Olivia started gymnastics today. She is in the Kitten Division at the Cat Gym in Boca, and we have been talking about today's excitement for a week. "Are you ready for Kitten Gym, Olivia?" "Yes," she will answer, or "Meoww." My preparation for today's big step was remembering Jake at that age, and the excited way with which he ran from me toward the instructor, any instructor, to get the maximum amount of fun from the forty-five minutes. Jake would try anything and everything, while I looked with great envy at the mothers who were having to peel their children off their legs.
Olivia has thus far been all you could hope if you were looking for a petite, sweet girl. She says the word "tutu" out of the blue, meaning she wants to wear it around the house, or during lunch, and I am only too happy to oblige. She is verbal, and loves to pose for photographs, and relishes a new pair of shoes.
And today, my little daughter was a clingy. She hung on to my knees while the other babies learned to somersault down padded ramps. While the toddlers around her clamored for one more ride on the swing, or another attempt at the rings by which they swung like monkeys, Olivia grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the door, the car, and freedom.
"Bye-bye." She said to the instructor, fifteen minutes in to our session. When the instructor would insist she try something (I was all for it), Olivia would look into my face and cry at me and I knew the pain that all my friends had felt as they left their sobbing offspring--against every procreative fiber in their being--and sat in their car, miserable.
The instructor solaced my child with plenty of attention, and enticed her to finally enjoy a couple of minutes of jumping on the trampoline. After that, Olivia went to whatever station the children were not at, and played in her own fashion.
The instructor consoled me that she would be fine by the time she had a couple of sessions under her belt, and pointed out her opinion of Olivia's temperament. "It seems that if you tell her what to do and when to do it, it takes all the pleasure away from her. She seems to have a little distaste for authority."