Transitions and gymnastics.


Well, it’s that time again: the end of term is in two weeks, and we need to decide now if Snort will continue with football. For a long time it has been apparent that he goes for his friends, not the sport (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Increasingly he just wants to sit on my lap and wait for the class to be over so that we can get to the good part – all having lunch together before playing for a good hour or so.

Snort has mentioned he wants to go to gymnastics, but he wants all his football friends to go with him. During preliminary discussions today, I’ve tried to explain the choice is football and old friends, versus gymnastics and new friends. And he is saying gym. He so badly wants to start gym that he doesn’t want to go to the final two weeks of football.

I’m a bit sad because I’ve struck up good friendships with the other parents/grandparents, and because Snort really loves his friends. I know part of life is moving on, and all bar one of these kids is starting school next year so we will be ‘losing’ them anyway, but I am still wondering if this will cause major upset when he understands that football is properly bye bye. But on the flip side, a key part of my parenting/educational philosophy is being child led. If he wants gym rather than football, so be it. The way gym is set up, it’s more difficult to make good friends there, but I’m sure there will be other regular attenders. We will continue talking about it this week, but I do believe some desperately sad friendship times are ahead (though of course we will still try to see his friends, but it certainly is unlikely to be with such regularity).

On the gym front, well, I have a lot to say that is Coconut related. But we will leave it with saying that she is getting back to pre-broken arm enthusiasm. She asks most days if we can go do gymnastics, and this last week she decided she didn’t need Bunny anymore (Bunny being a constant since she broke her arm, though she never had Bunny before her accident). She is thrilled that one of her home ed friends has joined her class, and in fact she has made two other good friends from the gym….one of which I am going to invite for a play date when we see them this week.

Early last week we watched some floor routines on YouTube and she spent the rest of the week doing naked floor routines on the lounge floor, then asking for medals (no clue where she got the medal thing, as we only watched the routines!). She calls herself The Amaaaaaazing Coconut.

Coconut literally spends most of her time at home upside down. We are talking headstands about 90% of the time. As it happens, the grandad of one of Snort’s football friends has a daughter who trained and competed with Coconut’s gym 25 years ago. His daughter competed internationally, and at age twelve was preparing to compete in the next Olympics, when she was sixteen, and in fact went to the Olympics at twelve as an assistant or something. THEN SHE BROKE HER FUCKING NECK.

She was okay. Not elite gymnastics okay, but she actually carried on with smaller competitions and taught gymnastics throughout her university years. Apparently when she was a kid every fucking second was spent at the gym – the expectation was that she would formally train every day from 6-9 pm and all day Sundays, plus self directed training at school. Her schooling was all jacked up, she was very perfectionist, she developed an eating disorder. I suppose home educating eliminates one of those factors should Coconut (or Snort) have the aptitude and enthusiasm needed to train at that level, but talking to him had me worried.

He was all, ‘Yes, from the time my daughter was about three, she was always upside down and throwing herself around.’ Given that Coconut taught herself forward rolls when she was one – a mere few weeks after learning to walk, and as a baby was often trying to stand on her head, it made me feel cautious. She is definitely a big perfectionist already, and that is certainly a trait I am trying to help her tone down. Listening to this dude talk about eating disorders and broken necks was an eye opener…..though equally, he said his daughter loved the gym and felt joyful there.

So, I guess all things to be aware of. Given that the kids are only three I know all of this probably makes me sound like a crazy, overachieving stage mum, but still… I will wait and watch with interest.


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One Response to “Transitions and gymnastics.”

  1. mamacrow Says:

    i think gymnastics & ballet are still areas to enter with caution, even in this day and age! Obviously I want to encourage and support my child in what they love (ballet, in Petal’s case) so for my part I choose her teachers etc with great care, and be sure to still offer other activities and so on , and not slip into the habit of only offering their favourite thing, because ‘they’re the one who does x’ if you see what I mean..

    it’s a balancing act, but then parenting is, isn’t it!

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