Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A little of him, a little of me

I look at my kids and can clearly see certain traits they've inherited from me, and others that came from The Engineer. Let's take Chickie for example.

She has Daddy's hazel eyes and Mommy's wavy hair. Daddy's determined personality and Mommy's love of reading. Daddy's enjoyment of the outdoors and Mommy's coordination.

Unfortunately, having Mommy's coordination is not a good thing. I'm lucky I ever learned to walk with my two left feet, and when I try to learn choreography, it's the stuff hidden camera TV shows are made of.

Chickie loves to be active. She wants to go outside to play with her friends whenever she sees them, and she'd happily swing on her new playscape in humid, 95 degree weather if Mommy would push her. But give the girl a tricycle, or a tee ball bat, or a scooter, and she proves herself to be my daughter--that is to say, it just doesn't go very smoothly.

We want her to be active, so we're encouraging her in her desire to go outside and have fun. And at this age she's not embarrassed that she can't seem to pedal that trike, or that swinging a bat doesn't come naturally to her. I hope she can keep that confidence.

You see, I may not have a lot of natural coordination, but I think I could have developed more athletic skills if I'd just tried. Instead, I labeled myself as "not athletic," and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I bet that even if Chickie doesn't have a huge amount of natural coordination, she can still learn some good athletic skills. It just might take some work.

I do notice that Chickie gets quickly frustrated when something doesn't come easily. She rarely tries to pedal that tricycle, knowing she can get around more easily on her little car (which she has a hole in the bottom for feet, Fred Flinstone-style.) Some of this may just be her age--three-year-olds are not naturally patient! But if any readers have ideas on how to encourage her to keep trying when learning a new skill is frustrating her, I'd like to hear them.

Even if Chickie isn't the first picked for teams, and even if she finds that learning dance steps isn't second-nature, maybe she won't worry too much about what other kids think. I have high hopes--she may have Mommy's coordination, but she has Daddy's confidence. All in all, that's not such a bad combination.


Call Me Cate said...

My sense of coordination is also a bit lacking. With practice, maybe Chickie will develop those skills. And if not, at least she was encouraged to try.

2cats said...

God blessed me with two feet, unfortunately they are both left feet and flat. My mother always said that the reason I was so uncoordinated is because I never crawled. I went right into walking. And she also believed that my flat feet were another reason for my clumsiness.
Maybe when Chickie get a bit older some tumbling or ballet classes would help her.

C. Beth said...

Cate & Trudy--always good to find out about others lacking in coordination! :)

Trudy--We actually plan to put her in gymnastics once she's fully potty-trained. She has a petite body that may be suited to it. I hope she likes it! Great idea.

Unknown said...

A year split between tumbling and gymnastics when I was 5 made the biggest difference in everything. 15 years later I still walk along the curb as if a balance beam, though not nearly as well as I used to. Now I wonder if I, too, was a klutzy kid and that's why I was enrolled in those park district sessions....

Anonymous said...

My theory is that alot of athletic ability is the result of opportunity and encouragement!