In case you haven’t been following along, I’m a total soccer mom now. Every week, a whack of us (me, Peter, Peyps, my parents, my sisters, Peter’s mom, etc.) head out to watch Addy’s 45 minute soccer class.
Addy started playing with the Little Kickers (a cross-Canada franchise that offers soccer classes for tots) in our area last May. We enrolled her for a couple reasons, the main one being that we wanted her to socialize with other kids her age and learn to listen to other adults before starting junior kindergarten. A year later, and I’m still a huge fan of the Little Kickers program. Addy (who’s shy and ridiculously quiet until she gets to know you) really comes out of her shell at soccer. She’s always talking about Coach Joe, she does practice drills with Peyps (one of her favourites is “Star/Soldier,” a.k.a jumping jacks), she keeps the stickers she gets at the end of each class (god forbid Coach Joe replaces his Disney princess stickers with some other character), and recites their little chant, “Yummy, yummy, soccer ball in my tummy. YUCK! Soccer balls aren’t yummy!” out of the blue when we’re in the car, at home, etc. Most importantly, we’ve watched her gain confidence (you should see her swagger when she scores a goal), learn about teamwork, and improve her listening skills and ability to follow instructions. I have no doubt that what she’s learned with Coach Joe and the Little Kickers has helped her immensely this year at school.
Then there’s Peyps. I figured that if we liked Little Kickers, we’d eventually sign Peyps up — kids can start at two and a half. Since she’ll be three in September, we figured it would be nice for her to play this summer, like her big sister. Plus, her little boyfriend, Tyler, is also starting (he’ll be three in August), so she’ll have a little pal to play with. So, we’re starting our little monster — deep into her terrible twos — this weekend. (Pictures of our new soccer player in her uniform to come next week after her first class.) She seems to be really interested and excited to play, and we hope she’ll expend some of her energy while learning the skills Addy has picked up.
While I’m pumped about Peyps playing, I’m worried she’s going to be a handful. The way I see it, this experience can go one of two ways — she can be a nasty little thing and spend the entire 45 minutes being a devilish terror and not listening to Coach Joe (apologies in advance if this ends up happening, Coach Joe!), or she’ll settle down, pay attention, have fun and enjoy her time in the spotlight. I’m clearly hoping for the latter.