today we were reading a science book for school about bad smells. i know, i've talked a lot lately about stuff we're doing for school, but people, i don't get out much these days. i spend my life at home with a kid so all i've got most of the time to spark my creative juices is the stuff i teach to brooke.
ahem, where was i? ah, yes. stinky things. there was discussion of bad breath and the things that cause it. the word halitosis was mentioned. and that's when i went spiraling back in time.
about 4 years ago when brooke was 5, she went to the little gym for the gymnastic classes. it's a wonderful place that i highly recommend if your kid is clumsy or nervous and you're not trying to get into a competitive sport. the teachers were all incredibly patient with brooke as she spent her first several classes hiding under equipment crying and avoiding every activity. it was a new atmosphere for her and very structured which she also wasn't used to. she was only 4 when she started, but after a few weeks, she started to like it and eventually she participated in almost everything.
early on in our little gym experience, brooke was still afraid of the high bar that the kids could use with an adult assistant if they felt up to it. the coaches never pushed them to do anything that scared them, but would give them the chance each week to see if they were ready to try. one day a teacher asked brooke if she could pick her up and let her just touch the high bar with her finger. i didn't see it happen, but brooke told me later that she bit that lady's long leg like she was a hyena and the teacher was her attacker. she said she felt afraid and had to defend herself. the teacher didn't even mention it, so it must not have been a very hard bite, but i was just thankful they still let her come back.
one day after class, the owner/head coach came to me and quietly whispered in my ear, "i was helping brooke with something and she was nervous, so i leaned in close to talk to her about it. she said, 'smells like someone has halitosis today'." i know my head turned several shades of red, but i couldn't help laughing. we'd been doing some great vocabulary lessons and clearly they were sticking!
at the end of each 20 week session there was always an awards show where the parents could come in & observe the kids' skills and watch them get a medal on a ribbon. brooke was called last to go up on the little foam platform to get her medal. each other kid had walked up the steps and received their prize like a little olympian. but not brooke. when she heard her name, she dropped down on her hands and knees and ran/crawled across the floor, up the steps and to the middle of the platform and posed on her knees with her chin held high and one hand/paw up in front of her. we'd been watching the AKC championships and she was posing in poodle style to claim her award.
she went through several award ceremonies and for almost every one she did the crawling doggy thing again. and i heard from some of the teachers that it had spread and some kids even in other classes had started doing it too.
my little aspie trendsetter with her boundless creativity and imagination. she makes my heart happy.