Well, Henry’s tae kwon do career lasted three classes.
After being shy in his first two classes, with numerous “run over to Mom” moments, he basically flat-out refused to participate in class yesterday. First he was shy around the teacher’s assistant, and freaked out over an offer to tie his belt. Then he freaked out that he didn’t have on his belt. Then he freaked out when the nice mom next to us offered to tie it for him. Then he freaked out when I explained that I didn’t know how to tie belts yet, but I’d hold it for him until his teacher made his way over to our side of the room. Then he freaked out when I told him he had to stop freaking out, that he wasn’t allowed to disrupt the other students who were participating. After close to thirty minutes of trying to coax him into participating, I scooped him up and carried him out of class, while he threw a tantrum over being scooped up and carried out of class.
I explained to him that he had been to three classes now and had trouble participating in each of them, so we were done with tae kwon do for now. At first he cried about it, but after a while was just like, “okay, whatever.” Based on his behavior and comments outside of class, I believe he does still have an interest in learning the sport. But I think going by himself into a group of kids who were mostly all bigger than him and knew what they were doing was just too overwhelming for him. I’m going to check into a class at a different Y branch that might be at a slower pace, with younger kids (he’d probably be one of the older ones), which might be more up his alley for his first all-by-himself activity. So the cute uniform is put away for now, but hopefully not for good. And we were able to get him a spot in Eleanor’s gymnastics class, so he’ll still get to have an activity for the next few months.
Speaking of gymnastics, Eleanor had her first class, along with ballet, on Saturday. Can you say, “head-exploding-ly cute?” She was gung-ho to get started, and did great. No apprehension on doing the class without Henry, although it probably helped that she had Mom, Dad, and Henry all on the sidelines. The teacher started them off with a small obstacle course, which covered skills like balance, jumping, somersaults, and sticking landings. She breezed through each part. After doing a flip (with help from a spotter) over the bar, as she held herself up perfectly rigid, the teacher even asked Andy, “has she done this before?”
After a short break it was off to ballet, where she continued to shine. She got to wear a princess crown and learn first position and practice a bit at the barre. I loved seeing her face during both classes, when she’d break into her “I’m trying my hardest not to smile but I’m obviously very proud of myself” face. Even better was seeing Andy’s face as he watched his girl; “over the moon” is such a cheesy phrase but Andy is over the moon about Eleanor. Ballet got him a little misty-eyed a couple times.
Eleanor’s never been unabashedly girly. Even with all the new princess stuff that Santa brought her, she’s usually off playing Star Wars with her brother. So I spent Saturday afternoon in amazement, when Eleanor was very excited to go shopping with me to buy her gymnastics/ballet outfit and slippers. She carefully chose her pink skirt and tights, and was eager to try them on for me today. This from a girl who used to refuse to wear skirts unless I lied and told her they were really shorts.
So overall, this separation thing’s been kind of a mixed bag. On our to-do list: help find Henry a class where he’s more comfortable doing his own thing, and fight the urge to yell “OMGCAN’TSTANDTHECUTENESSGOOOOOOOOELEANOR” at the sight of a curly-headed moppet in slippers and a princess crown.