She was not happy about being signed up for a sport that uses a ball and as we began attending practices, she was beyond upset because there are too many boys. Alas, although technically co-ed, there are--at mos--two girls per team. Before every game or practice she moans and wails about going. On days when the other girl on the team doesn't show up, Marley refuses to practice or play (her middle name could be Intractable*). When she is cooperating, she seems to experience a moderate enjoyment although she is not very assertive yet.
pry her off of me and deposit her into the team mom's arms.)
Perhaps because basketball has been less than a smashing success, I began looking into the next sport. I promised her it wouldn't be co-ed. She said she doesn't want try gymnastics again so I was checking out softball. My sister was a softball player as is her daughter. As I looked into it, I began dreading the high fee to play, the candy sale and snack bar duty requirements AND Marley's possible resistance. But then, in the nick of time, I was rescued by a flyer insert advertising Cheer and Drill Team lessons. They are moderately priced, have a reasonable meeting schedule, Marley's friend will sign up with her AND... AND... AND... Marley is excited about it. I went to registration tonight and confirmed that this would not be a Hoochie Mama cheer team. So, I signed her up and she received these:
She is ecstatic about getting a uniform and being a real cheerleader although she did ask me in the car later, "Mom, what does a cheerleader do?"
*Trying to get Marley to do something she doesn't want to do reminds me of trying to trim our late dog Bob's toenails. It took four people to hold him down and even then it was a difficult task. I've always attributed her stubbornness to her personality. At five months of age, she figured out--after one night--that a bedtime story meant going to bed and she refused to sit through one for months afterwards. Since I began reading Parenting from the Inside Out, I am beginning to wonder if there isn't more to it.
At 10 months old, Marley had a febrile seizure. She was taken to the hospital for x-rays, blood tests, etc. As is usually the case with this type of seizure, she was perfectly fine. Less than six months later, though, she had another one. More blood tests, attempts to place a catheter, and a visit to our family physician resulted in a protocol for treatment whenever she had any fever at all: rotate Tylenol and Motrin at any sign of fever and a pediatric suspension formula of Valium for its anti-convulsive properties. This was all very successful. However, every visit to a doctor was a drama. I became quite adept at holding her with my leg crossed over her lower body, one arm across her chest and one holding her head. (She is able to manage a visit to the doctor quite well now.) I wonder if her implicit memories--ones she cannot consciously recall because she was too young--are having an impact on how she faces feeling "forced" to do something. If so, Paul and I definitely need to find a new approach to enlisting her cooperation. I hope the following chapters of the book have some insight!
I did it! Have you?