Monday, January 11, 2010

Introduction to Structure

Gymnastics was a lot of fun today, but I was a little disappointed, mostly because I created my expectations based not at all on any facts.

Awhile back, we went to a Dads' Group playdate (to which no other dads showed up) at a gymnastics school. Every Friday, they have a sort of free-for-all session, where you can come in and play on the equipment with your child for 45 minutes. We did it, and Thumper had a blast, but I wished at the time that there had been more interaction with the instructors.

So when I saw gymnastics classes for his age group at the YMCA, I invented in my head without any confirmation in reality the idea that this would be more structured, that an instructor would show him how to tumble, how to jump on the trampoline that I'm not allowed to go onto with him, show him how to hang and swing on the bars.

Turns out it's precisely the same thing that we did at the gymnastics school that day: a free-for-all. Again, he had a blast, but since I thought this would also be an introduction to structured activities as well as an introduction to gymnastics, I was a little disappointed. Still, we had fun. If nothing else, it makes for a really cool playground. I tried to show him how to use some of the equipment. This is the result of me showing him to do a somersault down the wedge:

Here he is displaying his grace and balance on the beam:

And here he is not jumping on the trampoline:

I guess I'll work harder at making Library Storytime our introduction to structured activities, but so far he hasn't displayed much enjoyment of that one. He spends most of the time telling me "I won't sit down!" and "I want to go play puzzles!" He stands when we're supposed to be sitting quietly; he sucks his thumb and stares with bafflement at the other kids when they sing along and do all the hand motions to the songs. And even though it's short, he wants to get the hell out of there long before it's over.

Oh well. We'll get to structure eventually.


anne said...

Please don't rush him - he is still less than 3! He needs lots of unstructured activities to learn about new sensations and new ways to move his body. Even my 7-year-old son likes the abandon of running and jumping in places like this!

Purelight said...

The videos are absolutely magnificent--his skill level is right where it should be. You guys make me laugh, and that's a good thing!

I, Rodius said...

Don't worry, anne, he's got lots of unstructure going on. I'm sure one structured activity wedged into his week won't do too much damage.

Thanks, Mom! We'll see you soon. Be warned: the live version is still funny, but a lot more exhausting. Rest up!

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