Friday, October 06, 2006

Shootin' Some Hoops w/ Goofy Junior

Goofy Junior loved his Sports Skills class so much, that I signed him up for another class. The sport skills they didn't cover in sports class (which did include kicking, throwing, catching and hitting w/ a bat) were basketball skills. GJ has been nuts for basketball since he was little (yeah, I know, he's not that big now), so I thought a Basketball class was in order.

The Basketball class I found was for ages 4-6. GJ is 3-1/2, but he really is pretty good at the ball dribbling and shooting at his Playskool basket, so I figured he'd do okay. And did I mention that he is nuts for basketball? Yeah. My LEAST favorite sport. Couldn't be volleyball. No that would be too perfect. Anyhow...

I pumped him up for it. I started talking about Basketball class really early. The class is held at the Elementary School almost right across the street from our neighborhood. I thought it would be cool to walk to class. GJ did too.

So we walked to Basketball class this past Wednesday. We got inside the gym and all the kids (and parents) were dribbling little toddler-sized basketballs, shooting the ball and generally having some toddler fun. We grabbed a ball and joined in.

Then they had all the kids go into the middle and sit in a circle. Parents sat on the bleachers. This was familiar - we do something similar in Sports class. The difference came next - instead of coming back to the parents and doing drills together, the parents stayed sitting on the bleachers and the coaches worked with the kids.

What!?!? I wanted my money back! Not because of GJ, but because of me. Part of the fun of having a kid is getting to do things like play basketball with them. GJ was a little thrown off too. They did some stretching, then did a slow jog around the gym. Then they broke off into groups of about 3 kids per coach (there were several coaches) and did different drills.

The entire time, GJ was looking at my with a frown on his face (insert heartbreaking sigh here). I probably had the same look on my face, too.

During the first drill, he put down his basketball and came over the bleachers. "C'mon, Mommy. Come with me," he said. (insert more sounds of my heart breaking in two here) "Go on, sweetie. You can do it by yourself," I encouraged.

But he was having none of it. He sat on my lap for the duration of the first drill. I could feel the judging eyes of the other parents on me, but my son's psyche was at stake, so I was giving him a moment, dammit.

I got him to agree to get involved in the next drill. It was across the gym from the bleachers. I walked him over there and took a seat on the floor by the closest (but not TOO close) wall. This helped!

He got involved in the drill (bouncing a ball on the floor, against the wall) and started to smile. After each of his turns, he would put his little ball down, come over to the wall, and give me a hug (say it with me...AWWWWWWWW).

After the fourth drill, we were back around by the bleachers, so I took a seat with the other parents and GJ did his thing. Not so much looking at Mom this time..he was focusing on the drills.

I'm sure there's some analogy here about how kids rely on their parents in the beginning, then not so much, then not at all. I suppose I should wait and see what happens next week when we go back.

Oh, I did I mention that he is a basketball STUD? Ahem. Not that I'm biased or anything.


dorothy said...

That story totally rocks. Plus, it's sometimes nice to be needed, eh? The little angel does that all the time in Twinkle Toes - she'll be all fine on her own, then it's like she remembers I'm there and wants me to tap my toe, too.

lorib said...

I recently had a similar experience of the "judging eyes of the parents" at a kids birthday party at The Little Gym. Lil D was the youngest kid there and didn't really understand the organized games and was running around just wanting to play. It didn't take long though before he was lining up along the wall with the rest of the kids. A part of me liked his unconformist attitude since I was surrounded by sterotypical JoCo soccer moms whose kids have been immersed in play groups and activities since they were two weeks old.