This Is Why I'm Always So Confused
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

It wasn't all that long ago that Mila loved everything about gymnastics class. Taking her was like taking me to a chocolate factory on "Free Sample Day." She had all of the joy. In fact, I had to bribe her to leave most weeks.

And then it all came crashing down.

I don't know for sure what changed, but I'd guess it was the trifecta. Mila skipped her usual 2-hour nap, didn't eat very well, and then discovered that she had a new coach all in one day. It was a rough day that turned ugly very quickly. Suddenly, she who had to be drug away from gymnastics couldn't be convinced to stay in class. She kept running out to the lobby where I was, telling me lengthy stories, and then crying when I told her to go back. One day of train wreck set the tone for a streak. Week-after-week, I kept fighting with Mila to stay in her class.

It was so bad that I was ready to cancel her enrollment. The only thing that slowed me down is that Alexis has a class at the same time, so it would be harder than it would seem on the surface for me to drop Mila's class. I decided I would give it to the holiday break and then I'd be in a better place. I was maaaaaybe going to cancel everybody's classes.

I started working on Alexis. Slowly but steadily, I laid the groundwork to convince her to take a break from her tumbling class. Each week, I warned Mila that the end was near. I meant it; I was going to cancel.

In my quest to make sure I was being fair, I decided to give Mila one last warning and throw in a little incentive. I told her that if she used her listening ears and stayed in class, she could pick a snack from the little cafe at the gymnastics place. That would seem to be the most useless of bribes, but I'LL BE DAMNED IF IT DIDN'T WORK.

The kid stayed in class. And more or less listened. Sort of. (Look. Mila is always a flight risk. If she stays in the same general vicinity as class, it's a win.)

And then she proceeded to pick her snack from the cafe. She picked ... goldfish crackers. As if there isn't already about 17 pounds of them in the back seat of my car. She knows they're there because she's the one who keeps putting them there. In fact, she left a bag in her car seat right before going into gymnastics. A full bag.

Preschoolers make no sense at all.

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