Turning 4 years old has kinda opened the floodgates, as the saying goes. In T’s and my minds, they’re old enough to start certain sports this Summer (oh, I guess it’s still Spring). This will be their second week of their 2-week MWF swim session and (cross your fingers), it will go better than last week. Not that last week was that bad. In fact, both L and K got into the water each day last week for…uh…varying amounts of time.
I was a little nervous the first day. I’m never sure how the girls are going to react. T and I have gotten them in the deep end of the pool, splashing their heads underwater, several times. But in a class situation with an instructor…well, you just never know.
Let’s just say, it was a very proud day for Mommy and Pappa. L was quite enthusiastic, happily doing everything the instructor asked. She even put her head underwater when the teacher asked. To be honest, I was more worried about L than K because L seems to be more cautious than K at any new physical endeavor. Though L left the pool to hit the potty 5 minutes before the class officially ended, I was relieved and proud. I needn’t have worried.
K was a little more hesitant in putting her head underwater but she did it and the other activities the instructor led. After class, K insisted on going to the smaller wading pool. It was a bit chilly, so I couldn’t believe she wanted to be in the water longer than necessary. But I let her as she was quite persistent. Turns out she wanted to conquer her fear of putting her head underwater. She sat down in the deepest part of the wading pool and dunked her own head underwater several times. Then, she attempted to stretch her body out like the instructor showed her, while dunking her head. When she decided she was done, she got out of the pool to get dressed. Boy did my heart swell at her determination and success.
On Wednesday, it was a completely different situation. There was a different instructor for Wednesday and Friday. T took the girls to the pool alone as I had another engagement. K excitedly did everything the instructor asked, especially when it came to putting her head underwater. L, on the other hand, decided she was cold and scared of the deep water. Huh? What happened? She stayed in the water and begrudgingly did the exercises the teacher showed her only after extreme coaxing each time. L got out of the pool to hit the potty 5 minutes before class ended. She did everything, though with far less enthusiasm than Monday. Well, we would wait and see what happens on Friday.
Friday was worse – for L. Again, I was not there. K was totally into the entire experience, laughing and giggling. L decided she was cold and scared of the deep water. After only 2 minutes of being in the pool, she hysterically cried and screamed to get out of the pool. She told Pappa she just wanted to watch K. Perplexed would be an understatement. T tried
bribery the parental motivation program we instituted this last winter when we wanted her to ice skate (worked beautifully). It didn’t work. He didn’t force the issue. We would figure this out later and take them to the pool during the weekend.
On Saturday, we took them to the pool again, this time just for fun and play. K grabbed several noodles, held them underneath her torso, laid her body straight out, kicked her feet, dipped her head underwater and pretended to swim (as she saw the older kids doing). Eventually, she insisted on doing this in the big pool.
L wanted to play in the wading pool much longer. We let her play without any pushing. Eventually by herself, she sat in the deepest part of the baby pool and dipped her head underwater. She worked herself into a prone position, body straight out, while dipping her head underwater. Finally, she did exactly as K had done with the noodles. After a little coaxing, she joined Pappa and K in the big pool. Her independence asserted itself as she insisted on nobody touching her as she kicked and pretended to swim with several noodles keeping her afloat. Whew! She did all of this in her own time at her own pace.
So, we talked about this afternoon’s swimming lesson this morning at breakfast. Both L and K acted very excited about the prospect. I added a little encouragement by promising apple cake *and* ice cream after dinner if they do well at swimming lessons today. Both screamed at the idea. Here’s hoping.