Malcolm will turn three in a couple of weeks, so I thought it was time to get him out of the house and involved in some "pre-school" activities.
I by no means expect him to sit down and pay attention for long spans of time, but I figured the interaction with other (non-family) kids his own age and (non-family) adults in charge could be beneficial ... So, when I saw a $20 Groupon a couple months ago for a local Performing Arts Studio touting a month's worth of little kid gymnastics classes, I jumped on it.
Fast forward to this past Monday and Malcolm's first class.
Let's just say it went pretty much as expected ...
For starters, Malcolm and I arrived fashionably early. While I tried to fill out the emergency contact (and other) forms, he ran around the main area of the center like a wild man. He jumped down stairs, chased little girls (decked out in their leotards), and rolled around the floor. He was ready.
And we still had about fifteen minutes to wait.
Then, when we got to the gym room, his little eyes quickly darted to the colorful wedges and mats ... And balance beam. He wanted to explore! And climb! RIGHT NOW!
But, alas, we still had to wait.
Finally, the big moment ... The teachers called all of the children to the center of the room and asked them to form a circle. Malcolm ventured to the edge of the huge, blue mat, then ran right back to me, tears streaming down his face.
He didn't want to join the kids.
He didn't want to sit.
I let him crab over by me (in the parents' holding area) for a while, and ever so slowly, he started to inch back out toward the group. They were all acting like fish now ... "Swimming" around the room and doing a bunch of silly movements ... Yet it still wasn't meant to be.
Again, he came, crying, to my side and watched from a safe distance.
About twenty minutes into the fifty minute class, when the colorful parachute made it out on to the floor, his interest was piqued again ... And, this time, he ran out with the group and jumped around on the periphery.
And that's pretty much how he spent the rest of his time ... Bouncing (rolling, jumping, kicking, spinning, climbing) around on the periphery.
Even when the other kids were broken off into small groups to try the different pieces of gymnastics equipment, he did his own thing, moving from group to group (as they had specifically been told not to do) and basically causing all kinds of mischief.
He was that kid.
The one that is all over the place.
The one that is having an absolute blast (but that isn't listening).
The one that needs someone to bring him back to earth.
The one that the other parents are probably talking about.
And, you know what?
He is still only two, after all ...
And while he may be taller than most of the other kids, he is probably younger than them, too.
He isn't quite ready for this whole "pre-school" thing.
I definitely see that now.
So, we'll finish out our month of classes (I wonder what next Monday will bring?!) and then we'll take a break.
And maybe try again in a few months ...