My daughter was walking at ten months, clambering over her cot sides not long after and yelling "let me do it on my own" within an hour of sitting on a bicycle for the first time at the age of three. She has always had pretty good coordination.
So, when we booked a ski trip we figured we were doing her a favour by introducing her to such a fabulous sport at a young age. She'll be four in April and I had been assured that this is a good age to start. We consulted her of course and she was in raptures over the idea. We rallied the troops, English and German, and decided on Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria which has a good reputation for being child-friendly.
How could I have forgotten how recalcitrant and bull-headed Finje can be?
The thing is she could do it. She managed the zombie-ski-boot-walk no problem and her first nursery run went swimmingly. It was completed with a broad grin and lots of whoohoo noises. Oh YES, thought I. This is a win. She's taken to my favourite sport. Being schlepped back up the tiny piste on a rather fancy escalator, I allowed myself to fantasise about future trips. Swishing down the slopes with my daughter and husband, sipping hot chocolate and reveling in the fresh mountain air.
The child however had other ideas.
In a matter of minutes she morphed into a jellyfish. Despite being surrounded by enthusiastic, miniature Franz Klammers, no taller than their skis, whizzing past in various stages of merriment, Finje suddenly wanted no more of it. She slumped down and refused steadfastly to rise, never mind ski. When faced with my gentle if not slightly desperate pleading, the scene became not dissimilar to the one with the possessed kid in The Exorcist. Screaming ab-dabs on Germany's highest mountain. As my friend pointed out, at least she has a sense of occasion.
Needless to say all the tiny future German Olympic Down Hill Champions looked on with expressions ranging from bewilderment to open antipathy as Finje bellowed and I prayed for an avalanche to put me out of my misery.
After dissecting events with the group later over a large schnapps (or three), the general consensus was that she is still too young. I maintain she is simply too mulish.
So what do you think? Am I expecting too much?
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