There is one day a week, 45 minutes a day, when I get either that sympathetic smile, a condescending glance or the desperate attempt to avert their gaze towards my direction. I have been that person too, on the other side, watching some poor parent, thinking “bless them.” But now is my turn, I have avoided it for over 2 years, however, each week, on Wednesday mornings it is me who is the recipient of the looks. Wednesdays is gymnastics day.
Tantrums don’t discriminate
I signed the boys up for gymnastics because they love jumping and climbing and I thought I was being a genius parent finding them something fun to do while simultaneously giving myself a little break in having to entertain them. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I honestly don’t know what the F- happens when we walk through that door but all hell breaks loose. I am not sure if it is the little spring on the floor mat that equals anarchy but the moment they step on the floor they lose all sense of social decorum and go insane.
Our first class they spent the first 15 minutes clinging to me, super shy, not wanting to participate in anything. They actually wanted to leave. Then all of the sudden, as if a small breeze of freedom wafted under their nose, they went nuts. I mean, certifiable. They started running around, waving arms in the air, screaming, all with wild abandon. Not listening to any instruction, never waiting their turn, running into other classes and cutting their lines.
I was mortified, trying to chase both of them, each running in opposite directions. Nightmare. However, after that first class, I shook it off, even laughing about how I was “that parent” today, which I had never have been before. I even did a reverse judgement on any parent that had looked upon us with distain, thinking “you think you’re so superior with 1 child, I am bloody superwoman because I have twins!” Honestly, these two are pretty great in public. They listen seriously well for toddlers and are not assholes to other kids. So I chalked it up to a one-off. Mercury in retro-grade.
Again, couldn’t have been more wrong. It has only been three weeks of class and I have come to almost dread Wednesday mornings. While Atlas has started to simmer down and even waits his turn, Kellan has turned up the crazy. He is a maniac. He doesn’t care if there is an obstacle in his way as he runs rampant through the gym. He will either plow through it or fall over it. His teacher literally said he is like one of those worst fail videos where you laugh and cringe at the same time.
It looks like this – me chasing a tiny 2 year old around a gym who is screaming with delight as I say over and over “Watch out for the balance beam,” “Watch out for the other children,” “There is a step there” “Go sit with Coach John,” “Watch out for the wall.” I am exhausted by the time class ends.
I have thought about dropping the class, even losing out on the money we paid, but Atlas loves it. Every day he wakes up and asks if we are going to “nastics.” I can’t take that away from him and I certainly can’t go and think for a moment that his brother is going to sit on the sideline patiently watching while Atlas takes class. So we continue.
This week Kellan topped it off with a full on screaming tantrum at the end of class because he didn’t get to do a roll over on the orange mat, which he would have been able to, had he not been trying to climb the adult balance beam then running over to the trampoline. Time had run out, we had to go and he was pissed.
So as I tried to hold on to his flailing body, put on Atlas’s shoes, put on my shoes, squeeze Kellan’s shoes on to his kicking legs, grab our bag and get both kids out the door, I just kept a smile on my face and received the looks from all the parents and accepted that on Wednesday mornings for 45 minutes I will be known as “That Parent.”