I have a University degree, have seen a couple of countries outside of this one and am more than just the woman who can’t seem to find the time to colour her hair, dust the dining room chandelier or ever remember that we need vanilla extract if we want to make chocolate chip cookies again in this lifetime.
It was the first night at gymnastics and a real eye opener for me.
Having two completely different children is an amazing thing. No matter how many times we suggest our parenting hasn’t changed from one child to the next, there must be some environmental factors at play in shaping two totally different personalities.
This was Ellie’s big chance. She’d been patiently waiting in the wings for 2 1/2 years and finally, I enrolled her in something. She definitely had that “let me at it” attitude whereas Hanna is so much more reserved. Sits quietly in her group, stands at the back of the line when they move to the different apparatus and basically just does what she’s told. Ellie took off like a shot when we opened the door, started bouncing, jumping, running around like one of those fools involved in a t.v. police chase. I’ve never seen her like this before. She told me several times not to touch her because she could do it herself. I promise you that if I had given her the mini-van keys she would have driven home. She was on such a high. When Hanna’s group was on the trampoline, she would jump the appropriate 20 jumps. Not too high, not too low, just exactly where she should stand and the correct number. Ellie bolted down the length of the trampoline so fast her legs would kick her own ass until she would skid face first into the crash mat. She would then jump up (not unlike a dog that has been hit by a car) and bolt right back to start all over again.
When it was Ellie’s turn to jump into the foam pit, she grabbed the rope and swung herself into the middle and dropped. Foam chips over her head, she was completely stuck and just stood there laughing. Hanna (and I both) would have had a panic attack and screamed for someone to save us. Ellie swam her way over to the side and tried again. It was absolutely hilarious for me to watch.
Here was our conversation on the way home:
Me: Girls you were super tonight! How did you like gymnastics?
Ellie: I love the trampleeeeen!
Hanna: Mommy, what is psychotic?
Ellie: Scuse me Mommy, scuse me mommy, scuse me mommy?
Me: Yes Ellie?
Ellie: Ummmm, I ran on the trampoleeeeeeen!
Hanna: Mason says it means when your brain is sick
Ellie: scuse me mommy, scuse me mommy, scuse me mommy?
Me: Mason’s right Hanna…Yes Ellie?
Ellie: I love love LOVE gymnastics!
Hanna: Do you have to live at the hospital if your brain is sick? Mason says you have to live there forever. Will I ever have to live at the hospital?
Ellie: Scuse me mommy, scuse me mommy, scuse me mommy?
Me: No Hanna, we might visit the hospital for a check up but you will not have to live there. Yes Ellie?
Ellie: Ummmmmmmmm, can we go back to gymnastics?
Hanna: Is this just water because I asked for juice/water?
Hanna: Are there any bad guys?
Hanna: All I think about are bad guys
Ellie: Scuse me mommy, scuse me mommy, SCUSE ME MOMMY!
Ellie: Ummmmmmm, can Daddy come to gymnastics?
Hanna: Mason says bad guys steal and then kill you
Me: Mason’s wrong
Hanna: They’re going to kill me and I’m going to die in ten days
Ellie: Scuse me Mommy? Can we have a trampoleen at our house?
Ellie: Hey, this is water and I wanted juice water.
Off to unload the dishwasher.
The second session of gymnastics offered much of the same.
One kid skips happily into totally unchartered waters while the other (who shall remain nameless, rhymes with LANNA) cried for the first 45 minutes of her class and I mean SOBBED with snot, tears dripping from her face. Twice I stood up and proceeded to walk out of the viewing lounge and into the gym to give her a hug but I held myself back as I know she needs to get through this on her own. Still, it’s heartbreaking watching your kid so unhappy. She went the next 30 minutes participating somewhat but still stood with her arms crossed in between turns and wanted no social interaction with the other kids whatsoever. I thought we were out of the woods until the last ten minutes when I noticed she had started to ball again. This time, one of the instructors walked her over to me and told me that she’d been kicked in the mouth–TWICE. She was standing too closely behind a girl in her class that was practising how to do a handstand while waiting for her turn and kicked Hanna on her way up, cutting her lip. It wouldn’t have been quite so bad if Hanna had enough sense to move out of the way before being kicked on the other side of her mouth on the girl’s descent. Blood is not something Hanna has any patience for so once she tasted it and saw that she was bleeding from both sides of her lip I thought we might have to call in the paramedics. Brutal.
Ellie was just happy to get a stamp on her hand and remember that there was a boy in her class named William….”JUST LIKE MY COUSIN’S NAME IS WILLIAM!!!!!”