Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Little Gymnast.....Or Not.

So Mateo seems to have a natural ability towards gymnastic-type moves. He can do a cartwheel and a split, which he learned on his own. And of course, he is very energetic. So I thought signing him up for a little gymnastics class would be good for him as an outlet and to harness some of his energy into something productive. So we signed up for a trial week that meets everyday this week for an hour in the morning. It was pretty cheap and I thought it would give me a good idea about his ability.

We lasted a class and a half. And now our gymnastic career is over. At least for another year or so. Who knows? This kid is so set on doing his own thing he just couldn't function in the class. I don't know if it's so much that he can't or that he won't. Yesterday was his first day and he was very enthusiastic about all the activities. The problem was that he had trouble waiting his turn and his attention span got the better of him. This is what the class sounded like.

"Mateo. Mateo, no. Come here. Over here Mateo. Mateo, come sit right here."

The whole time. More so than all the other kids combined. And the instructors said specifically they didn't want the parents to intervene because they want the children to learn to listen to the teachers. So I didn't intervene. But I couldn't help but feel like my kid was ruining their class, and probably driving them crazy. But Mateo was really great at the activities. It's hard to believe he ever had a gross motor delay. Aside from some balance issues, he was really good at everything. After the class I was excited about his potential. I also thought he would only get better as the week went on and he learned the structure of the program.

Well, today we left early. And we don't plan on going back. He didn't get better. He got significantly worse. I decided it's just not worth it if I'm going to have to chase him around the gym telling him to listen to the teacher the whole time. So we're gonna wait another year or so and try again.

But it was fun to watch him when he was doing the activities. The rest of the time was pretty funny. The whole class would be sitting on a mat getting ready for the next activity and there's Mateo about 20 feet away rolling around on the mat, or hopping around like a frog. That didn't bother me so much, it was kind of cute. But when he kept using the other equipment he wasn't supposed to, or taking another child's turn and being disruptive, that's when I had to intervene. And the fact that he wasn't listening to me or the teachers, just wasn't okay. So we left. And he didn't seem to care. He just wanted his juice box I promised him after class.

I'll post some videos I took as soon as I get a chance.


Mommy K said...

What a bummer! But, you are right....he'll prob do better in a year or so. I felt similarly about Kyler's chess tournament. He has the skill and desire, he just couldn't focus and sit still!

Rachel said...

My daughter goes to The Little Gym once a week and that is exactly how she acts. We pretty much ignore the group activities after the 20 minutes and then I end up following her around the gym while she does her own thing. I figure I'm paying for it, she can do whatever she wants. We do try to stick to the group as long as possible but she obviously has too short of an attention span to sit there and wait for 20 other toddlers before she gets her turn. I don't think it is realistic to ask for kids at this age to have that much patience. It has taken her a couple months to learn about taking turns, but she is coming along and I can thank her class for that. Maybe you can talk to Mateo's teacher and see if it is okay for him to do his own thing for a week or two, just so he can slowly learn social etiquette before being re-introduced to the group activities. If nothing else, he tires himself out and gets a good nap later.

Mommy K said...

The curls are fun, aren't they! She is our odd ball...blond hair and blue eyes. Paul's mom has curly hair. And Paul has hazel eyes. I'm hoping we get a few more "odd balls" before we are done! I wish I could get my pictures to be the same size when I put them up on the blog...annoying!

cathy said...

isn't that a sign of intelligence? or a great use of time? why sit and listen when you could be playing with fun equipment that's off limits??? he's so smart.