We signed PJ up for classes at The Little Gym! He's always loved group activities such as story hour and swim lessons, so this seemed like a perfect fit for our active little dude! There are things to climb, rings to swing on, balance beams to conquer, and big piles of squishy, giant block things to scale! He love, love, loves it!
Here's the problem. His class is geared towards children 19 months to three years, so there are a few structured activities at the start- a welcome song, a warm-up, and a short group physical activity. In all of his other activities and classes, PJ has loved being a part of the group. He sat still for stories and blew bubbles on command. I don't know if it's the lure of the balance beam reaching in to his little heart, but when we tried to sit down together to begin the group activities?
PJ completely lost his marbles.
Seriously. It was a tantrum of the ages. The class sang the welcome song? PJ howled. The class started to run for warm up? PJ still howled, and tried to run and climb. Even when the "coach" brought out wooden sticks - and my son loveloveLOVES to drum on things!- he had a Complete System Meltdown when I tried to bring him over to join in the activity. It was one of the things where the other mamas give you That Look. That Look is sympathy mixed with relief that it's someone else's kid going postal. Back in my days as a nanny, I was the master of That Look.
It has only been one class, so I am not ready to give up. But I have to admit- I felt frustrated and completely helpless to the intensity of PJ's tantrum. He is not a tantrumy kid, so I don't know what happened. Still, I am hoping to give myself some tools to help him get through it and be able to enjoy the class completely. We have been practicing the welcome song so he will recognize it as his next class. Beyond that, I have no other ideas in my arsenal.
So, I am asking all of you wise mamas, nannys, babysitters, and elder siblings.