While shifting through some papers on the dining room table, I turned around to see Hunter walking around on the couch about to step off and make a tumble on his head. Sure enough, before the words could escape my mouth to warn him there he flew, head over heals, doing a complete flip and landing flat on his back – and pretty hard.
Of course, I rushed over there to get him because I’m sure he was hurt, but right as I was about to pick him up to comfort him, he jumps to his feet and proudly proclaims, “Mommy! I did a somersault!” as he threw his hands into the air for an Olympic “finishing” position.
Even though we’ve really only just begun the “Physical Excellence” program, I can already see the wonderful effects it is having on Hunter. He loves being physically excellent! He loves getting better and better at being coordinated, he loves tumbling around, and he loves having an outlet for all that energy of his!
And, giving them the opportunity to become physically excellent gives the child a whole different outlook on life, as we see portrayed here: where other kids would have cried, lamented, and asked for band aids for their imaginary “boo boos”, Hunter saw the experience differently: not as a tumble in need of adult attention via crying and whining, but as a daring new way to maneuver his body, a challenge, and physical feat to conquer. And what a wonderful way that is to look at the world!
“Ellen’s mother went to the foot of the stairs to call Ellen downstairs. Three-year-old Ellen was wearing those pajamas with feet and shiny soles, and as a consequence she slipped on the top step and down the stairs she fell, head over tin-cups, to land flat on her back at her horrified mother’s feet.
Whereupon Ellen jumped to her feet, threw her arms over her head, stood tiptoes and assumed the Olympic “Finish” position.
Her very tuned-in mother very wisely applauded.
When we first heard of that story from the staff, our first thought was, “How very clever of both Ellen and her mother. Ellen snatched victory from defeat.”
And so she had. It took us a while to realize that what Ellen had done was a good deal more important than just snatching victory from defeat.
Ellen does not look at learning the way adults do. Neither do the other kids.
It took us a reasonably long time to realize that the children who have the glorious opportunity to learn about all the things there are to learn about in this world, at the hands of parents who take great joy in teaching them, do not look at learning in the same way that the rest of us do.”
How to Teach Your Baby to be Physically Superb, page 17, chapter 4
“There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.”
Hunter is 2 years, 10 months old