Whew! I exhaled a breath of relief leaving Adeline's free Gymboree session yesterday after my little Miss Independent made her presence known! Addie kept it interesting from the second we entered the door. There are no shoes allowed in the playroom, but Addie LOVES her shoes and wasn't letting them go, so she pranced through the gate holding one in each hand. At least she let me take them off sans tantrum, a rare occurrence.
Once the Gymboree leader started class, the six other kiddos sat nicely on their parent's laps for song time. That lasted about three seconds with Adeline before she was ready to do her own thing. I tried to place her back on my lap and was met with her lovely ear-splitting scream, emitted the nanosecond she doesn't like something. I tried a couple more times before giving up and letting her wander. While each child sat sweetly with her mama enjoying the music and motion, Addie walked to each kid, inspecting the girl and her parent. Sizing them up, I suppose. After she'd measured her competition she came back just in time to finish up the last song on my lap.
Once the first organized activity started (rolling a room-length foam cylinder across the floor mat) she was more interested in climbing the miniature stairs and using the slides. Still the only rambuncious one at this point. Finally other little girls started falling out and I felt a little better about my roaming wonder of a child. When it was Addie's turn, she pushed the giant foam cylinder for five seconds before heading off to her next adventure, not too interested in this task. Of course, all the other kiddos enjoyed obediently pushing it for a couple minutes across the room.
The next activity involved walking up a ramp, climbing stairs and throwing foam shapes into an intertube. Well, my mischevious Addie found an alternate route via connected stairs that the other kids didn't notice and kept trying to cut in line and take their turn, ha. She did like this activity, however, and it was fun to watch her follow the leader's directions for tossing shapes. She's a pretty good shot, too!
After that there was a half circle object with a flat top that the kids sat on and the leader tipped them off the "teapot" when the song called for it. Addie, not wanting to wait for her turn, found the same object elsewhere in the gym (again that the other girls were oblivious to) and did the activity herself. She cracks me up, this one!
Lastly, we sang a song while the leader blew bubbles in the air for the girls to pop. Addie loved this part and enjoyed poking bubbles that landed on the other girls' heads. Overall, I think our second Gymboree trial was a success. At first, I was embarrassed at Addie's lack of following directions and desire to sit politely like the other toddlers. I know I don't need to be, she's only one! But by the end of class, I was deeply proud of her independence, curiosity, perceptiveness, focus and creativity. I'd rather her embody these qualities and be a slightly more challenging =).
I often pray that Adeline will develop a heart on fire for God and be radically obedient to His will for her life. With the confidence she exuded yesterday, I can see the Lord gently opening that path for her already. She needs all of these passionate characteristics to say "Yes!" to Him in a world that is filled with people telling God "No" and "Maybe." Makes me proud of our girl!