In the beginning, all three of us went together. Two adults for one little toddler. I still couldn't handle it. Those were such dark days, seeing all of the other kids, some much younger than Audrey, doing so many things that she couldn't. She could talk, but wouldn't say her name during the welcome circle, hated being motored through the gesture songs, melted down when another kid cried, and was incapable of doing the basic gymnastic moves. She couldn't jump at all, and couldn't hold on, even for a nanosecond, to a trapeze bar. She couldn't wait her turn without making a scene. She was completely inflexible and always had to have the same swing or have a certain toy or piece of equipment all to herself. I cried all the way home after every session.
A few weeks ago, I started thinking about signing Audrey up for some kind of camp during her winter break. It so happened that Lauren was going to be an aid for another one of her charges (yes, she has the nerve to have others) at a camp that My Gym was running. I wasn't feeling very creative, so decided to just cop the other mom's idea and sign Audrey up. I tried to go enroll her during what I thought would be a down time, but, wouldn't you know it, a toddler class was just starting. They started singing that welcome song and it was like I was hearing the choppers back in Nam. I had the most visceral reaction I've ever experienced. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I felt physical pain upon hearing that song. I could not get out of there fast enough.
Lauren accompanied Audrey to the camp three days this week. I very rarely brag about Audrey on this blog, so if you will allow me...per Lauren's daily report, Audrey:
- Introduced herself every morning without any prompting
- Participated in games, including one where she had to go to the center of the circle, pretend to be her favorite animal, and confirm to the others if they guessed right (she was a doggy, take that kitties!).
- Waited her turn, counting down the allotted time that the person in front of her was allowed.
- Did soooo much more gross motor-wise, including jumping (she basically has never stopped once she figured out how), swinging from trapeze, and holding on to a zip-line.
- Never cried or had any behaviors.