Taking a step back to move forward 

   

  A had been looking forward to her second swimming lesson the whole week, blowing bubbles in the bath and kicking her legs to the song ‘long legs and splashy feet…’. 

I was hoping and praying that we wouldn’t have a tantrum before class like last week. After her playgroup she had a little wobble when she didn’t want to leave the outside toys. A promise of ice cream later and she was in the car. Then we get home and she doesn’t want to get out of the car seat. Out comes the ice cream promise again and like magic she’s walking in the front door. I don’t like to lie to her so not too long after that I hand her a bowl of ice cream with sprinkles. She turns, takes a step, trips on the carpet and her bowl goes flying. Time stops. Then she slowly turns to me with a trembling lip and says ‘mummy ice cream drop floor’. (Insert red flashing lights and the loudest sirens you can imagine) I quickly pick her up and tell her not to worry and make another bowl of ice cream chop chop. Shew, crisis averted. I may have broken out into a cold sweat but I dodged that bullet. 

We got to swimming a bit early and she Could Not Wait to get into the pool. Last week I stayed at the edge of the pool but this week I was going to be with the other Mums in an adjacent room watching through the glass. I was so nervous but she was really happy and eager so I was optimistic. I helped her into the pool and she sat with the other two kids. Then I left the poolside to watch from the other room. The instructor picked her up and she turned to look at me…but I wasn’t there. She turned and looked in every direction then I saw her face crumble and the silent ‘mummy?’ broke my heart. But I tried to be strong and waved from the glass and blew her kisses. But it was all downhill from there. She started crying the sad cry and even the instructor couldn’t handle it. I went to sit at the side of the pool but the lesson was a write off. She climbed onto my lap and went from there to the first step and back throughout the half hour. The other kids are 5 and 6 but they were so adorable trying to cheer her up and get her to swim. 

I realized then that this wasn’t going to work. I could let her cry every lesson until she got used to it. Though that could take a few weeks if not the entire term. What I don’t want is for her to hate the water. Swimming is such an important life skill and I want her to enjoy being in water as much as I do. So after the class (in my wet shorts and undies) I spoke to the administrator and moved her back a level. Now she is out of the Toddler class and into the Advanced Baby class. At 2.5 she’s not a baby anymore but in this class I can get into the water with her. 

It’s not easy accepting that ur child isn’t coping. I’m happy with my decision though. I know there will be many times in her life where I won’t be able to step in and make things easier for her but while I still can, I will.

One Comment

  • NicholeB

    You know what’s best for your little one 🙂 I bet just a few classes in the water with you and her confidence will be through the roof!

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