The Hatch-Palucks, Week 22: Live-Blogging the Little Gym

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

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Emmie played so hard at the Little Gym that her ponytail came loose from it's moorings. Credit: Amy Hatch

No one would ever accuse me and Channing of being athletic people.

I have the rare distinction of being perhaps the only living American to never have played an organized sport. And while Channing had a wild desire to play short stop, his professional baseball days were cut short in favor of playing in the marching band.

Emmie, our oldest, is the proverbial apple who doesn't fall far from the trees -- and the polar opposite of her brother. To combat her natural tendency towards couch potato, we signed her up for a "sports skills" class at the Little Gym of Champaign.

The skills taught include golf, soccer, hockey, baseball and gymnastics. This was her first week, and I decided to live-blog her class from the parents' waiting area.

3:35: Emmie is bouncing out of the car like there's a parade of ants in her pants, she's so excited.

3:45: Emmie chats up all the other parents as if she's never spoken to another adult before.

4:01: The kids kick off their workout with a spirited run around the gym, and then they do grasshopper hops. Emmie spends a lot of time doing prat falls and makes sure to get as close to the instructor, Mr. Giles, as possible. He is pretty cute.

4:10: Emmie feigns exhaustion.

4:15: The children are wielding foam noodles. I marvel at the patience of the instructors, and question the wisdom of arming 14 6-year-olds.

4:17: Emmie yawns.

4:25: Emmie attempts to use her noodle like a baton. Majorette not in her future.

4:30: They appear to be pretending to mop the floor. Note to self: Attempt this at home, using real mop.

4:32: Mr. Giles demonstrates how to putt, using a tiny golf club. This week's theme is "Harry Putter." Marvel again at the man's fearlessness when it comes to giving sticks to kindergartners.

4:33: Emmie yawns.

4:34: Emmie gets a birdie! I commence dreaming about the LPGA tour and what I will wear when she wins it.

4:35: Emmie putts and the ball goes ... behind her.

4:40: Emmie wanders around the "green" with a confused look on her face. Reconsider her LPGA chances.

4:41: Emmie visits me for a drink, and says, "We've done a lot of stuff, and I was tired after the grasshopper thing!"

4:42: Class divides into groups to work on their gymnastic skills, including climbing a wall made of play mats, and practicing forward rolls. Emmie walks the balance beam with aplomb. Fantasize about crying on camera as she wins an individual gold medal for the U.S. gymnastics team.

4:43: Her dismount is perfection! She sticks it!

4:44: Emmie attempts a forward roll, and ends up rolling sideways. Pinning all my hopes on the balance beam.

4:47: Getting weird looks from the other parents. Explain that I'm live-blogging. "Ummmm, okaaaaaaay."

4:48: Emmie yawns. Remind myself to take her flashlight (she reads under the covers) away tonight so the kid gets a decent night's rest!

4:49: Emmie emerges from the gym weeping. She injured herself attempting a backward roll. As I comfort her, she admits she feels bad that she can't do one, and that her forward rolls turn into log rolls. I remind her that gym class is supposed to be for fun, and that she's still learning. Dry her tears, and she's back at it. That's my girl.

4:52: It's time for "Hit the Cheese!" The kids launch themselves, as hard as they can, against giant, wedge-shaped play mats held by the teachers. Emmie's up first.

4:53: Emmie defeats the cheese! She high-fives the other kids, and I realize she's a head taller than all the boys. Like mother, like daughter!

4:55: Kind of wishing I could hit the cheese. Looks like a great way to get out your aggressions.

4:48: Mr. Giles tells me and the other parents about the skills the kids worked on today, especially focusing on their golf stroke. His Australian accent makes the whole thing sound ridiculously awesome.

5:00: Ask Emmie what she thought of her session today. Her reply: "It was OK, but I'm really tired."

Oh, my little apple.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.