Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chicago 2016 . . . Here we come!

I've got the bub all booked up for the fall semester. As the weather gets chillier, we'll be needing indoor places to go, preferably places that don't involve shopping carts and do involve people interested in interacting with us. The bub's first gymnastics class was this morning. It's a park district class, and the good news is that we can walk there. Best news of all, we have friends in the class. As an added bonus, it is dirt cheap. $30 takes us from now all the way into December. The instruction is pretty much what you would expect for the price, and that is fine by me. Not that I want to project my own insecurities or limits on the bub, but I never really even mastered the cartwheel as a girl (and always was completely in awe of the girls who could do handsprings). I've never asked my husband about his abilities as a gymnast, but I have my suspicions. Point is, the bub may not be born to be a gymnast. Of course, I could be wrong.

If the bub is born to be a gymnast, he is not revealing his inclinations just yet. Here is how we spent our 45-minute gymnastics class:

Setting: Standard Gymnasium
Conditions: Uncomfortably warm, no ventilation that I am aware of
Crowd: There are roughly 35 children, varying in age from 18 - 36 months; one or two adults with each child; and about 8 infant sibling tag-alongs.

Phase 1: Open Gymnastics
During the first 25 minutes of class, the kids are supposed to enjoy--with the assistance of their parents and caregivers--the various gymnastics stations set up in the gym. The bub did a bit of trampoline jumping (45 seconds or so, maybe three different times). The bub walked the high balance beam with my help a couple of times (2 minutes total). The bub crawled down one of the tumbling mats (30 seconds). The stations that most interested the bub were not part of the gymnastics class. We did a circuit that involved moving the partition blocking the gym entrance, exiting the gym, and visiting a water fountain with a child-sized step stool in front of it (at least 4 trips, 2 minutes each). Now, I am giving the times per activity not to "not brag" about the bub's speed but instead to try to convey how very long 25 minutes can be. The rest of the open gymnastics time was spent pulling the bub off the stage, where he was trying to move the partitions hiding the toys used for another class, one creatively entitled "playgroup."

Phase 2: Circle Time and Singing
For parents who have toddlers who enjoy sitting on their laps, I imagine that circle time is quite enjoyable. For me, it is an opportunity to get some exercise and test the strength of my deodorant. Today was not too bad though. The bub only left the gym one time. He entered the middle of the circle a couple of times. He clapped a bit. He sat on my lap for 30 seconds in a row.

Phase 3: Tumbling Activity
At the beginning of class, we were given a syllabus for the semester.* Today's concept was log rolls. The teacher asks the 35 toddlers to line up in two lines. She will demonstrate the log roll and then each toddler will take a turn rolling down one of two mats. When it is our turn, the bub drops to the mat. I follow the lead of the parents ahead of me and start rolling him down the mat. We make it through 2 rotations, or maybe just 1.5, but then lose momentum due to a backlog of other loggers. The bub is off the mat--Timber!--and ready to change things up and straddle the low balance beam.

I see that the syllabus for next week covers "Log Rolls & Bear Walk." Hopefully we can catch up at home in the interim. I imagine you cannot go to the Olympics if you cannot log roll. I do know that if water fountain operation becomes an Olympic event, we are bringing home the gold. NTB.

*No, they didn't really use the terms "syllabus" or "semester."


LAP said...

Really enjoyed the synopsis. I'm thinking about skipping the remainder of the mommy & me swim classes because 1) I've decided they are a lot of work, but mostly 2) my 18 month old seems to be the only child in class who won't go with the flow. Wear a cube? no. (Only imagine the no so loud as to get the attention of kids in the class at the other end of the pool) Use a noodle? no. Blow bubbles in the water? no. Sit on the wall and kick? no. Jump into the hula hoop? absolutely not. It's basically become a 30 minute session where I wander around the pool with her and occasionally give a look to the teacher like I am trying to get her to cooperate even though I've mentally opted for peaceful wading over loud shrieks. She does enjoy the water immensely, but apparently has her own lessonplan.

Anonymous said...

I am gearing up to do Mommy and Me gymnastics with Molly. She is a maniac so I am sure that I will need extra strength SECRET during our morning outing! My kids will not be Olympic athletes but the class is a good social outing for all of us.

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