Wednesday, July 21, 2010

if you get in the pool mommy will buy you disneyland

Yesterday was day #2 at swim lessons.
Let us just say that only one out of 3 children were tear free on the first day.
For some reason, there is always great angst in swim lessons for us.
There was some class assignment confusion with the older boys and
Addison shrieked like a banshee as the nice swim teacher held out arms to him.
He sobbed violently and clung to me as if I were trying to place him into a pit of hot lava instead of a nicely heated swimming pool.
I tried to tell the teacher, "He really loves water...." Shriek. Sob. Hiccup.
Scott just looked at her and said, "It's you he is scared of."
Other parents looked on in sympathy...or at least I hope it was sympathy.
Addison kept saying, "Everyone is looking at me", which made him cry more.
To which I felt like saying,
"If you would stop your weeping and gnashing of teeth, they might look away."
So we did what all good desperate parents do.
We started offering bribes.
"Candy for everyone who gets in the pool."
Heaving shoulders. Tears dripping into the highly chlorinated water.
By the end of the class, he eased himself into the far end of the pool,
refusing to make eye contact with anyone in a red swimsuit.
Keeping up our end of the deal, candy was rewarded.
(Dr. Dobson if you are reading this just look away in shame....)
Then yesterday, as I handed off Addie, (after a pep talk in the car that if he refused to take swim lessons and learn how to blow bubbles and kick his legs, he would have to use a giant man sized floaty in college and wouldn't that be awkward?)
he proceeded to sob uncontrollably and cry out my name and reach back for me as she manuevered him across the pool.
"Mom! Mom! Mooooooo-ooooom!"
My head almost exploded poolside.
They don't tell you about these things before you birth people.
No one ever warns you,
"You may have cardiac arrest in an aquatic setting,
from the sheer stress of trying to get your child to learn an important life skill."
So at this point, after one overly bearing nice mom leaned over and told me,
"Maybe you should sit close to the side of the pool and be supportive."
I went to the pool's edge and motioned them over and said,
"Addie, if you can stop crying and do what teacher Maddie says, you get a toy."
Sniffle. Sniffle. A wipe of the eyes.
And lo and behold, are these some kicks I see my son producing?
And some bobbing across the pool?
Sweet relief. And for those of you reading and tsk-tsking me....
Don't judge me.
After the longest half hour class ever, Addie hopped out of the pool,
grabbed his towel and waved to his teacher.
As we made our way to the car he said, "Mom, that was really fun."
You would be proud that I refrained from tripping him as he strolled across the lawn after the trauma he had just put me through.
So then I did what all parents do after a nice round of bribery.
I anted up. We drove to Target and got a $5 Batman toy.
I think we are out of the woods as far as swimming lessons go.
I think getting Addie in the pool today should be a piece of cake.
If not, I'm thinking a scoop of ice cream could work wonders.

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emilymr said...

Shiloh screamed for swim lessons 2 and 3. I hid, and let the teachers deal with it. Glad I didn't see over bearingly nice mom; I might have said something rude.

Of course, he got revenge on my abandoning him by pooping in the pool 2 weeks ago.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Loved. This.

Poor Dr. Dobson. I hope he didn't click through.

dawn said...

My friend just went through this with her 3 year old--but worse, it was mommy and me class--so she said everyone was looking at her and she was in her swimsuit besides! :)

Glad you got over the swim lesson hump.

Anna said...

Sigh. Two of my three water loving 6 year old (!) triplets SCREAMED on their first day of lessons this summer. I stood outside the room on the verge of tears myself. Needless to say they ended up loving it, I ended up surviving, oh...and I paid them $1/day to not cry. Do what you have to do right??!! Blessings!

Girly Muse said...

SO funny. My stomach is still all cringed up from reading this. Why do kids put us through this?! Hope next lesson is smooth sailing...