It’s been a while since we discovered that Xmm has advanced gross motor skills. It is evident through the way he handles a ball. He can deliver a ball to you in almost a straight line and can return a ball pass with a 50% success rate. Here is a short clip of him delivering a ball pass to his dad about a month before his 2nd birthday. His ball speed is amazing!
Xmm’s hand control is also excellent. He can catch a ball bouncing in mid air and can throw the ball into the hoop with his dominant right hand while standing about 50cm away. At times he also attempts to slam dunk the ball. Not once does he gets frustrated if his ball fails to get into the hoop, he just keeps on trying. Meow frequently remarks that this son of ours has the making of a sportsman, for he displays commendable sportsmanship as well. In a friendly ball game, he knows how to take turns and not sulk when things does not go his way. Check this video out.
More recently, we have noticed his ability went beyond simple ball play. He is demonstrating some gymnastic abilities too. In the following picture, he suddenly attempted this pose, much to my surprise. I am not even sure if Xxm who is 14 months his senior can perform this. This picture does not do Xmm justice because the first time he showed it to me, his body was almost parallel to the floor.
In fact, what really prompted me to write this post was an incident that I observed last weekend. Actually I did notice this occurring before, but back then I attributed it to pure luck.
Like most kids, innocent play can at times become rough. Xxm in his eagerness, shoved Xmm aside and I saw Xmm lost his balance and fell backwards. Both Meow and I screamed when we anticipated what was to result. Poor Xxm was frightened by us. He quickly hid behind my back and grabbed me tightly, denying me the chance to rescue Xmm when I am just inches away. I closed my eyes and waited for the thud and the inconsolable crying that was to ensue. A few seconds later, when all is calm, with the exception of the perpetrator who is about to cry, I did not even hear a whimper from Xmm. I saw Xmm lying on the ground with arms and legs outspread. There was no way he could have break his fall with such a position. I looked to his face. He was still stunned. On closer inspection, I noticed his head was lifted a centimetre or two from the hard ground. This boy had effectively protected his cranium from a hard knock by tensing his neck muscles. I was both shocked and amazed. I helped him up and all seems fine again.
I have always wondered why I don’t seem to experience as much trips and falls with Xmm as compared to Xxm. I thought my domestic helper was doing an excellent job at keeping him safe. Even when left free to roam, he seemed to suffer less mishaps. When he does fall, he is back on his feet without any tears, at most some tears of sympathy. Now, I think I might have the answer. I recalled what Meow has told me – the survival instinct is much tougher than I can imagine. By being overly protective, my children will lose the opportunity to learn to fend for themselves. I do agree with him to a certain extent back then, but how can you stop a mother from being overly concerned?
Anyway, back to Xmm, I am wondering now how I should further develop his abilities. I have read that gymnastics is great for coordination of large muscle groups for children four and up. I am not too sure if there is a gymnastic school locally. I can’t even imagine him in tights! If not, what other sports or activities should I engage him?
How do you develop your children’s locomotor skills?