Friday, January 4, 2013

That's how we roll.

I remember when my 10 year old daughter, Zoey, was a wee one, & I tried to help her learn to somersault. She just couldn't get it. She curled in a ball as best she could & got in formation, but when her head hit the ground, it was as if there was a tremendous weight on the end of her neck, too heavy to do much of anything with. There were a few times she did roll over. But it wasn't a smooth operation at all. It was more of a KER....PLUNK! It began like this: She rolled over to the top of that heavy head &, then, just like a tree that's been chopped down, she would fall {timber!} to the ground below with a crash. She should have been rolling along the cushioned carpet into a rather fun little dizzying 2 second adventure. Only, she wasn't.

Today the girls & I were visiting in the living room. Zoey brought up the fact that she STILL does not know how to do a somersault. I think I should be embarrassed right about now. I have not taught my child this one basic, simple motor skill. And I am so ashamed. I think this puts me on the blacklist for Mother of the Year nominations.
Zoey decided to plop some pillows on the floor & set up a little somersault obstacle course. Little 8 year old sister, Pazely, was trying to show Zoey how to tuck & roll. "Watch me, Zoey! Look how I do it! See?" She tumbled with ease. I tried using every descriptive word possible to help Zoey understand the fundaments of the somersault. I don't know if her long neck couldn't figure out which way to bend, or her long legs were just a little too long, or her knees invaded the space her chin was meant to be, but she just wasns't accomplishing the task she set out to do. I had to giggle a little at her efforts. She was trying to roll into a little ball, lean w-a-a-a-y back & then launch herself forward with such a force, hoping to propel over. It never worked. She got to that head part again & it was stalemate from there. But she kept trying. It was kind of like watching a weeble-wobble.

I suddenly had a great idea. Why don't I show her how it's done. I hadn't technically done a somersault in years. But, it's gotta be like riding a bicycle, right? I announced my plans: "Girls, watch! I'm going to do a somersault!" They stopped frozen, mouths gaping, ready to watch the show. And then I quickly had a change of plans. Slightly disappointed, Zoey & Pazely went about what they had been doing– rearranging the pillows on the floor. And then, in a split second, something came over me & I was on the floor, tucking my chin, rolling in a ball & flinging myself over. Midway through the tumble, I emitted this crazy noise. And then I realized that I hadn't planned out my path so, as I was spinning, I was figuring out in my head where all the furniture was & if I was going to crash into anything. At the end of my extraorinairy feat, I spun around & looked at the girls. They were squealing & giggling & laughing at their mommy. And this is what they said, "Mommy! You did it! You said you weren't going to do it but you DID!"
"You're right," I said. "I did it!"
And it hurt. Oh my gosh, it hurt.
It didn't hurt like when I did that cartwheel last year, but there was a tremendous aching in my bones.
I stumbled to the couch, playing all cool-like. And then I had another great idea: "I wonder if daddy can do a somersault," I stated aloud. The competition was on. A few moments later the Mr. came down the stairs. We filled him in on all the somersault details & then we disclosed the somersault challenge. He accepted. And down the Mr. went, like a giant awkward boulder.
If I looked anything like he did, spinning head over heals...*gasp*
But he did it. What a champ! I followed him into the kitchen, listening as the girls squealed & giggled & laughed at their dad.
"Did it hurt?" I asked the Mr.
"A little," he said.

I will continue to work with Zoey as she learns to somersault. And after that, we'll work on whistling. She doesn't know how to whistle yet either, & it tortures her to no end.
A 10 year old shouldn't have to deal with such predicaments.


  1. No, I would have to disagree- just attempting a somersault at "our age" makes you worthy of the "Mother of the Year" award!

    (It reminds me how my girls "Take Their Mommy to Dance" every year, and how much I crave Motrin and IcyHot the next day after...ouch!)

  2. This made me giggle! I think you could easily be nominated as mommy of the year! My mom never did that, You get an A+ in my book! I'm glad you got daddy in on it too!

  3. Love this! My 9, almost 10, year old daughter can somersault..but it's not pretty. I too have attempted to show her how to do cartwheels and it's pretty crazy. We're working on whistling too! Good luck.


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