Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Today, at Maggie's gymnastics class something happened that left me with very mixed emotions. The gymnastic facility I take the girls to is fairly hardcore. The kids are on real equipment, doing real gymnastics. My kids love it, so it works for us, but clearly, this is not for everyone.

The same gal teaches both La Nina's and Maggie's class. She hails from an Eastern Block country known for its deep gymnastic tradition and with arms like hers, it's safe to assume she competed. She also demands the kids listen to her. It's a safety issue, she explains to kids and parents at the beginning of each 8 week session. Gymnastics is dangerous and following your teacher's instructions will keep kids safe. She is no nonsense about safety, it's one of the things I like about her.

So, today, in Maggie's class of three year olds, two of the kids were not listening. I mean, really not listening. In their defense, they are three. It's tough to listen to a teacher explain an obstacle course when all you want to do is try it out. The expectation is that the kids will wait through the explanation, then have a chance to do their thing on the equipment.

These two imps were climbing on stuff not on the course, throwing things at each other, running wild. Luckily, it wasn't Maggie. So, the teacher fashioned a time out for the kids. She made the kids sit and watch class until they proved they could listen. One of the kids figured it out quickly, sat still and earned his way back into class. The other girl did not. It was so sad. This little girl truly didn't understand what she was doing wrong. She kept getting up, trying to get on a balance beam (thinking it was her turn) and the teacher stuck to her guns and put her back against the wall. Eventually, the little girl was upset, the Mom was upset, but the coach just kept the class rolling.

At the end of class, the coach told the girl, if she didn't behave next week, she was out of the class. Then, she told the Mom, it wasn't fair to the other children for her daughter to require so much attention. She basically said, your daughter isn't ready for this and the Mom started crying. YIKES!

While on the one hand, I'm grateful that the teacher is so no-nonsense, because let me tell you, the other kids were all eyes on this one girl. And the ones in class were really paying attention to the teacher. On the other hand, THEY'RE 3! In Maggie's case, not quite 3. Shouldn't it be a more than 1 strike policy? I have to admit, this isn't the first time that little girl had a tough time in class. It just left me feeling sad for the rest of the day. And maybe a little lucky too. My kids do tend to listen to others (not me, of course!). How would I have felt if I were that Mom? Hard to say, but I bet I wouldn't be back at gymnastics next week, and I probably wouldn't recommend it to my friends either.


  • At 10:39 PM , Blogger M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

    Oh I feel so bad that the mom started crying. Poor lady. She must have felt helpless, embarrassed,and worried.

  • At 7:47 AM , Blogger Johnny said...

    This post is interesting in that it brings up the thought that there comes an eventual time where kids are no longer "babies" and there are certain behaviors expected from them. I'm not saying what the age is, but that age of "they're just a baby" is fading.

  • At 10:06 AM , Blogger Gracencameronsmomy said...

    I am all for other people making my kids listen, but that seemed a little harsh for a 3 year old. Wait until you read about my first week back teaching 3 year olds. That little girl was nothing compared to one of these kids!


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