I didn't do a Week in Review post for last week, partly because we were so busy this weekend and partly because it would've just been about swimming lessons, because THE LESSONS, THEY HAVE EATEN OUR LIFE. So of course I'll tell you about it anyway.
The first few days, everything was peachy. The kids were excited about being in the pool, and Miss Pink remembered last year as a good experience--despite the fact she screamed during every lesson in the first week, she settled down during the second week. The thing about her, God bless her, is that she gives everything her best even when she is totally freaked out. She'd be screaming and the teacher would hold on to her and tell her to kick or whatever, and she'd do it, crying the whole time. So even though she didn't like it, she made good progress, and was ready for Beginner II this year.
She's still like that. As I said, no problem the first few days. Then they wanted her to swim further--and her goggles kept letting in water--and she just HATES swimming with her face in the water--and it's just TOO FAR to swim to the waterfall--and she's SCARED, Mama. While I'm sitting there murmuring words of encouragement and thinking, This is MAH BABY. How can I make her get back in there and try again?
Yesterday was the worst. She screeched like a possessed banshee because they wanted her to swim to the Waterfall of Doom and neither teacher could calm her down. She bolted for me and I held her and we talked a while and she went back to swimming to the side, with the caveat that the waterfall was a goal she needed to try for by the end of the week. I will buy her a blue swimsuit or gymnastics leotard, her choice, if she keeps trying and swims toward the waterfall with her teacher beside her. Am I bribing her? Heck, yes. There are plenty of things I wouldn't do without a big incentive, and she deserves one if she conquers her fear.
Mr. Blue is in the Waterbabies class. It's a Mommy and Me class. He liked the first few days and was a star at kicking, holding on to the side, and blowing bubbles in the water. Then he had to go underwater. Now he holds on to me the whole time, saying, "I don't want to go underwater." He still kicks and is even using his arms a little while I hold him, but he HATES going under and (you guessed it) screams. Also, guess what? He is the only baby there who cries anymore. Super fantastic. I mean, I can't blame him for being upset because that's just how he feels, but it sucks to be the only one whose kid is yelling and refusing to cooperate. The other moms are very nice about it, but I'm sure they're secretly relieved it's not their kid having such a tough time.
It goes against everything in my nature to do this, to ask my kids to do something they fear even though everything I'm telling them is true: they are fine, they are doing a good job, the teacher is right there. I like that the teachers are gentle and encouraging but somehow get the kids to keep trying, mostly through just waiting and asking them to try. I try to be relentlessly positive, emphasizing how well they're doing, giving them big, bright smiles, and a hug whenever it's needed.
Today it worked for Miss Pink. She swam almost all the way across the pool without stopping for breath, and didn't cry at all the whole time. She's very proud of herself.
Of course, we'll see how it goes when the Waterfall of Doom is mentioned.