CONVERSATIONS · elementary school · slice of life

A Shared Disdain for Gym Class

If Isabelle didn’t look like a miniature version of me, then I’d doubt she were my child. Her demeanor is vastly different from mine, as well as my husband’s. 
When she used to do something outrageous (behavior-wise), I’d look at my husband and say, “she must get this from you.” He’d shake his head and swear up and down he was a well-behaved kid (True.) and that he didn’t know what would possess her to do whatever it was she did. Hence, I stopped trying to shift blame to anyone for Isabelle’s antics about a year ago. She’s her own person — plain and simple. 

Yesterday morning, the three of us were eating breakfast together. I asked Isabelle if she had any specials other than P.E. on Mondays. She shook her head sadly. So Marc told Isabelle P.E. was one of his favorite parts of school.

“I don’t like P.E.,” Isabelle told him.

He probed for a reason. He tried to sell her on the merits of the games they play in gym class. (Apparently he liked dodge ball!) He provided compelling reasons for the importance of P.E. participation.

“I’ll do it, but I don’t like it!” Isabelle said firmly.

“What specials do you like?” I asked.

“Not P.E.,” she said.

“I didn’t like P.E. when I was in school either. I was more of an art and music kid,” I declared.

“I like art and music! And computers! I like computers. We drew silly faces on the computer the other day. I like my computer teacher too,” Isabelle stated.

I smiled and looked at my curly-haired, blue-eyed mini-me. Perhaps she is my daughter after all.


16 thoughts on “A Shared Disdain for Gym Class

  1. It is a bit sad that young kids have to have PE. Wouldn’t it be nice if they just ran around and played? I seem to recall that’s what I did until middle school. Ah well. I bet as she grows you’ll find more similarities between the two of you.

  2. I was not a fan of PE either, especially in high school. Never being into sports I did not find playing basketball and football fun. Like Isabelle, I did it but didn’t like it.

  3. Yep, I did it, too, though I didn’t like it. After all, it was the era of “Go, you chicken fat, go.” But I must also say, our PE teacher is one of the hardest working teachers in our school, and she provides so many opportunities for the kids to learn and participate not just during the school day, but before and after school programs for fitness and fun, and community programs, too.

  4. I developed a fever almost every PE day in 2nd grade and then my mom had to pick me up and I got to hang out at the nursery school she taught at- to say I understand her feelings (and yours) would be putting it mildly. It is so fun to see ourselves reflected (and not) in our kids!

  5. He He! I hated PE! I was short, clumsy, and couldn’t keep up. I loved art, although I wouldn’t say I’m an artist. I’m so happy you and your daughter share these things in common. I’m sure she’s awesome, just like you!

  6. Love the dialogue you captured! I also laughed at your astonishment that your husband actually liked dodgeball. I was never a fan of PE either, so I can empathize with Isabelle (and you). Our PE teacher is pretty amazing though and the kids love his classes. PE has certainly changed since my days as classes at our school might involve snowshoeing, practicing fishing, learning circus arts, wall climbing or playing reindeer games. Yay for changes in PE!!!

  7. A lovely reflection and real “slice” into a conversation with your daughter and husband. Love the dialogue. I also can relate to being similar to my daughter. Just now, she carried a towering stack of books to her bedroom that we checked out from the library earlier. (She should be going to sleep soon, not reading all night). I asked her why she needs 20 books (approx.) at her bed side and she answered, “Because I like to read.”

    Like mother, like daughter…

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