It's lousy to be the second kid. Or the third kid, if you have three, which I don't, but it's the same concept.
When William was a toddler, we did Gymboree and Kindermusik classes together. We went to the children's playrooms. We did storytimes at bookstores and libraries. We went to the zoo, to the botanical garden, the science museum. I earnestly took him anywhere that I could think of to entertain and enrich him.
Then I had another baby. Immediately, that baby, who will turn three next month, got dragged along to soccer games, and t-ball games, and swim lessons and church choir practice, and preschool performances and, yes, storytime and trips to the zoo or the farmer's market or Monkey's Treehouse. He went to birthday parties in the Baby Bjorn at five weeks of age, and he went to family camp out in the boonies of central Tennessee just a couple of weeks later. He got passed around at church dinners and Bible studies .
Our busy lives went on, and we just brought Andrew along with us.
Andrew will begin his very first activity today in about an hour. I signed Andrew up for a seven-week parent-and-child Tumble Tots class at the YMCA near our house.
I told him about it the other day. He couldn't quite believe it. "I go to Tumble Tots? You go to Tumble Tots with me?" he said, opening his eyes wide. "You be in class with me?"
Oh, yeah, that sound you just heard? That was guilt piercing my heart. This poor sweet child has gamely attended so many soccer practices and birthday parties for his brother's friends. But he's never gotten to do much of anything that was intended for him and him alone.
Well, I have done one thing. Back in the early autumn, I did start taking him to the downtown library's story hour-puppet show on Tuesday mornings. But unfortunately, the demands of my freelance writing career have sometimes taken precedence. We go often, but not all the time. I wish we could go every single time, as Andrew loves it. He may even love it more than William did at the same age. And William really loved it.
So David suggested that I look into a tumbling or gymnastics class for Andrew because he's always been pretty physically agile. And he adores doing his version of yoga whenever he overhears me talking about going to a yoga class at the Y. (He's got a nice downward dog. Tree pose could use a little refining.) It sounded like a good idea.
I had no idea how good an idea it really was. Oh, that face when he grasped that he's finally, finally getting to do a special activity--and not just a special activity, but one with Mommy and not also for or with his big brother. It was like he'd won a major award. Mom's still holding on letting him join a soccer team (I've seen teams of three-year-olds playing soccer, and while the humor value is off the charts, I don't think it's something we need to add to our already busy schedule just yet.) but she's letting him do Tumble Tots.
It doesn't matter if Andrew can tumble. It doesn't matter if he ever learns to tumble. It doesn't matter if he pays attention to the instructor or loves the class. It matters that he knows that he's getting to participate in an activity that was chosen just for him. With his mommy, no less.
Let's just hope that the instructor doesn't ask me to do any tumbling, though.