Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Being TWO is HARD to DO!!!

Every desert has to have its own oasis. For most Arizonans it is a swimming pool. Either their own, a friends or a community pool. Because of all the pools, a kid has to – HAS TO – know how to swim. It can literally be a matter of life and death. With so many swimming pools around, a parent has to – HAS TO – be a stickler with pool safety.

We keep our pool gated and locked, the kids can not get the key – only an adult. I pick my battles carefully and this is one battle I am prepared to fight… absolutely no breaking the pool safety rules. But not everyone has a gate around their pool. Not everyone watches the kids around water. I need my children prepared. So one rule is that a child needs to learn to swim.

Each of my boys has had the chance to suffer through swim lessons. Each of them can keep their head above water and become stronger swimmers each year.

As a two year old, B is new to this whole swimming thing. Last year, I just held her. This year its time for her to learn. But guess what? B is terrified of swimming (she is actually afraid of too much water in the tub!). When we are in the pool, she won’t release her death grip on me long enough to transfer from one arm to another. SHE IS SCARED. She won’t allow me to teach her. So I have to take her somewhere to learn to swim.

Then there is the whole stranger thing. She is terrified of strangers. She wants her mommy. Or daddy. Not anyone she doesn’t know. So, combine fear of water and fear of strangers – you get B’s swim lessons!

We have the greatest teacher and she does very well. But today, our second day, B cried the WHOLE time. She cried during the kicking, she cried during the superman float, she breathed big sobbing sighs during the back floating, then cried again during the ring toss game. She cried, “I want my mommy.” Then, “I want to hold you, mommy”

For the longest ½ hour of my life. She cried.

But, she HAS to learn to swim. It isn’t an option around here. I have know too many children that have drown, I want to do what I can to prevent that.

So I let her cry. I reinforce the great job she did from the edge of the pool, then turn my head so she doesn’t see my pained expression.

Afterwards, I asked B if she went swimming like a big girl. “Yes,” she answers proudly.

“Did you get scared?” I ask.

“No, I was happy!” She tells me with the most cheerful voice I ever heard.

Go figure. I know tomorrow, she might cry again, but she is already kicking on her own. And this is one battle I can't lose.

We got home and I made B lunch… (she loves to eat on her “table” while she watches one of her kiddy shows). She didn’t last more than a couple minutes -- her hair is still wet from the swim. (sorry for the blurry cell phone picture... I should have gotten my camera, but I was afraid she would move.)


Jillene said...

My husband's sister lives in Surprise, AZ and she has the same pool rules as you. Her children also have had to learn to swim. You are a good mom--not all parents care like that.

She looks adorable zonked out in front of her "table"!!

That Girl in Brazil said...

Stick to your guns - I have the same rules.

Erin said...

I had a dream last night that I walked in on my four year old drowning in a pool. I woke up in pure terror. And I'm scheduling him for swimming lessons tomorrow.

Very good rules.

Emmy said...

Such a cute picture. Kids are so funny, I love her comments at the end.. hopefully it will get a little easier for you. Good luck

Beth said...

Keep at Kathy! She is obviously learning... pretty soon she will be liking it too! I think by answering the way she did she is in the process of talking herself into it!

That.Girl said...

Aww, poor girl. My daughter was afraid of the bath for the longest time, too...

I need to get the kids in swimming lessons this year, not that pools are as common around here, but, they're fun.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Good for you!

I have that same step stool! LOL

and good luck. She is funny, I am sorry you had heart string tugs :(

Fiauna said...

How precious. You're a good mom for sticking to your guns on this deal. I have a feeling she'll begin to love swimming lessons soon.

pan x 8 said...

Go Mommy!! You picked a great battle and I'm with you on this one, esp out in AZ-land! Isn't that great: her perspective is she had a "GREAT" time.

I love her table, my 4-year old has the same type of table!;p

SO said...

Awww look at her all tuckered out from her swim (and cry)!

Good for you for sticking to your guns on this one. Here's hoping that she will have a lesson tomorrow with fewer tears.

Jerry Hansen said...

McKenna was afraid of too much water too when she was young. We call her "cat girl" because of her cat like grip near water.

She turned out awesome and we all get to tease her about it now.

Thanks for your blog.

Tink said...

That is seriously a fun story! She was happy--I guess the screaming her lungs out thing was just a joke :) Kids are too funny. I'm glad you are recording these stories. She's a cutie!

Anonymous said...

I agreed with what you did, Swimming classes should be something that a person takes up when young. It is an extremely important skill to have

threehappyhansens@yahoo.com said...

OOOO such a cute shirt she is wearing. And such an adorable tuckered out little girl.
Wouldn't that be funny if she grew up to be an Olympic swimmer?