Addy started gymnastics last fall in an effort to find her something school-like to do while Piper was in preschool. She was pretty jealous of the fact that Piper got to go to “’cool,” so we called it Addy’s school for a while. Of course, that was secondary to the fact that I had a one year old who was, literally, climbing the walls of my house and needed an outlet. And to learn to move correctly. And, you know, learn to fall correctly. The first several sessions I found myself saying “There is no way Piper would have been willing to do this when she was Addy’s age…” She has thrived in gymnastics!
As the year went on, Addy would learn a new skill and come home to practice. Piper always wanted to take part, too, an often learned whatever it was that Addy was doing. Because of school, I think, her willingness to try new things and stretch outside of her comfort zone was improving dramatically. And with the end of school (Piper didn’t qualify for ESY/summer school), I needed something FUN for Piper to do this summer, too. Addy’s class is for kids 2-3 1/2; I talked to her teachers and asked if I could bring Piper, too, even though she’s a little older. My biggest concern was that the class for 3 1/2+ wasn’t a parent-tot class- and I wasn’t sure that Piper would be ready to try all of those new things independently.
On her first day of class, I asked the girls if they BOTH wanted to go to gymnastics. Addy, of course, squealed with delight. To my surprise, Piper was almost more excited. She went into the other room, got her suit, got her backpack, and said “READY!”
She did a thousand times better than I had expected. There were no meltdowns because it was scary. She listened and followed directions. She tried new things. And she was good. She was successful in her attempts- she was so tickled with herself!
She’s only been three times so far, but every time we go, I’m surprised at what she’s willing to do. She’s walked across the uneven parallel bars with her feet on the bottom and her hands on the top- independently. She bear walks across the parallel bars. She summersaults, backward rolls, walks across the balance beam- forward and backward. She balances on one foot on the balance beam. She swings form the rings, and hangs like a monkey on the bars. Like all the other kids in the class, she needs a little help and and little reassurance to complete the task, but complete she does!
Her teacher pulled me aside the other day and asked what, exactly, Piper’s diagnosis was. She went on to say how awesome it was to see Piper working so hard, and that she even had to go home and brag to her husband about how much she’s willing to try. I couldn’t have been happier or more proud, though, when she said “I’m just so glad she’s here!”
Yup, it was a good choice to put Piper in the class. I’m so proud of her!