In CategoryHome Schooling, Navel Gazing

You guys. I have never seen so many kids with their fingers up their noses in one place.

Okay, so we went to our gymnastics free trial lesson to see how Little liked it.

She liked it just fine, but I was a nervous wreck. Because unsocialized. I am always nervous about events with other kids. I want my kids to be, like, normal and stuff, but in order to do that, you have to go hang out with other kids and other kids are scary, yo. Scary, scary nosepickers.

Like, for reals. This little boy sitting next to us picked his nose, looked at it, put it back IN his nose (WHATISSSSSSHAPPENIIIINNNG???), and then rubbed his hands all over his mama’s face.

I about died.


They started out with warming up, i.e. running around and doing jumping jacks.

Here’s something: my homeschooler doesn’t know how to do jumping jacks. There was jumping, and there was arm-waving, but it wasn’t in concert. That’s how I know the other kids were public schoolers. Their ability to do PE. That, and the homework-nagging and excruciating reading aloud I was subjected to in the mom waiting room. Seriously, do you guys teach your kids how to do jumping jacks and push-ups and stuff? If I want my kids to get exercise, I chuck them outside and they race around chasing each other with sticks while I watch The Real Housewives. I never thought to have a regimen. Mom Fail.

Little had a pretty good time, but there were too many students per teacher (20-ish kids, 2 adults) to keep track of. There were 3 stations with balance beams, bars, and assorted cushion-y things. They divided the kids into 2 groups and each group went to each station in turn. The teacher spent about 3 minutes with each kid while the rest of them sort of milled around and did somersaults and played on the equipment.

CORRECTION. SOME of the kids did somersaults. My poor tiny homeschooler ALSO does not know how to do a somersault. She just sort of flung herself onto the giant cushion and then jumped up and ran off. Another Mom Fail! In my defense, I am 42 years old and do not do somersaults. Jim tried to show her once, but he’s 45 and about broke his neck. I felt horrid about my lack of tumbling training. I thought that’s WHAT THE LESSON WAS FOR. For the record, she can’t do a cartwheel either.

At the first station, they practiced somersaults and cartwheels, and bench-pressed the low parallel bars.

I was not a fan of the bench-pressing because Little almost dropped the whole UNPADDED STEEL CONTRAPTION on her head THREE TIMES.

Here, I’ve illustrated it for you –

Here are the low parallel bars:



How’s that? Oh, wait, here’s a better picture:

parallel bars

Okay, so the kids were supposed to lay in between the bars and bench-press them up and down for reasons that escape me. I suspect this is the gymnastics equivalent of homework worksheets, aka busywork, aka a complete waste of time.

So here’s Little, bench-pressing away:


are you judging my drawing? I can’t draw feet, leave me alone, you…you… you judgey-pants!

except she kept laying too close to the end of the bars and THREE TIMES this nearly happened:



I’m not even kidding. I was a nervous wreck. Oh, I said that already. There was not enough supervision. What do I know though? I often have anxiety when it comes to my kids and activities. Doesn’t one instructor for ten maniacal 7 year olds seem like not enough? Doesn’t bench-pressing parallel bars (the boys lifted them as high as they could go and then dropped them – one boy almost lopped off his toes) seem stupid and dangerous?


So. There you go. I deliberately chose a little gymnastics place where there wouldn’t be any pressure to join a team or make the Olympics or any of that serious stuff, but I DID rather expect more than an after-school program with 9 minutes of gymnastics instruction and 51 minutes of running around in an (undoubtedly booger-encrusted) padded room. Is that overly demanding?

You guys. I suck at this. Quick, commiserate with me.