Very Nearly a Soccer Mom

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I’ve already got the house in the suburbs, the dog, the swingset in the yard, and the minivan.  I figured it was time for some soccer in our lives.

Actually, it was my son. For a kid that doesn’t always seem to have a lot of body awareness, he has a real love for trying out different sports.  When we were up in Wisconsin over the summer, he got my aunt to try and teach him badminton.  Not to mention beach tennis, fishing, sailing, and swimming in the middle of the lake.

badminton

I told him he had to be able to swim with his face under water before he could try skiing.

skiing

But most recently, he has developed something of a fixation on soccer.  Neither my husband nor I are remotely athletic, and we both skipped that suburban childhood rite of passage that was the kids’ soccer team.  But wherever it came from, Daniel has decided that soccer is the thing to do.

Our local YMCA does an Introduction to Soccer class for three-to-five-year-olds.  I don’t hold any illusions that my son will learn much more than where the goal is, but it’s not too expensive, and I figure he’ll get a kick out of it.  The sheer mention of the class is enough to get him bouncing with excitement.

Here’s the thing.

My daughter? Not so interested in the soccer.  What she has latched on to is the idea of dance class.  She mentions it nearly every day.  “Mom, can I take a dancing class?”  I think it has as much to do with the outfit as the actual dancing. (She’s also Little Miss Arts-and-Crafts, and no, I don’t know exactly how I ended up with such gender stereotypes for children.)  But again, there’s a class at the Y, the price is reasonable, and I’m happy to let her explore her interests.

madame butterfly

Two kids. Different classes. They aren’t even at the same time, nor on the same day.  And this is where it begins, apparently, shuttling my kids to and from school and activities.  Mark it: age three years, three months.

This is the first time I have ever even considered signing my kids up for different classes.  For the last three years, it has been all three of us doing the same things.  I sign them up for music or gymnastics, and we ALL go.  I already started to be cut out of the equation when they started solo swimming classes in the summer, not to mention once they started preschool.  But at least they both go to swimming at the same time, they both attend the same school.

While their separate activities are on different days, they’re both weekend days. I’m hoping this can turn into not only a fun class, but an opportunity for weekend one-on-one time.  I’m a little concerned about feeling over-scheduled, but the class is only two months long, so it’s not forever.  But it seems worth the experiment, both in terms of the kids’ interests and in terms of our own time management.

So, what about you, moms (and dads)? Have you done separate activities with each child, or are you holding out? If you have, how old were your kids? What was that experience like?

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6 thoughts on “Very Nearly a Soccer Mom”

  1. I have been considering just doing gymnastics with Collette because there are aspects of it (mostly the waiting) that Sebastian doesn’t handle well. However, I think he would handle being left behind even worse so we will probably wait until they are older for separate activities. I look forward to it, though, so they can choose what’s most fun for them instead of just some common denominator.
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  2. I haven’t done separate activities, simply because our schedule right now doesn’t allow it. Once you factor in preschool, my part-time job and Hubby’s full-time job, there’s just not a lot of leeway. I did manage to squeeze in swim lessons this summer, but they were all in the same class. BUT, when the time comes when I can breathe again, I would like to give my girls the opportunity to take lessons, classes, sports, etc. and I’m willing to be the chauffeur. I’m interested to read other responses to see how other parents cope.
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  3. Allow me to, once again, sing praises to our daycare center. They offer enrichment classes, during the school day. There’s no need for me to do any shuttling of children. The daycare center has contracts with a variety of pre-school activity providers; parents pay extra for soccer, computer class, gymnastics or Spanish.

    We decided that this was a good way to encourage our daughters to spend some time apart and explore different interests. We enrolled them both in soccer, and offered them a choice of Spanish, computer or gymnastics. One chose gymnastic, the other computer class. They lasted six months, and then our gymnast begged to take computer class. They’re back together, but I think the notion that they can do things separately was eye-opening.

    They’re also in ballet/tap on the weekend. I do have to chauffeur, but they’re in the same class.
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  4. I think I will wait as long as I can before doing different activities. Simply because I hate driving and everything in Jhb is so far…

    But I do encourage their uniqueness so they will do whatever they want to, within reason of course.

    Your daughter is very cute with the wings and tutu!

  5. Last year (at 3 1/2) both of my daughters took tap class, on Saturday morning, together. This ran from September to May. I thought they may tire of it, but they liked it enough to be excited to go the entire season long.

    G really wanted to take ballet. She’d occasionally ask, and I told her she could take ballet in the fall when she was 4 1/2. She then proceeded to tell people that “mommy was going to let her take ballet in the fall when she’s 4 1/2”. She really wanted to take ballet.

    L seemed to me that she’d like gymnastics, so I let her do a trial class this summer and she (of course) loved it. So this fall/winter/spring, we’re in separate Saturday morning activities. 9:15am gymnastics for L at one location, and 10am ballet for G at another location. Hubby is always involved, so we often all go to gymnastics and either he or I cut out a little early to take G to ballet. Then whoever stayed at gymnastics heads over to ballet when it’s over.

    It’s working for us, the girls love what they are doing, so we’ll continue this way for now. They are individuals with their own interests, so I think it is important to foster that.

    We did do swim class in the summer, but they were in the same class for that.

  6. For the first time, we’re having our girls (3.9) do different activities — sort of. We signed them up for a gymnastics class, which they both love.

    We also took them to a free trial dance class, and Elsa — 9 minutes older and a whole lot bolder — fell instantly in love. Clio wouldn’t go near it.

    So now, my husband takes both girls to gymnastics on Mondays, and on Thursdays, during dance class, he hangs out with Clio in the waiting room while Elsa does her thing. It works.

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