“I can’t do ballet, I can’t do feet”
Possibly not the brightest idea I’ve ever had, signing up Boy Lacer for ballet lessons, he had his first (and last) lesson today. We’d been discussing the idea for the last few days so as to prepare him, he didn’t seem that adverse to it but when it came to getting him through the door of the church where the lesson was (and where he knew there were dance lessons, as Girl Lacer goes there to) the penny dropped and he immediately became very reluctant and between shaking his head vigorously and getting tearful said “I can’t do ballet, I can’t do feet”, not heard him say “I can’t do” before so full marks on sentence construction but not what I particularly wanted to hear, not because I’m desperate for him to do ballet lessons (the lesson was quite bad timing for me, so him as it turns out not doing it does make my life easier) but because he’s shown on multiple occasions before that he’s interested in and likes dancing, it’d be nice for him to experience some sort of pre-school activity other than playgroup (goodness, Girl Lacer did loads) and I think with his suspected dyspraxia, hyperextension, hypotonia or whatever it is, some sort of physical, coordinated activity would help him no end. Also hearing him say something like “I can’t do ballet, I can’t do feet,” shows at 3 the possibility of a worrying level of self awareness because he’s right, he would have found it difficult, just the hopping and the jumping alone is currently beyond his ability level. I have a friend who’s a psychologist and she thinks that the “I can’t do feet” comment isn’t self awareness, he’s just focused on something he’s seen them doing in the class (although he wasn’t in the class at the time when he said it, he was outside but he’s seen plenty of Girl Lacer’s ballet recitals) as an excuse.
Anyway I coaxed him through the dance class door and we sat and watched, anytime I gently suggested he might like to join in was like suggesting he go jump off a cliff, so a no go but the sad thing was he was watching the class closely and when they did certain activities like pretending to be dragons or frogs, his eyes lit up and I could see he wanted to do it but there seemed to be a whole load of nervousness and self doubt holding him back.
I know though that he is not the only 3 year old in the world who doesn’t like the idea of going to do an activity class, whether they’re on the spectrum or not. Just a bit of a shock to the system after ‘I can do anything, let me at it Girl Lacer’.
Doesn’t help that with the change from holidays back to the old routine, he is not happy. He’s had two playgroup sessions since term started again and he has not responded well to either of them. Tuesday’s session was “he’s getting easily frustrated”, today’s session was “he doesn’t want anyone near him”, I knew then that the chance of success with ballet was very slim. Had the undignified first today when picking Boy Lacer up from playgroup of him trying to claw my face off in front of the playgroup staff.
Roll on the weekend!