The joys of raising a rough-and-tumble toddler

There are few times that Amelia and I have alone time. Six-month-old Gabriella has hit the I-only-want-Mommy-and-I’ll-scream-until-she-has-me clingy stage. Coupled with a full-time job and a part-time freelancing gig, the days and nights pretty much zoom by.

It’s the unexpected moments that catch me by surprise.

See, my 2-year-old amazes me every day, whether it’s reciting the alphabet perfectly or counting to an all-time high number (Right now, we’re at 11).

I love listening to her chatter about her teacher and friends at school, the day’s activities or how many times she used the potty.

Instead of toys for her birthday, we decided to enroll her in a tumbling class.

Amelia is a rough-and-tumble kid who moves at warp speed most of the time. She runs, jumps, hops and skips through most of the day and pretty much collapses into bed every night. (Although, Mia does have stalling down to a science, requesting that glass of “wahger” or one more potty trip over and over again.)

My husband, Brent, and I packed the girls into the car after work and headed to the tumbling gym. We didn’t know what to expect or what her reaction would be. Oftentimes, Amelia takes a bit to warm up to a situation.

She surveys the scene.

Takes inventory of who is doing what.

Thinks long and hard about it.

THEN, joins in.

Not this time.

Amelia shows her ‘cheesy face’ in approval of tumbling class.

Within minutes, our toddler was bouncing on trampolines, performing donkey kicks with her feet high in the air and tackling the balance beam. As parents, we patted ourselves on the back. Our little girl was well-behaved and listening to the teacher.

Maybe she was listening a bit too well.

Mia stood in front of the wedge mat. The teacher told her to do a hot-dog roll down the cheese mat.

I stared at Brent. We both knew talk of food signaled the end of class … for us, at least.

“Cheese?” a wide-eyed Amelia. “Mommy, I want cheese. No, I want hot gog. Mmm.. yum, yum. Hot gogs in my tummy.”

Laughing, the teacher and I coaxed her into a log roll, and down the cheese mat she went. Without missing a beat, she was back to thinking with her stomach.

“Mommy, I all done, k? I go home to cheese.”

Luckily, the class was nearing its end and we escaped before the real meltdown occurred minutes later in the car.

Needless to say, we didn’t have hot dogs or cheese that night, much to Amelia’s dismay, but we did have a lot of whin(ing).


Laura Burkey is Mom to 6-month-old Gabriella, 2-year-old Amelia and 6-year-old Lucy the Beagle, and wife of four years to Brent.

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  1. October 27, 2012

    [...] Smart March/April 2012 ← The joys of raising a rough-and-tumble toddler [...]

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