Friday, March 19, 2010

itty bitty ball

Yesterday was Danny's last class of Itty Bitty Ball. He was really hoping they'd be playing "gock-uh" (soccer). I was really hoping we hadn't missed it last week when we were home with the croupy crud. We missed it. And we missed basketball too. Crud.

We got to class early, so early that they hadn't even rolled out the bleachers yet. We walked over to where a few coaches were standing. The boss lady said, "Oh, here's Danny!" He played the shy/grouchy kid we all love so much. I said something to her about how teachers always remember the names of the naughty kids. (Of course, I didn't refer to Danny as naughty in front of him. He had already sulked off by then.) She laughed and said something about how she just loves his cheeks.

Yeah, right. Those coaches have about 80 kids in these Itty Bitty classes and they remember Danny because of his cheeks? I'm thinking they remember him because he acts like learning how to play volleyball, football and baseball are about as fun as a trip to the dentist.

I love that kid of mine but I just don't understand his reluctance to participate in fun activities. Doesn't he know about just going along with the crowd? Play the game because the other kids are playing it and they look like they're having FUN? It's all nature, of course. It can't possibly have anything to do with nurture.

We'll keep working on it though. Itty Bitty Soccer starts in July. Woo hoo! Gock-uh! He needs to learn how to have fun playing something other than Star Wars.

We spent a few minutes on the unrolled-out bleachers taking pictures. I was tempted to crop Danny out of that first one. Don't Kris and Cate look absolutely adorable together? He put his arm around her, held her hand and tilted his head towards her. So cute I can hardly stand it. Cate was loving having her picture taken. That's her signing "more." She likes to ham it up for the camera.

Eventually, the bleachers were ready for us. We sat down and watched Danny do a lot of not participating. Don't believe me? Take a look. All the pictures are fuzzy. He's a tiny speck in some of them. I don't have a paparazzi camera with a super zoom lens so that's all I got. I can't even zoom my camera very far because of the sand that's stuck in there from the Green River trip.

Notice the first picture where he's standing (orange shirt, in case you couldn't figure out which one was him). Head down. Arms straight. Fists clenched. Ready to stomp away. He's probably saying "grrrrrrrr." That's my boy! He's actually laying on the floor in that bottom one. Ug.

He decided to participate when they brought out the giant parachute and even had a smile on his face. I was so proud. I was even prouder of him that he listened to the coach when she told them to not go under the parachute until she said so. Woo hoo for small victories.

They put the parachute away and played a rousing game of basketball. Danny rotated between watching the game and playing with the little signs that were stuck inside some orange cones by the wall.

Enter Lenny the Lion. Danny is scared of Lenny. He saw him last year when Kris was in Itty Bitty. Fear. Terror. Serious dislike. I told the boss lady at the beginning of class that he's afraid of Lenny. She said not to worry. She'd have Danny come over to sit with me right before Lenny entered the room.

She forgot.

The loud music started and I saw Lenny through the window in the door. I'm not sure what I could have done to help Danny at that point. He was all the way across the gym. No way I could have gotten to him before they opened the doors. Plus, I was kind of hoping that maybe he'd have a different reaction this year. Maybe he'd be a little bit okay with Lenny.

He wasn't.

He high-tailed it over to the bleachers where we were sitting. Four seconds elapsed between this first picture and the next one. And then four more and he was at the bleachers, telling me that he doesn't like the lion and hiding behind me with his hands over his face. A total of 8 seconds. Maybe we should sign him up for Itty Bitty Track.

I enlarged that second picture a little bit to get a better look at Danny's face. Fear. Terror. Serious dislike. Is he not old enough to understand that's just a guy in a costume? Kris kept telling him that over and over again but he just kept hiding behind me in fear of the deadly Lenny the Lion.

Of course, Lenny was waiting at the door to say bye to all the itty bitty boys and girls. Kris walked right up to him and gave him a high five. Danny, on the other hand, was being carried by me. He had his favorite stuffed puppy covering his eyes at that point. He was so worried about Lenny that he forgot to collect his complimentary Laffy Taffy candies from his coach.

Here's his team picture. It was taken on the second day of class. Danny was not happy about the Itty Bitty t-shirt. I threatened to take away his Star Wars toys if he didn't put it on. And of course, he almost missed out on the shot because he decided he needed to use the restroom a few minutes earlier. Maybe he did that on purpose.
And here's his individual picture. Look at that smile! I love it. They let him choose a ball to hold. Of course, he chose gock-uh.

I can't wait for July. Maybe I'll let Dan be the chaperone for those classes. I don't want him to miss out on all the itty bitty fun.


Dan said...

Danny is amazingly fast! Did you notice that by the time Danny is more than half way across the court the lion has only taken a couple steps.
I love the pictures.
Thanks, Luv.

Judy said...

Poor kid would've been the first one attacked by Lenny if he hadn't started running. I guess we'll take out the soccer balls at my house for him.

Ella said...

This was awesome. Danny is great. Participating is totally overrated. And I'm shocked that any kid likes Lenny. I remember a gorilla coming to my elementary school on Halloween to pass out candy. I screamed and bawled and wouldn't let go of my teacher's legs.

debra said...

I just read this post for the first time. His pictures are adorable. My kids love Lenny. Brady wouldn't have when he was little, but the rest do. They hug him, kiss him, high five him, tickle him, and pull his tail. I think that's more weird than running from him.