Ain't nothing but a thing

My daughter needs a thing. Everyone has a thing that they are good at, excited about. DH has his music and his bicycling, and when he was a kid he played sports. I've got my charity walks and my scrapbooking and my knitting, I used to do theater and dance as a kid. DD doesn't really have a thing. I'm madly paranoid about her not having friends, since I'm so freaking maladjusted and worried about whether or not I am well liked. She has plenty of kids she seems friendly with at school or aftercare, but the connections only seem to be for when she is in school. She doesn't seem interested in play dates or anything. Last year, the school newsletter asked for responses about which girls were interested in Girl Scouts. DD said she wanted to join, but when I called, the current troop was full and there had not been enough response to form a second troop. So, a bunch of her classmates had this bonding experience, and she was on the outside of it. Primary grade chorus meets on Monday afternoons at the school, so she joined that. She enjoyed it, and got excited about doing performances at Christmas and the end of the year, but once the school year ended, we were back to not having anything she belonged to. It wasn't really something she could continue for the summer, short of breaking into song at the breakfast table. Last January, DD got invited to an ice-skating party. I took her to the rink, and after a few rounds she was shuffling along without clinging to the boards. She decided that she wanted to take ice skating lessons. So, I signed her up. For every class, she was skittish and tentative and spent the first 15-20 minutes of each 30 minute session clinging to the boards as though she'd never set foot on ice before. When we did practice sessions, she sort of got a rhythm going (albeit a very, very slow rhythm) but still couldn't get the hang of pushing and gliding instead of shuffling and stomping. Now her little brother has expressed an interest in learning to skate. And with his determination, I'd be willing to bet that he'll be skating circles around her by his second lesson. She will, naturally, shut down and be frustrated that he's a better skater than she is. Last year, Nic bought DD a bike for her birthday. She was excited to help pick it out, and chose a fuschia model with bright streamers on the handlebars. She even got a matching helmet. Everytime we try to get her to ride it, though, she gets scared that she is going to fast and slams on the brakes. Then she gets frustrated that she can't really get moving again, since she has lost all momentum. If given the chance, DD would spend almost every waking hour watching TV or playing on the computer (all the while yelling at her brothers to stop touching the TV or the keyboard.) But I want something more for her. I tried to teach her to knit, since she said she wanted to learn and because I wanted her to do something other than stare at a screen, but she got frustrated when it didn't come naturally, and she gave up. So, I asked her today if she wants to take dance lessons. She took a ballet class in preschool, and she was pretty decent (as four-year-olds go.) She paid attention to the teacher, and she was so proud of showing me her twirls and jumps and toe pointing. She loved the dance outfits, especially the tutu she got to wear for her recital. I made a call, and now I am waiting to hear back from the ballet school that contracts through our community association, hoping that there are classes to fit our schedule. And hoping even harder that we've found the niche that DD can fit into and be successful. Something where she can finally have a chance to shine.


Blogger MP said...

It's ok to keep trying stuff, I think. Giving her exposure to different things is good an she can decide what fits.

My girls have done dance and ths year they're going to take weekly gymnastics lessons.

8/23/2005 7:44 PM  

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Who's Who

    Hubby- aka DH My husband since 1995. He is the head of the band department at a college prep school, and dabbles as a wanna-be pop star.

    The Princess- aka DD. Third grader at the local parochial school. Loves butterlies, sparkly things, the color purple and has recently developed a crush on one of the twins from "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody". Is ready for her teenage years, having already perfected her exasperated sigh and dramatic eye-roll.

    Hoss- aka DS1. Kindergartener and resident spirited child. His aunt likes to call him "the evil genius" because of his penchant for letting a lack of intellectual stimulation lead him into mischief. Likes trucks, sports, building things and burping. His current favorite word is "underwear."

    Lil Joe- aka DS2. Born in 2003. Doesn't say much we can understand, but has mastered the important stuff ("eat!", "Wash hands!", "Want chocolate ones!", "Hockey game!") Likes to push buttons, much to the consternation of whoever is trying to watch a DVD. Firmly refuses to use the potty, despite evidence that he is physically ready to be out of diapers, indicating a level of stubborn that eclipses even that of his parents and siblings.

    Me? I'm the Mama. That's all you need to know.

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