Residents of the Barrington gated community in Aurora, Ohio report that Kathleen Torkelson has been giving her 9-year-old daughter, Sadie, some “very aggressive cartwheel tutorials.”
“At first it was really cute that she was helping her daughter learn how to do a cartwheel,” says neighbor Diana Klein. “But it’s gotten out of control. I saw her spend an entire afternoon chastising Sadie on her form.”
Mailman James Moody says the practice, which began in April, has reached an unsustainable level of intensity. “They were having fun, but now Sadie seems like she doesn’t even like cartwheels. I think she’s just terrified of disappointing her mother. I don’t see the point of it all.”
Community members note that they’ve seen no evidence that Sadie’s talent warrants such rigorous practice, or that she has ever taken a gymnastics class.
“Kathleen is relentless. She’s acting like one of those reality show moms,” says friend Kim Richards, while looking through her curtains to see Torkelson icing her daughter’s shin splints.
Neighbors observed Sadie in tears after she landed a near-perfect cartwheel, which apparently led her mother to give her the weekend off.
Mrs. Torkelson was unavailable for comment on the issue. Some wonder if her intense coaching stems from the local library’s recent decision to cut back her volunteer hours.