Day Thirty-four – In the Deep End

July 17, 2008 at 12:27 am (daily life)

We have completed three of our 10 days of swimming lessons.  Well,  nine, really, because we will miss the last day due to a wedding.

Can  I  just say I’m not a big  fan of these two weeks of lessons?  It stresses  me out to no end, and I’m not entirely sure why.

Could be just the timing of it.  The girls  are signed up for lessons at 12:40 – 1:25.  It’s  smack dab in the middle of the day.  We can’t do much in the morning, because I need to have them eating lunch by 11:30 so we are dressed and in the car by 12:15 to  get to the  pool by 12:30, which we have to  do,  because there is a line to get into the dressing rooms and Isabelle’s instructor does not wait until all the kids are there to start.  This is a problem for Isabelle, because she is an “ease into it” kind of kid.   Yesterday, by the time she got to the spot where her class meets the  others had jumped in already and she had a melt-down.  She needs to be there for the hellos and the introductions, that’s just the way she is.  Now, let it be known that we were in line at 12:35.  It just took us 6 minutes to get  in, get our stuff stored and get to our spots…  So, today we went early, or tried to, at least.  You  know how it  goes when you are trying to get two kids to leave early… 

Anyway, by the time I got in the water with  Emily (for stupid mommy and me class) I  was so frazzled I could hardly speak. 

Maybe the Mommy and Me class is the reason I’m hating this so much.  I know it’s good for Emily, but, why can’t it be Neighbor Lady and Me?  Or, high-school-girl-that-mommy-is -paying-$5-an -hour and Me?  Or, stranger-off-the-street-and-Me?  Anyone  but Mommy, please.  Going in the water means wearing a swimming suit.  Uuuugh. Can I have a root canal instead, please?

Furthermore, I’m not a swimmer.  I have a long standing and deep rooted fear of the water.  Well, of being in the water anyway.  I love to be around it.  I just Hate to be in it.  Anything higher than my belly button makes me slightly panicy.  Up to my chest just about sends me into convulsions and up to my chin just makes  me want to climb out, curl up in a ball and cry.  I seriously have trouble breathing normally when I am in water above waist height.  It’s not fun or relaxing for me at all.

For  Emily’s  class, we are in water that is 4 and a half feet  deep.  I am 5 feet three inches tall.  It’s not quite to my chin, but, it’s at that “Ummmmm, why am I in  here?” level.  The peppy little co-ed who “teaches”the class says, “Okie dokie parents, slide right in!”  Yep.  I’ll  get right on that.  And then, I’m supposed  to be responsible for catching my  kid who is jumping off the side of the pool?  Wouldn’t it be good if I could breathe while I was doing that?

So, why did I  sign her up for this?  Well, she needs it.  I don’t  want either  of the girls  to have my fear.  I want Emily to be a swimmer because it is an EXCELLENT way to perserve her lung health.  I wanted to do  more than sit in the kiddie  pool while Isabelle had her lessons.   And,  I thought it might be good for me to try to get over my discomfort, a little.  We are going to a water park with the in-laws  next month and it will be hard to  stay out of the water completly.

Then there’s the way Emily reacts to the “lessons.”  She does not mind being in the water, at all.  In fact, she’s pretty pleased with  herself, once she makes up her  mind to go in.  But, being Emily, she is  not about to do something just becasue everyone else is, and she’s not ABOUT to do something  just because someone  told her to.   The first day she refused to  get in the big pool at all.  She sat on the side, took a look around and annouced,  “I’m going to  the baby pool.”  I should have cut  my losses, got my nervous but out of that pool and followed her over to the baby pool.

But, no.  I am stubborn.  I got in that water to take her in with me.  She  wasn’t  just going to decide that she was going to wade  around in the baby pool for an hour.   And besides, all the other  kids did it.  I was not going to be the parent of the kid who couldn’t do something.  Or, maybe I was afraid that people would think she couldn’t do what the other kids could do.  I’ve  worked pretty hard to cover up my fear and inability, why would I let people think my kid was a “failure.” 

Wow.  All typed out like that it looks pretty ugly and childish, huh?  But, I swear, that’s what was at the root om my insistence that Emily get in that pool.  I made us all pretty miserable for a while.  *sigh*

Day two of swimming.  I decided I’d  remain calm and if  she just wanted to go in the kiddie pool so be it.  I slid  into the  water when   told to and then stood there for 20 minutes while Emily happily wiggled her toes in the  water and the other kids played ring around the rosie, worked on floating, and swam through a lula hoop.  I kept asking her if  she was ready and she’d just say, “Not yet.”  Then, the teacher got out the secret weapon – a basket of rubber ducks.  Emily wanted one immediately and the teacher told her she had to go in  the water to get one.  My stubborn child looked at me with all the disdain of a 15 year old and said, “Mom, why didn’t  you put me in the water?”  *sigh*

Day three of swimming.  On the way into the pool Emily announced, “I will play on the side  until I get a duck.  Maybe I’ll go in the big pool later.  I will love the baby pool.”  *sigh*  Any guesses on how the day went?

I should say that Isabelle, who cried heartily before every single  lesson last  year (then cried again  at the end becasue she was having so much fun!)  is doing  an absolutely fabulous  job this year.  She is loving every minute  of  it, once she gets herself psyched up for it.  To see her jumping in, going right under the water and swimming up to the surface fills me with a lot of pride, and  a little knot  in my  stomach.  She jumped off the low  diving board today, and actually swims with  forward movement, now.  It amazes me how  quickly she’s  learned.  And  she is so confident.

And  that’s why Emily and I will stick it out for another 6 sessions.  My fear and  dislike hasn’t  affected Isabelle.  I won’ t let  it  affect  Emily.

Now, if I can find a high school girl to take in in while  I look on  from the bench…


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