11.10.06

Kids and Locomotion

Ever notice how children never just walk anywhere? Why walk when there are so many more interesting, and perhaps dirty ways of arriving.

For instance, when the Boy is told to go and pick up something, most of the time he crawls, and rolls, and slides, and drags his head along the carpet enroute to his destination. Do you suppose he does it on purpose, just to irritate the snot out of me?

My daughter embarks on similar transportation adventures. She likes to walk backwards until she slams into things, move her head around in circles while making silly faces, somehow this is moving in her opinion. She has a tendency to slide her head along the ground as she crawls as well, which is a bigger problem for her since she has hair, and when she does this 30 seconds after I have finished braiding it, and another 5 seconds before we are getting in the car to go to church or something, it makes it look as though she has just woken up with a gigantic rat snarl on her head and that I am a very negligent mommy.

Then there are the routes chosen by children to get from one place to the other. In our house there are a few choice ones. When In my bedroom and told to get themselves anywhere else, they like to go across the bed, several times, which gives them extra opportunities to perform flips, with no hands, and somersaults with dramatic jumps at the end. If they are heading down the hallway for any reason they prefer to first climb the ugly chair that I still haven’t replaced, and slide down the back of it. Other favorites are overturning the little kid sized chairs and climbing through the legs, or swinging through, or an especially cool trick is to tip the chair as you are walking across it so that you hang suspended on one edge for a moment before it rocks over to the other side.

Every stone, wall, tree trunk and open grassy spot is a potential route when we are walking outside. Staying on the sidewalk is so passe when they could be climbing things and jumping off of them, or turning cartwheels on the grass.

I guess you could say that I have an at home gymnastics studio. Which is fine, unless this all takes place when I tell them to go and clean their room, or I'm in a hurry to get home, in which case I’m certain it’s become an avoidance technique. I know they come by it honestly. My little brother is a professional actor stunt person, and he learned all of his own daredevil acts at home until he grew up and went away to school. I remember in elementary school, he might have been 7; he and our younger sister choreographed a gymnastics act for the school talent show. In it he flipped my little sister around while hanging upside down from a bar, walked tightrope style back and forth across the bar she hung upside down from and did several other impressive stunts, ending with a baby drop dismount. My mother was almost trampled by eager parents wanting to know which gymnastics studio her kids went to. She had to say that they didn’t, partly because my dad was afraid that gymnastics were too “girly” for his son, but they were welcome to send their kids over to play on our rusty swing sets, which is where they practiced all of the tricks.

I suppose it could be Judo too. Most of their warm-up drills consist of running and rolling, backwards and forwards, and alligator crawls and every other way of getting across the mats. But I think he was doing this sort of thing long before he got to that class. I think his first thought on seeing the drills must have been, “You mean I can do this, and no one will tell me to stop messing around and hurry up. I get to drop and roll? Woohoo!!”

So I want to know, do your kids do this sort of thing? Is it genetic? Or is it my fault for letting them watch this way too many times? After all, these guys don’t just walk anywhere.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there........ I found you at Owlhaven, and am keeping the comment idea going! Kids and locomotion. I know this well. Stairs are another thing here. Mine never walked down them. The best was my youngest who used to slide down on his stomach at the speed of light as a toddler. No wonder I need highlights to cover the grey!

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