Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tears in the Pool

We had our first swimming lesson of the year this morning....and I think I died of embarrasment.

My darling child decided to have a consecutive tantrum throughout the 30 minute lesson.  It all started when she refused to put her togs on in the change room.....and then decided she would make a run for it to the BIG pool (which resulted in swipe for my face, tears and time-out), then as soon as we were in the lesson she screeched, screamed, smacked the water, wriggled and even attempted to headbutt the water.  All of this until she was out of the pool, dried and in her clothes in the safety of her pram.  I couldn't work out if it was because she wasn't getting her own way - or because she was scared - or because it was just all too much after a messed-up week of being away and out of routine.  I tried to reason with her, I tried to laugh it off, I tried to swirl her around and I even tried to bribe her.....yep - the highlight of my parenting career...I would hate to think how desperate I looked. 

It was the first real moment that I was embarrased (and slightly mortified) as a Mum.  I ran to the change-rooms and locked ourselves in the cubicle (while fighting back all of my tears) to dress both myself and my screaming child.  I stood there cuddling Moo as she cried and I reassured her that it was OK....and I cursed myself for letting all the gawking eyes and unimpressed snickers bother me.

I found myself making up excuses for her behaviour...I found myself thinking that some days this parenting gig is just all too hard.

It's all too hard until I watch Macie play beautifully with her little friend at morning tea after swimming - no tears, no tantrums, no attitude.  Just kisses for her Mummy and wanting to share milkshakes and cuddles with her little friend.  Combined with a coffee and a de-brief with my closest friends....and I feel like I can fight the big scary world of parenting again....

We are off for another swimming lesson again on Thursday.....and until then it's quiet days at home to catch up on sleep and get some order back into our days. 

All of that...and a whole lot of prayers from me! 

Have you had a horror swimming lesson?  Please tell me that I am not the only one in this boat!!!


  1. Hey Han, you are definately not the only one, it is more common than you would think. Jack had his first lesson friday, and it took him a good 20 mins to stop crying and fighting me, yet last summer, he loved it. I think it's a combo of them getting older, and the fear factor. and probably all the other things. If you could answer the questions we are so often faced about "why" our kids do things, you'd be a millionaire. Chin up, you are a great Mum, and I'm sure that they were feeling for you (whilst secretly being glad it wasn't their child!!) keep smiling xxx Deb Campbell

  2. yes, we have had total train-wrecks at the ol' pool. Don't worry. Every mum there will go thru exactly what you did!

    The other thing to do is to actually listen to Moo - she'll be telling you if she's terrified, and if she is, it doesn't hurt to wait a bit longer. You can spend a small fortune on swimming lessons, and not be much further for it when they're quite young.

    My 4 and 3 year old finally got serious last year. And they learned very quickly! Before that it was a battle, and we had to re-invent the wheel every time we got into the pool to break down their fear. I finally let go of the constant swimming lesson hold, and just let them play (carefully watched) in the pool that they felt comfy in.
    It paid dividends!

    Anyway -- hope your next pool trip is a bit more joyful!