Last week Tuesday I brought Lucy to Mommy + Me Soccer at the SoccerZone in Jenison.
Week 1: We had played it up big time, telling her all about how she is going to get to kick the soccer ball, run around, and make friends. We were both excited that Lucy would have a lot of fun. However, due to some goofed-up field scheduling and an overabundance of walk-ins, they had to combine the 3 year olds with 4 and 5 year olds... I mentioned this all on Facebook last week. It was diastrous (for me) because Lucy didn't want to sit and listen to instructions about kicking technique, while there were soccer balls scattered all around. She kept running off and kicking the ball, and I'd usher her back and tell her to listen... she'd wrestle away from me, and we'd repeat this until I was sweating and wondering what all the other parents thought. I was also conscious about the probability that they figured she was one of the 4 or 5 year olds, since she was about the same size, yet acting like a... three year old! Ugh. Why can't that mother control her child!? I was wondering the same thing.
Week 2: They ironed out the kinks and had the 3-year-olds together and the instructor was a young woman (high school or college age) who knew how to talk to preschoolers, and was very understanding when they kicked the ball any which way, or picked it up with their hands. The whole idea was to have fun and remember to only use your feet, pass the ball back and forth, and make some friends. Lucy laughed and ran so much that she was red-faced and breathing hard, and was very good at listening to the "coach", after I spent part of the day explaining it to her more, and reiterating the importance of following directions. She really did great. They got plenty of ball-kicking time, which to a 3 year old, is what soccer is all about. Ron and Henry came too, just to watch (and for him to step in for me if we had a repeat of last week's shenanigans). Next week I might be more apt to bring a video camera or something to catch her in action, but I didn't want to worry about it this time around. While she ran and kicked her kid-sized soccer ball down the length of the field, squealing (into big-kid territory while I called for her to turn around and come back) she looked like a natural. I was pretty impressed, actually.