Monday, September 27, 2010

Little Cult

I have never been a "joiner." I wasn't a brownie or a girl scout. I wasn't a cheerleader, or a "spirit booster." I didn't pledge a sorority or dress all in red to go to football games, with big "U"s painted on my face. I didn't join the Junior League. In short, I have never been part of a group that has regular meetings, sings songs everyone knows, and engages in certain rituals with glee.

I think this is why I am so uncomfortable at Little Gym.

First of all, everyone is sooo chipper. The first time I went in I was really concerned they had been drinking and should NOT be playing with children. Then I realized that's just how they are -- all the time. Now, part of that could be that most of the teachers are 12 and therefore haven't learned about the hardships of life, but really, I think I have just stumbled upon the mecca of all former junior high pep squad members.

They tumble, and twirl, and spider crawl, and log roll like they are training to be in a Russian circus. Every activity, no matter how small, is presented and praised as if it were the most difficult high wire act ever conceived. I know it's important to praise children, but sometimes even they look at the teacher like "I just crawled through a tunnel, you don't have to alert the media."

And the songs! They love all the songs, and they sing them with glee -- and EVERYTHING is a song. Getting the balls out? Song. Putting the balls away? Song. Playing on the mats? Oh, you know there's a song for that. Saying good-bye? Practically a Vegas review.

All the songs are extremely catchy, too. You can't help but memorize them immediately, and NEVER, EVER forget them. I find myself singing about everything I'm doing for at least 12 hours after Meg's class, which can get awkward if I'm blogging, or trying to sweet talk Ryan. Oh, and I notice that if I am unconsciously singing one of the songs out in public, like in the grocery store, any parent who has EVER had a kid in Little Gym will start singing along. They can't help it. They have to.

The thing I am really worried bout though, is how Little Gym could be warping the mind of my child. She loves every minute of it. She cries when we leave. Am I trading her future as a sardonic outsider, questioning everything and yelling "dam the man" at inopportune moments just so she can learn to do a somersault? Will my desire to have my child embrace exercise early lead to her donning all pink ensembles and wanting to change her name to Kimberlee?

I guess time will tell. Until then I will carry our Little Gym water bottle with pride -- and only occasionally fill it with wine.

21 comments:

Amanda said...

You were too a Brownie.

Carlea said...

"It's time to put the balls away, balls away, balls away! It's time to put the balls away! At the Little Gym!"

Damn you, Libby!

Mandy said...

HAAAAAAA!

I don't even know what Little Gym is, but I think I get the idea.

Kelly said...

I also have never been a "joiner," partially because I was so not a joiner, Mackenzie was in everything. She played softball, soccer, dance, gymnastics, piano lessons, guitar lessons, classes at the art center and local theater. If she wanted to try something and I could afford it or make my mom pay for it, I let her do it.

But my non-joinerism prevailed. She is so her own person, partially because she did do all of those things. Meg will do the same.

If she tries to change her name to Kimberlee, I'll help you chain her in the basement.

Deidra said...

There's...a song...for getting the balls out....LOL

ShaLyse Walker said...

My sister takes the little girl she nannies to little gym and is always talking about those hilarious songs. So funny.

C Lo said...

LOL!!!! Amanda ratted you out.

Riot Kitty said...

LMAO at that last line! Things and people that are too chipper frighten me.

Kelley said...

This was so cute! Ha! I was one of those girls donning all pink ensembles, but...life turned out okay for me! Hold on, someone just stole my grocery cart, my cardboard sign and my stolen Sharpie. Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On another note, one of my water aerobics friends was as naked as can be and the other one was wearing a nice, little cotton short set. Does that a bit more entertaining? :)

Kelley said...

This was so cute! Ha! I was one of those girls donning all pink ensembles, but...life turned out okay for me! Hold on, someone just stole my grocery cart, my cardboard sign and my stolen Sharpie. Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On another note, one of my water aerobics friends was as naked as can be and the other one was wearing a nice, little cotton short set. Does that a bit more entertaining? :)

Ca88andra said...

Yep, chipper people can be incredibly annoying! But as long as its fun...

G said...

I think I lucked out in by-passing that particular activity with my daughter (she's now 9).

'course, it would've been cheaper in the long run than what she's doing now (competitive dancing and competitive figure skating).

Ali said...

My oldest was a toddler at the height of the Barney era, I still have the songs in my head, it is so terrible. We only had a playgroup at the Y and it was mostly children running wild and desparately lonely stay at home mommies seeking adult companionship.

Wanna Bee said...

Ack its the stepford gym! Beware of the baby mind control.

JenS said...

You occasionally write a blog sentence that makes me spit my sip of water out... "they can't help it, they have to" did it for me today, thanks.

Hippo Brigade said...

I teeter the line of cool and dorky everyday. I think it's good for our kids. Variety is the spice of life, right? When Meg goes to the gym it's all clappy-clappy-happy-face, and then, when she gets home she'll get a health dose of cynicism by making fun of those overly-cheerful types. It's a symbiotic balance.

Pearl said...

Just as long you only fill it with wine SOME of the time. :-)

Pearl

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh, I was a joiner. For one reason and one reason only: those songs. Love them. Especially if they had hand movements.

Now, I'm just about the wine.

Ellie

Dunc said...

I just finished reading Escape. Scariest shit ever.

Jules said...

When it's time for Meg to join cheerleading, just have her come on down to Mean Girl Garage. I'll show her how to do a her-key.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Don't give it anohter thought, she will not remember any of this pre-4-year-old stuff anyway. For better or worse.

So go ahead, Libby, sing loud and proud, and she won't even be able to call you on it later.

beth