My Child Is “That Kid”

When our daughter was an infant I seldom left the house. I would hear other mommies talking about their full days of shopping, running errands & visiting friends and I could not understand how they did it. I dreaded leaving our home. The reason was simple, my daughter never stopped crying. It was not unusual to see me pushing an empty stroller while holding my screaming baby in my arms. People would stare and offer stupid observations that would make my blood boil, while I frantically tried to console the inconsolable.

As we entered her toddler years, I thought that all of that was behind us. I began to enroll her in classes and various toddler programs. We took music class, swim lessons & enrolled her in gymnastics. Each class was different, but offered a similar list of challenges. She struggled with focus, following directions & waiting her turn. I did not look forward to music class, swim class was a nightmare and gymnastics had me wanting to crush up Xanax and mix it in with my coffee. Stress levels were high on class days.

I felt a familiar feeling as several sets of eyes stared at me while I chased my screaming child across the gymnasium floor, angry that she had to wait her turn on the trampoline. I watched as a line up of children between the ages of 1-3 all stood patiently with their parents. I would point out the other children to Mai in hopes that she would take some queues from them, but she would just continue with her performance as the other mother’s stared. I couldn’t understand it. At home she was a lovely little girl, but once brought into a structured group environment, she turned into a little monster.
Every Saturday morning anxiety would take over my body in anticipation for another gymnastics class. When the final class finally arrived, my husband and I were relieved. We took the summer off of classes to try to regain our sanity.
The summer came and went and the fall is nearly over as well. With the cold weather coming, there will be less time for physical activity outdoors. Mommy got brave and re-enrolled Mai back in gymnastics.
This weekend was her first class. As we entered the gymnasium, my body began to tense up. What was I thinking coming back here again? We sat down and the whole class sang the introductory song before the coaches broke us up into groups. In our group Mai was the first to go. The coach showed her quickly how to do a ladder climb and instructed her through the obstacle course. I watched as my daughter flawlessly went through without even a stumble. I smiled. She got back into line. I stood amazed as I watched my daughter patiently wait her turn as all of the children in front of her made their way through the course. When we moved to the trampolines, which are her favorite, she held my hand and then sat on my lap until her name was called. Is this my daughter? Did I accidentally grab the wrong kid coming out of the obstacles? No, this is definitely my daughter. Coach Joyce even complimented her on what a good listener she was. Out of the corner of my eye, I heard some screams. I turned and saw a little girl kicking and screaming as her parents tried to calm her down. They came up behind us as Mai went through her routine. “Look at that little girl.” the parents said. “See what she is doing.” This made my heart swell with pride and it also made it ache with pains of empathy as the parents still struggled to keep her calm. “Don’t worry” I said it will get easier. “I know, I have been there.”

About The Pinterested Parent

I am loving wife to my best friend & mommy to our smarty pants little girl, who loves to learn, craft & play. I am an artist, a crafter & I am Pinterest addict. When I first started my blog it was meant to be an outlet for my Pinterest addiction. I was looking to inspire & be inspired. What it became was a wonderful journey for me & my daughter in which we chronicle our activities, crafts, lessons & a hefty slice of our life. Please join us as we navigate through this wonderful thing called motherhood.
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6 Responses to My Child Is “That Kid”

  1. Aww, totally been there, too and must agree it does gets better. Emma was so that baby and toddler, too and I just thank god each day that she is such a sweet, little girl now. So, we must be doing something right, mama!! 🙂

    • We must be, Janine. I was so happy. I think I called everyone I knew that day to tell them how wonderful she was in gymnastics. Lol! It was such a change. I couldn’t believe it. Then I just felt bad for the other couple because I have been where they were.

      • It never is. That is for sure. We all have our own struggles and worries. It is amazing how what causes anxiety for one is desired by another. My daughter has come a long way. That’s why I was so proud this weekend. She has grown so much. They learn and they change every day. Good luck to you. Here is hoping your daughter grows more confident each day.

  2. I have a 4 yr old and 6 yr old (both girls), and my 6 yr old is a complete introvert. We could barely take her into noisy places because she would shut down, our first Christmas parade was a disaster. Through her toddler and preschool years, we thought she would never be brave enough to go for it (like jumping off a curb), or walk into a room by herself, or speak up when another kid took her toy and I often envied the toddlers who were just the opposite. She just started kindergarten this year and while her confidence often waivers and she won’t speak up, we can see her improving everyday. I often wonder if people think I am a crazy strict mother who has made her this way….. so, the grass is not always greener on this side. 🙂

  3. Ummm…can you and I hang out and talk about our struggles?! LOL! This just toooootally made my day. Seriously. Okay…off to make a “positive reinforcement” chart…otherwise known as bribery!! Thanks for this post. -Marie 🙂

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