Friday, May 30, 2008

Prakatissking Soccerball

I arrived at daycare yesterday to find Claire and 14 of her little classmates sitting on soccer balls.  They were staring at a smiling young man with the rapt attention usually reserved for story time.  After a few moments of instruction, the children started dribbling their balls.  "TURTLE!" the young man bellowed.  Claire slowed and gave the tiniest of kicks to her ball.  She had her head down, eye on the ball, and hands splayed out for balance.  "RABBIT!"  Her braids started bouncing as she started kicking the ball faster, but making no discernible progress forward.  After a few more animal rotations, they sat back down on their balls again.  Then, incredibly, each child took turns dribbling the ball toward a goal.  When it was Claire's turn, she took a long, slow dribble and then pow!  She used a kill shot to put the ball firmly in the corner.  Claire was flushed, tired, and immensely proud of herself.
Overcome with mommish pride, I ran over to give her a great big hug. I was absolutely shocked when she collapsed into my arms and sobbed her little heart out.  She wanted to run back over to the field and she wanted to stay in my arms.  She cried until her little red grubby face was almost clean.  She finally regained her composure when I pointed out that the other kids were getting hand stamps.  She bounced over to the line and held up her hand as if everything was suddenly right with the world again.  Puzzled, I went back to work. 
When I picked Claire up at the end of the day, all she could talk about was playing "soccerball."  She showed off her hand stamp to Jacob and his buddies.  She showed it off to random people in the street.  Then she showed Nick at dinner with a proud declaration, "I was prakatissking soccerball!"  Her caregiver told me that she ate a huge lunch and took a nap, both rarities. 
I picked up a brochure for the 8 week soccer program at the daycare center.  It's $80 for 8 weeks, which doesn't seem to be an unreasonable price.  But I'm torn.  Do I listen to the pride she showed?  Or do I listen to the tears?  She's got me stumped again.


Mary Witzl said...

I've been there!

Our kids would start out great guns, desperate to do some activity -- karate, piano, ballet, swimming, gymnastics, you name it! -- and then after a couple of months their interest flagged and we'd already bought the book and signed up for the first four months. Parents lose a lot of money this way. You are torn between wanting to encourage your child to do something she will enjoy and wanting to save yourself a good wad of cash. Those tears would throw me for a loop too!

Christy said...

We've decided to wait another year.

So far, we've been lucky with Jake - he's wanted to finish everything that he's started with the notable exception of basketball. We made him finish the season because he made a commitment to his teammates. Unfortunately, Nick signed him up for next year already so we maybe have a discussion ahead of us (me and Nick, not me and Jake).