of it, filing a few things (receipts). Usually this sort of project is a serious pain, but I'm relishing cleaning out, getting down to the bare-bones, and mostly, unpacking my craft area so I can start scrapbooking again!
The boys were "bored" this afternoon (aw shucks too much outdoor play on a gorgeous day) and pulled out some slightly forgotten craft projects. Gabriel finally finished this helicopter, a cross between a model and a puzzle. A few pieces had broken along the way, and I'd glue and re-glued some of them. On one piece, I used a tiny piece of a safety pin to strengthen the broken joint. So it was a long road, and he was very happy to finish it today.
What do we do with things like this?
The evening was topped off with a nice round of popcorn for the whole family after dinner. I'll conveniently forget that Julian was removed after saying something about peeing in his popcorn (bathroom talk at the table is strictly forbidden), because otherwise it was a nice moment.
(shh...I think the stomach flu passed up Dave and Katrina after all, yay!)