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Column

‘Cinderella ... dressed in yella’

A new hobby has taken over at our house, but it isn’t the latest fad. My girls have both started to jump rope, both individually and together, and I couldn’t be more excited, kind of.

We’ve had jump ropes in our house for quite some time, typically used for many other purposes besides jumping. The coordination it takes to swing a rope all the while jumping at the right time is acquired with age, and I guess we have finally made it.

I’m not sure how or when it started but several times when I went to pick up the girls from my parent’s house, they would be taking turns trying to master the skill. In the beginning, the girls would try to swing the rope as fast and hard as possible while getting a few hops in. The rope would pound on the floor, and the girls would be out of breath trying so hard to jump two or three times.

When we were outside one day, we moved on to jumping rope with others swinging the rope. After getting the timing down, the girls thrived and started to slow down their jumping motion from rapid pace to a smooth big jump with a smaller jump cadence.

The girls then took that skill and applied it to their individual jumping which greatly increased their jump count. Of course, that meant the competition to get the highest number intensified between the two, but for the most part they were encouraging each other instead of spoiling the fun.

When I was in school, jumping rope was one of my favorite things to do during recess. Whether as a group or each of us on our own, we banged the red and white beaded ropes to several classic songs.

“Cinderella ... dressed in yella ... went upstairs to kiss a fella ... made a mistake and kissed a snake ... how many doctors will it take ... one ... two ... three.”

Knowing the entertainment it brought me and my friends, I was a little disappointed when I asked the girls if they jumped rope during recess only to be told jump ropes weren’t allowed. They said kids had used them inappropriately and they were put away.

Even though the girls can’t jump rope during school, it hasn’t stopped them from practicing any time they are home. We are required to have a space big enough for a rope to swing available at all times and need to be available to count in case the girls reach a new high number.

One night, after the girls had gone to bed, I heard a light thudding sound coming from the hallway. My girls are well-known to get out of bed for any number of reasons but sneaking out to jump rope a little bit more was a first.

After chuckling a little, I accompanied my youngest back to her bed and reminded her that she can jump rope during the day but not after she’d been tucked in for the night.

I don’t know if the girls will learn any of the fun songs we had while I was growing up or if they will even care about jumping rope in a couple of weeks, but I’m glad a bit of my childhood can still be a part of theirs.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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