Homeschool Gym, Diaper Pad Cover, and Second Leg

Ah, a day full of accomplishments! Since we had leftover waffle balls from yesterday, I figured I'd actually be able to have W and myself fed and out the door at a reasonable hour this morning since I wouldn't have to motivate myself to cook breakfast.

All went according to plan, and we arrived at the Key Gym (something like that) downtown around 9:45am this morning. It was a little bit further walk from the parking garage than I had imagined based on the address (this was my first time actually going to this location), but there was certainly no need for a stroller, and the weather was actually pretty pleasant when we arrived so the walk was fine.

W was extremely hesitant to enter the gym once we made it into the building. In fact, he was holding my hand and leaning backwards with all his body weight and whining to prevent me from walking through the door. However, I did not let his whim prevail. I wound up carrying him in, and told him he didn't have to play if he didn't want to, he could just sit on my lap and we could look around and watch everyone else. Which we did for the first few minutes, while he was still whimpering. At least he wasn't out and out crying, like the first time I attempted to bring him to this event when it was in the old building last summer.

After he calmed down and got interested in at least looking around and watching what all the other kids were doing, it got easier. Then he took my hand and pulled me up to start walking around. Of course, the first place he walked was right to the door to leave, but I told him again that we were going to stay for a little while, but he could hold my hand the whole time if he wanted. He held my hand for a lot of the time, but eventually got more comfortable.

He really liked walking on the little balance beam. It's right on the floor, and was a leopard print. His feet were so small on it, that he pretty much could fit them both side-by-side if they were pressed together. He inched along using different techniques. He mostly held my hand, but by the end he could take a few steps on his own. We'll have a few trees cut down to make room for the pond, so I think I'll try to find one of a decent size to make our own "balance beam" for the park. I'll ask around to see if anyone I know has a portable mill, if not I might just use a chainsaw to cut a bit off one side to make it flat. The rest of it we can dig a little trench and bury it halfway to keep it from moving when people walk on it.

W also enjoyed playing basketball at the gym. There was a hoop set about 4'. They only had large balls, so he couldn't throw it up there, but he did enjoy watching me attempt to make a basket (it seemed harder than making an actual basket to me, I think because the ball they had there was nearly the same size as the hoop) and he'd chase the ball and bring it back when I missed. I held him up so he could take turns making baskets himself, and I held him close enough at least his attempts were all successful.

He crawled through some tunnels made of mats, and watched the other kids playing with a parachute. When we walked over to participate he got a little scared, so we backed off to just watch some more. He was fascinated with another little boy's sippy cup that had a toy train somehow fastened to the top. It spun around. I know this, because W was so relentlessly making the "whoo-whoo" train whistle sound and standing inches from the sippy cup and pointing that I just asked the woman if she wouldn't mind if he examined it. She also told me I could find it at Wal-Mart, or probably any convenience store. I'll keep that in mind, W was certainly entranced.

When it was time to leave, W was pulling my arm to stay INSIDE the gym. So he had a complete change of heart during the course of an hour. I told him we could come back again another week. Maybe we'll come back next week, it's certainly less expensive than many other toddler athletic activities, and I like that it's very open-ended. No following along expected, just a bunch of kids playing alone or with others as suits them at that moment. There were plenty of kids W's age, although most seemed to be there merely to accompany older siblings. Nevertheless, the toddlers still had each other for company, plus a few babies and pregnant women.

We had a sandwich for lunch downtown after the gym, and I figured I had time for one errand before naptime, so I got some PUL fabric (it has a water-resistant coating) to make a cover for the changing table pad. I made that after dinner tonight. It only took a few minutes, and is a vast improvement since the original vinyl pad had cracked in many places over the past year or so and was looking awfully ratty.

While I was in the sewing room, I also stuffed the second doll leg. I've kind of lost momentum on the doll project, but would like to get it done sooner rather than later, so I'll try to get back to doing a little bit at a time, even if I don't feel like devoting a whole hour or more to it at once.