Kick it up a Notch: Mommy’s Little Karate Kid!

With her legs moving quickly and some rhythmic arm movements, my little girl implored me, “Check out my karate moves, Mommy!” For the past year, Quinn’s been taking dance at The Little Gym but has been asking about taking karate for months. So when I saw that it was being offered this summer, I thought, “Why not?” Her dance class was all girls, which was fine, but I wasn’t too sure if she would be the only girl in her karate class and if the boys would be a little too rough for her since the age range was from four to six, meaning that she would be one of the youngest having just turned four nearly two months ago.

Last Wednesday was her very first class, and the anticipation was building for the both of us. She was excited to wear her karategi, and I, being the proud mommy, was excited to take pictures and offer praise. As we waited for class to start, I was pleasantly surprised to see that her karate class was a nice mix of boys and girls, and Quinn was able to hold her own even with some of the boys who were a bit rough at times. The Little Gym offers a good balance of instruction and fun as my daughter learns to “block, kick, and punch her way through this positive, noncompetitive twist on the ancient martial art.”

After class ended, Quinn came out smiling, “Did you see me, Mommy?” I responded, “Yes, I saw you, sweetheart.” Though I knew the answer, I asked, “Did you have fun?” “Yes, I had a lot of fun! I can’t wait to show Daddy some of my karate moves I learned.” I always get a “kick” out of seeing my daughter not just learn something new but to have fun along the way.

All the best,

Tanya

Can’t Stop the Feeling! Mommy’s Little Girl Loves to Dance

“I got this feeling inside my bones. It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on…” was not only the lyrics of the song playing for my four year old’s dance recital but how I felt as she did her tap moves with the other children in her class. “I Can’t Stop the Feeling” of excitement, nervousness and being a doting mommy as Quinn tried her best to keep in rhythm and do the steps she memorized for the past few months. Since she was about six months old, I’ve been enrolling her in classes at The Little Gym, and while some parents may choose to enroll their children in a facility that focuses exclusively in dance, I love it here because it is all about the children having fun, and there is not as much pressure to become “professional” dancers. Like her mother, my daughter has an inherent quality which may be a gift and a curse. She tends to be a perfectionist and will keep trying until she gets it just right or even becomes frustrated if she is unable to get it right. With this in mind, the environment at The Little Gym is ideal to help her relax more.

Nevertheless, I would not be totally truthful if I didn’t admit that I was proud that my daughter followed the instructions of her teacher, did not run off during the performance or suffer from stage fright and cry. Also, something that really put a smile on my face is how she handled a mishap with her tiara for the ballet routine. When she did a spin with her partner, it was knocked off of her head. In that moment, I was more anxious than she was as I wondered what she would do next. She simply reached down and put the tiara back on her head to the best of her ability and continued to dance. Now that really put a smile on my face. Even after the performance she said with a big smile on her face, “My tiara came off when I was dancing, so I had to put it back on, Mommy. But I kept dancing!”

After the dance portion, she and the other children displayed some of their skills on the gym equipment. Even though Quinn also inherited her lack of flexibility from her mother (me), she still keeps trying and had a fun time. This summer, Quinn’s going to try out karate at The Little Gym for a new and different experience, and then we’ll return to dance for the school year. This was a wonderful experience for the both of us.

When we prepared to leave, I just couldn’t get those lyrics out of my head, “…Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance. A feeling good, good, creeping up on you, so just dance, dance, dance…” It’s moments like these that make my heart dance and will stay with me always.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments: My Little Girl’s Dancing Without Me, & I Couldn’t Be More Proud

Dance Class

Quinn in Her First Dance Class (The Other Children’s Faces Are Intentionally Blurred)

Yesterday, I posted a blog entry on my three year old transitioning from our mommy and me class to an independent class at the Little Gym. I was a little nervous since this was her first class without me, and I knew I would miss our class together. Today was her first dance class, and my little girl made me very proud as she followed the instructions of the teacher (at least 90 percent of the time) and danced around eagerly in her little tap shoes and then ballet shoes along with the other children.

Her former teacher at The Little Gym jokingly commented on how I was nervously pacing the floor looking into the classroom through the glass window while Quinn was full of smiles and probably wouldn’t have even noticed if I stepped out of the waiting area. While part of me wanted her to miss me and long for my presence in the classroom, it makes me feel good that Quinn is growing up and becoming more independent. Though I could see what was happening though the large glass window, it was a different experience for me because I could not hear all of what was going on in the classroom, and Quinn certainly could not hear me over the music and instruction from the teacher with it being in a separate room.  This is a perfect example of the experiences to come. Sometimes there will be limitations on what I can do as Quinn’s mommy, and I may be forced to just observe as she makes decisions as my big, little girl. Here’s to fun-filled classes for Quinn and her continued growth and development socially, mentally, emotionally and intellectually!

All the best,

Tanya

 

Bye Bye Mommy & Me Class: Will My Little Girl Miss You as Much as I Will?

2016-06-01 11.00.51It’s official! My daughter and I attended our last parent and child class at the Little Gym last week. Now that she’s three, my big girl will be in class all by herself this upcoming Monday. I remember starting class with her when she was just six months old and just crawling around, giggling and babbling. Now she’s jumping, running and climbing and able to verbalize how she feels and what she’s thinking.

2016-06-01 10.42.12When I asked her what type of class she would like to do for the summer, she excitedly said, “I want to do a dance class, Mommy!” While my little girl loves to dance around the house, makes up her own little fancy moves and is very eager to wear her little tap and ballet shoes, I’m not too sure if she understands that I will not be in the class with her tomorrow. It does, however, it please me to know that she is already familiar with the teacher and really enjoys going to The Little Gym.

She does a wonderful job following the teacher’s directions and staying focused when we’re in class together, so I’m confident that she will be able to do this even when I’m not right there with her.  This class will also be a wonderful transition for us both since Quinn will begin attending preschool in September for the first time. Wow, my little girl is growing up so quickly, and I’m so glad we were able to have so many memorable moments together in class at The Little Gym.

All the best,

Tanya

My Little Girl: The Gymnast (Part 4)

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Quinn Executing the Perfect Landing

For the third or fourth time, my little girl admonishes me for hovering over her, “No, Mommy! Don’t hold me! I can do it by myself!” Though she only mastered walking about a year and eight months ago, this two and a half year old walks across the balance beam, which is a little over two feet off the floor, with poise and no fear. I’ve been taking Quinn to The Little Gym since she was nine months old, and though she has been shy at times when it comes to interacting with other children and adults, she rarely shies away from doing any of the skills of the day. Every Wednesday, she is eager to go so that she can run, jump, do some log rolls and forward rolls, walk across the balance beam, do some flips on the bars or swing on the rings. She often tells me that she loves to exercise and wants to practice at home, which can make me a little anxious at times as she decides to execute her “landing” from the sofa, her bed or off the stairs.

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Quinn is Ready to Swing in the Rings

It pleases me that Quinn is an active child and wants to go to the gym. It has now been well over a year and a half since we first started going, and she’s truly blossomed and blows me away each time we go. Even with the skills she hasn’t mastered, I am impressed that she does not give up and keeps on trying. Once she has it, she always looks to me with her hand outstretched to give me a high five saying, “I did it, Mommy! Did you see me?” My little girl does so much to put a smile on my face and wonderment in my mind of what she will become. Whether it be an artist, doctor, zoologist or gymnast, I will definitely be her biggest cheerleader!

All the best,

Tanya

Let’s Hit the Gym Baby!

Quinn Having Some Exercise Fun

Quinn Having Some Exercise Fun

At the start of every new year, gyms near and far can count on a serious surge of new members looking to get in shape. While some people are looking to lose weight, others just want to get moving because it helps with endurance and one’s quality of life. This rings true not just for adults but for children as well. When my little girl was just two months, we started doing the “Happy Baby Workout” to not only assist me with getting back my pre-mommy figure back but for us to develop a bond. As soon as she was old enough, at around nine months, we enrolled in mommy and me classes at “The Little Gym” and have consistently enrolled in a weekly class for a little over a year now. Quinn absolutely loves it, and I love watching her walk across the balance beam, with my help of course, and attempt to do the forward rolls at home that she practiced in class along with climbing and crawling through obstacle courses.   Perhaps your new year’s resolution on behalf of your young child is to get him or her moving or to have some time together to bond as parent and child. I would highly recommend this company to anyone, especially those who would like their toddlers to interact with other toddlers if they are not in day care like Quinn.

Best regards,

Tanya