Monday, June 22, 2009
Lessons Learned at the Swimming Pool
We just finished our first round of swimming lessons. The past two summers, I have put toothsome #3 into lessons and both times, he burst into tears and refused to get into the water. After lots of talking to him this year, I explained that he had no choice and he had to do all eight days of lessons. The first day, he fell apart and in my clothes, I carried him back into the pool to his instructor six times. The second day, I only had to do it 3 times and by the third, he figured out I was completely serious about this and he had figured out that swimming lessons really weren't that scary at all. He successfully completed the session and proudly tells everyone that he is now a swimmer. (He now can blow bubbles and make monster arms.)
This morning, toothsome #1 started his first day of swim team. Toothsome #1 is a great swimmer and I decided it would be good for him to practice his strokes, get some exercise and be part of a team this summer. Toothsome #1 did not want to do swim team. He cried, he tantrumed, he called me names but I stood my ground. I took him over and stood on the side lines and watched him swim. At one point, he came crying to me and asked to quit and I said no. At the end of his first day, he said, "Thank you. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. It might end up being fun."
As I was driving home, I decided to be the mother to myself that I have been to my kids. I didn't want to exercise or clean my house today. In my mind, I was tantruming. I didn't want to do it. Once on the treadmill, I still wasn't happy. At one point I wanted to quit, but I thought about toothsomes #1 and 3 and didn't. The same went with housework. I didn't want to clean my house but I did anyway. I didn't let myself quit and yes, just like my sons, I had the thought, "It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I'm glad I did it."