This is the first year this has happened. The monkey is now old enough to do a vast quantity of different things from various types of dance, to gymnastics, indoor soccer, hockey, swimming, skating, arts and crafts and more.
And of course, she’d like to do all of them. But for the sake of her enjoying being a kid and my sanity we have narrowed it down to three, plus preschool.
This number still seems like a lot to the better half and me, so we’re trying two of the things just until November/December and will think about them again at the beginning of 2013 after we see how being such a busy girl affects her.
It’s going to be quite the change for us. She’s done swimming lessons here and there, but all of those have been with me or the better half in the pool with her.
And she’s taken Highland dance for about a year and a half. The first year she mostly spent running around the room or jumping up and down, not paying any attention to the instructor. But then she started to pay attention to steps and form, so that now whenever she poses for a picture, she has her hands on her hips and her back straight. (A partial dance pose.)
I certainly like what extracurricular activity does for my daughter. She makes friends. Her making a connection with other children her age is hugely important to me with her being an only child. Of course, it would be if she wasn’t, but it helps me with the guilt I sometimes feel with her being our one and only.
She learns skills. OK, so swimming so far has been a bust. She has learned some, but for a child that was born in the water (I had a water birth at home), she’s certainly no fish. So the better half and I view swimming lessons as a necessary activity.
She learns other important lessons. In soccer this summer, she learned about sportsmanship, sharing and being a part of a team. I think experiences like these are wonderful teachers.
And, of course, she has fun. We want our monkey to be healthy, to be constantly learning and growing and have fun doing it.
My only issue with these activities is that they are all in the evening and the better half works in the evenings. So guess who’s going to be in the water with her, tying her dance shoes and teetering on the skating rink with her this fall? This mom right here.
Not that I mind that much. Swimming hasn’t been my favourite as she often clutches me for dear life and tries to climb out of the water, using me as the closest tree. But I love to watch her learn.
I am, however, a bit worried about the skating. We took her ice skating a few times, but the better half convinced me she’d get more out of lessons and that there is a good program in Brandon.
But he has to work. I am no skater. I can go forward. That’s it. I love the skating oval, but find it challenging as there are no rink boards to hold on to.
So, as she needs a parent on the ice with her this year, I have to figure out how to keep standing while helping her. Who knows? Maybe I’ll pick up a thing or two in her activities this year!
Kyla Henderson is a local freelance journalist, business owner and mommy. Her column runs every week in the Community News.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 30, 2012