Thursday, May 10, 2001

Playing by the rules

I finally managed to sign my kids up for classes run by our town's Parks and Recreation department -- have always meant to in the past, and always missed the deadlines -- and after one session each, I can report that the kids are doing fine, and I'm feeling dumb.

My daughter is taking a baseball skills class, and did pretty well with catching and throwing. I frequently heard the coach say "Excellent!" when she did something, which is majorly gratifying. She's been saying that she doesn't do well with catching and throwing at recess, while I think she does pretty well with it at home; my theory that the other kids are really the ones who are bad seems to be supported now by her class performance. Good for her.

My son is taking a gardening class run by senior citizens, and as I'd hoped, some nice lady has taken him under her wing. A few of the women clearly wondered why I had inflicted this jumpy, distractable, impulsive, noncooperative little demon upon them, but his new friend just took him with her and worked with him one on one and unflappably waved me away when I tried to make him shape up a time or two. She later explained that she had a grandson with ADHD, who shares a name with my boy, and that she also worked for a nursery school. So it looks like he's going to be okay, and he sure liked digging in dirt.

So why am I feeling dumb, when things are working out so well? See, here's the thing: My daughter is the only girl in the baseball class, and my son is the only boy in gardening. I don't know if this makes them look like bold gender pioneers, or like kids whose mother doesn't know the gender rules.

I'll hope for the latter, though my daughter reports that her on-again, off-again best friend is mad at her for taking a baseball class because everybody knows girls play softball. Maybe she's just worried that my girl will find out that she's not the one who doesn't know how to throw.

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