Friday, February 20, 2009

"Come on everybody it's parachute time."

My household and Gymboree are "on a break."* Bub did Gymboree classes for about a year and it was mostly a lot of fun. There's plenty to do there and plenty to play with and it's no big deal if your child isn't into each activity in the portion of the class where you are building problem-solving or creative thinking (or whatever other skills their marketing experts dreamed up) skills. Late last spring when I was pretty darn pregnant and Bub was among the oldest and biggest in his class, we had a problem with hugging at Gymboree. That's right, a hugging problem. Bub would go in for a hug -- and I believe that this impulse to hug came from a genuine, loving place -- but unfortunately, these hugs were a bit too enthusiastic and might even have seemed, to those unfamiliar with Bub, aggressive. You see, the hugs did not end. Bub would continue the hug until both children were on the ground. When did Bub do his hugging? Parachute time.

That's why, the following passage from Rattled by Debra Galant cracked me up. This novel is about a family who buy a McMansion in New Jersey, plus a whole lot of trouble. It was a fun read, I thought, and a good reminder that a big house and Pottery Barn furniture do not make a home or a family. Anyway, here's the passage. To set it up, Kevin is the dad and Connor is the son.

"Kevin remembered those Saturdays at Gymboree and his dread every time they played the parachute game. The grown-ups would all hold the sides of the parachute, and the children would disappear underneath, and then at the command of the teacher, the multicolored fabric would float up like a butterfly to reveal a group of delighted, giggling kids. In theory, at any rate. Only when Connor played, something would happen underneath the parachute, and when the silk came up, there would be some poor innocent child screaming and pointing hysterically at Connor."

My Bub is no Connor, but this passage tickled me as I know how it feels to hold one's breath and wait to see what the lifted parachute reveals. Galant gets a lot of little moments and details just right in this novel.

We have four visits to Gymboree left when I choose to unfreeze our membership. I may see if Little Bit is ready to get his hug on.

*for the record, the break is voluntary -- we were not asked to leave!


Lap said...

Too funny. It will be interesting to see how little bit interacts in these situations. Could one family produce two equally entbusiatoc huggers?

CaraBee said...

Sophie is a bit of a hugger, too. Perhaps we should stay away from Gymboree.

Anonymous said...

That Bub just has a lot of love to give and I might add, he does not know his own strength. Always nice to know you are not the only "one" experiencing some of the learning curves of child rearing. m

LAP said...

OK, so I just read my comment and clearly I botched the word "enthusiastic." I will have you know that the above comment was made at 3am, while nursing, via my itouch (NTB). This may explain some things.

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