Monday, July 09, 2012

Gymtastic


It's week four of summer - it must be gymnastics camp. This one was a new experience for all of us. I'd personally never fancied gymnastics as a kid - something about the violent j-curve of every gym-rat's spine screamed 'stick with ballet'. Anna was persuaded in to it by a friend from school - one of those zippy little girls who can effortlessly cartwheel seventeen times in a row. On the way there I told Anna that she shouldn't do anything she wasn't completely comfortable with (a recipe for a dull but spiral-fracture free life.....). "what" she replied "like a double back flip?". Well, yes, that definitely qualified.

Two days in to the camp, and I got the call. The gymnastics teacher phoned me at work to say there'd been an incident and I needed to come out there. The call every parent dreads.

"She's got dry skin" the camp coordinator said, "we've tried sunscreen but she says it's really itchy and she needs you to bring some lotion."

Leaving work to bring some Aveeno to your child hardly screams professionalism does it? I did feel a tad guilty though. When Anna was born her skin was so soft that our fingertips felt too coarse to do it justice. To truly appreciate the combination of silk and velvet of her newborn skin, we had to touch it with our lips or the back of our hands. It was other-wordly soft. Cut to age seven and three weeks of tennis/swim camp, with its endless round of pool, sunscreen, sweat and sun exposure meant her skin had changed into a hide that would make an eighty year old Floridian proud. She was positively scaly and I made a big production of lubing her up every night with lotion or the incredibly greasy but effective Aquafor.

I'd dug my own grave. By commenting on her dry skin it had become a 'big deal' one that meant she had to call me in the middle of her camp. I fobbed her off until lunchtime, hoping that if I left it a couple of hours and called later they would tell me everything was okay and she'd stopped complaining. No such luck "she's still asking about it" they said.  Perhaps there is some gym camp rule that means they can't apply lotion to a minor, perhaps the act could be misconstrued, perhaps they wanted to see just how over-indulged this child really was. Who knows. I had to remind myself that she's only seven, and more importantly, that I could make her pay for it later. I still can't believe I spent my lunch hour driving lotion to my crusty child. I suppose I should just be glad that she had a good time at the camp, and she did, she had a great time. The lotion call wasn't a ruse to get to see me during the day (even I can't flatter myself that much).

Her big finale on Friday was the back-bend / bridge (?) seen above. Not a double back flip in sight, and what gorgeous shiny skin.....




3 comments:

nappy valley girl said...

You'll almost certainly find there is a rule against them rubbing her with lotion. At my kids' camp the counselors aren't allowed to rub sunscreen on the child. They can help them hold the spray, and spray it, but not actually touch the child. Seeing as my kids are crap at reapplying their own cream, I often wonder what the risk of being touched inappropriately in the middle of a camp full of kids is versus the risk of being sunburned....

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