Friday, March 22, 2013

a class for Connar

Someone recently told me about a place called The Maple Gym here in Haeundae where she takes her 3 year old son to get some structured play time a few times a week.  I called about it at the boys' nap time yesterday, and just 3 short hours later we were walking in to introduce ourselves and give this class a shot.

The man that teaches the class also owns it and speaks pretty good English.  He invited me to bring Connar in to try it out for free one time.  He told us they have class 3 times a week for an hour each time.  The kicker is that the place is a 30 minute walk from my condo door to the door of the gym.  That's great exercise if I'm walking that way and back three times a week, not to mention all the other regular walking I do around town throughout the week....all while pushing a double stroller that has to weigh near 100 pounds with the two growing kids and all their junk!

The kids have some free play time at the beginning and end of the hour class with stretching, some gymnastics (rolling, etc.), some sports activities (basketball, etc.), and a tad bit of taekwondo ("punch, punch, kick") for the middle chunk of the hour.  This sounded great to me, because I really need Connar to get some of his boy energy out.  Any three year old is welcome, but there are only boys enrolled in this particular class at this time.  Funny thing, not one is from Korea.  :)  They're from all over the world and cute as all get out with their different little boy accents!

At first Parker wanted to roam the classroom and explore all the toys.  Once I got him settled on my lap with his milk and a movie on the iPad, I sat off to the side of the class to watch (I was actually the only mom there).  Unfortunately, Connar continued to roam the classroom and do his own thing rather than participating with the other five little boys and the teacher, despite the teacher's many attempts to bribe him with candy.  Connar's response was very mannerly and sweet: "Um, no thank you."  :)  He finally gave in during the last activity they did and of course loved participating in the free play time after class was over.

When I went into the hall to grab some stuff for Parker, I snapped a few photos of Connar through the door.  He didn't even notice I was gone.  That's great because he could've been crying for me, which would've signaled there's no hope for this class to work out.

Then the teacher called the boys over....and Connar went in the opposite direction.  He's in the blue shirt in the back left corner of the picture.  He's playing the drum.  Awesome.  Just awesome.

When it was time to move to a different part of the room, Connar still refused to sit by the boys and participate in the activity.  He simply wanted to sit on the outskirts and keep an eye on them that way.

Once he saw there were jelly beans involved for participating, he scooted right up next to that container of jelly beans....but still refused to participate.

Rolling around the room like they're on fire....yep, he's definitely interested in doing that!  In fact, that's right up his alley!  It was times like this that I was comforted by seeing that he behaves like the other 3 year olds in the class and assured me that at some point he would participate in the activities too.

The teacher pulled the basketball goal out, and Connar was all over that.  He even helped him to fetch the balls and then raised his hand when asked who wanted to go first.  After his turn, he asked if he could have a jelly bean.  :)

Parker decided that he wanted a part of the free play action at the end of class.  :)

Although he didn't participate and follow directions when told to come sit, etc., Connar had a good time.  I think he just needs some time to get use to the routine of the class (free play, class time, free play) and having to listen to someone other than us.  We're going to give the class a shot starting next week.  My hope is that he loves going, gets some energy out, makes friends, and is able to work on his following directions skills in a structured setting.  He needs to be around people other than me day in and day out, so I'm crossing my fingers that this is good for him and he likes it.  I'm also going to do like the other moms and leave him there for the hour...eventually.  I think I might end up sitting in the hall at first just in case.  I'd hate for him to start freaking out on the people because I'm not there.  I think I'll let him get use to me not being in the room but being close enough by if needed.  Once he gets use to me not being in the room with him and being more comfortable with the people there, I'm hoping it'll be an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of situation where it'll be okay if Parker and I run across the street to the park to play and have some one on one time.

I'm planning on baking a treat to take to our first official class next week.  Hopefully the teacher will remember the taste of the yummy brownies if Connar ends up continuing to give him a run for his money.  :)

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