Tonight was L's first trampoline lesson. He was soooo excited to start! I was excited for him to have something else to look forward to in the week.
Now I'm just disappointed, and anxious, and upset.
I don't know why I thought this was going to be any different than any other sport he's ever tried. It was the same for ballhockey, ice hockey, t-ball, soccer, gymnastics, and to an extent, swimming. He starts off gung-ho and excited. I think in his mind he's sure and positive that he's going to be awesome at this sport, he's going to excel, and he's not even going to have to try! I just wish that positive thinking would last.
10 minutes into his jumping, I could see his body language change. I was watching him from the parents' area, set above the gym. I could see that he was becoming winded, tired and that he had a stitch in his side. I willed him mentally to take a break, to remember how we always used to tell him to breathe in through his nose and out through his mouth.
But he didn't. It wasn't until I could tell that he couldn't continue, that he had a break on the pretence of having a drink. By then I could see that his side was killing him, and that this was a cramp that wasn't going to go away quickly.
Eventually he did go back to jumping, but with about 15 minutes left in the class (it's 60 minutes total), I could see him pulling back his sock to check his foot. And from my vantage point, even I could see the redness. Then, he quit. And started crying.
He wouldn't jump anymore, I could see the coaches asking him questions, but had no idea what was being said.
Now that I have a much better understanding of his thought process, I could understand what was going on. But that doesn't make it any less frustrating. I was looking around at the other kids wondering to myself, "why can't he just be like them?" One girl practically ripped off a toenail on the trampoline and she wasn't even upset. She got a bandaid and went back to it.
I can't help wondering as well what others may be thinking. "Why is that kid crying?" "What a wimpy kid, his parents must coddle him," "What's wrong with him?"
I know I shouldn't care, and I guess in time, I'll learn to not think about that sort of thing (or not) but I still feel like I should explain his behaviour to people. I didn't though.
After ten minutes of crying, I went to fetch him.
Here are the things he said on his way home:
"It's just like school all over again! They're pushing us too hard!" (This was in reference to the fact that they were, god forbid, actually trying to teach him something! Oh the horror! Can you believe it? I mean, come on, it's a lesson!)
"I hurt myself"
"I can't do it"
And of course, lots of tears and crying about it, because aside from the two blisters he got on either foot, he said he twisted his foot. I'm not sure about that, I think it's just an aching muscle from underuse, and his feet are not strong, he is very flat footed.
I tried to remember and think of what the psychiatrist had said. I decided against my instinct to talk about it and to try to talk him around, and instead tried desperately in my mind to figure out how to switch tacks.
I remembered the dr. saying he needs a positive focus, and the only thing I could think of at the time was the coupon in my purse for a DQ Blizzard. So we went and got some ice cream for him and his brother.
The sobbing stopped, and upon returning home, he seemed to be brightening a little. That is, until we walked in the door.
"L," called R. "I have bad news for you."
I looked at L in horror, and all I could think was that his fish was dead. I prayed no, please.
"Jasper (our dog) chewed up your goose call!"
His goose call is something he'd made himself, painstakingly I might add. He was proud of it, but the outside of it was made with bamboo, something the dog would easily chew through. And unfortunately for L, he had left it on the floor.
This immediately resulted in tears, great, sobbing, gulping tears. We tried to console him, promising him that daddy would help him make a new one on the weekend, but it didn't help. To L, his mind was probably cataloging all the reasons now why trampolining was a huge NO-NO.
1. I get hurt.
2. I get tired.
3. The coaches push me too hard.
4. I get cramps.
5. It's boring.
6. I suck at it.
7. I come home to find my stuff destroyed.
Would you go back? I can't blame him too much for not wanting to go again. His mind doesn't balance it out with the positives, like, despite what happened, and the fact that the injury was minor, it was FUN!!
So now, I don't know what to do. Make him go back? Every parenting book would tell you to do just that, but here's the thing; with a normal kid, they would soon come to realize the positives after a few sessions. Your persistence would pay off, and just as you knew they would, they'd learn to love it. But with L, he's going to fight me on it every week. That is my number one reason I don't want to continue. I fight with him on everything, this is one more thing to add to the List Of Misery.
He very likely won't learn to love it. His brain has already decided its a hazard to his health, and I have NO IDEA how to change that! I have a small idea, but it involves "incentives" (bribery, really) and it just really goes against the grain here.
And if he's going to be miserable and fight me on it every week, maybe I should try to get my money back now, before too many classes have gone by.
DH says that would be sending him the wrong message; to quit straight away. He's very much a get-straight-back-on-the-horse type of guy. Of course,I agree, I don't want to let my kids grow up thinking that quitting because something is challenging is an option.
So, I don't know. I'm lost here.
Oh, and BTW, he did cheer up after I suggested he come eat his Blizzard treat, along with a little joking that I was hoping he wouldn't want it so I could have it.
The strangest thing I find about L and his episodes, is that come morning, he seems to have forgotten it. Well, not forgotten it, but he's not dwelling on it. But I am. It's the first thing I think of when I wake in the morning - what happened the day before, and it puts a sinking feeling in my stomach. But he seems fine.