Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Too hard."

Swim lessons have taken a turn for the worse. We were doing well there for awhile... but that was quite possibly because we really weren't "doing", much of anything. There's a new instructor in the pool and Miss Katie is not one for coddling. Ella had the weekend off and was no doubt praying we'd forget about the next session of lessons altogether. Unfortunately for her, I did not - and Monday brought forth a whole new set of challenges. It seems Miss Katie actually wants her to learn to swim, which inevitably means complete immersion... and this is not something my daughter is the least bit interested in.

Her personality is becoming more and more evident these days... and there are a few key things that make her stand out.

#1) She must be prepared at all times. She always prefers routine, but if you're going to switch things up on her - she must know ahead of time if there is any hope of making it through a situation drama-free. (If there is such a thing). If we talk her through something that is going to happen - over and over again - it seems to make a world of difference to her.

#2) She is paralyzed without trust, and outgoing as can be with it. Last swimming session there were 4 instructors in the pool with her group. All of which she seemed to bond with. Suddenly 1 of them is replaced with another, who also happens to insist on pushing her in ways she doesn't want to be pushed... and we're back to square 1 complete with tears, excuses of needing more suntan lotion on, or band aids that "might come off if they get too wet".

#3) She is a fabulous bargainer. 5 bites of asparagus can be negotiated down to 1 PLUS a Popsicle, before we even knew what hit us.

I've reassured Miss Katie, that I completely support her desire to force Ella out of her box a bit... but I have to admit that watching my baby pulled completely under water, than brought to the surface, sobbing hysterically - look up at me and say "It's too hard, Mommy"... pretty much ripped my heart out. It's so hard to know where the line is between respecting their insecurities and pushing them to work past them. What's fascinating to me, is how some kids seem to be born with tremendous confidance, while others have so little. We had a little chat about why sometimes God (or Mommy), asks us to do things we really, really don't want to do, because it makes us stronger in the end. Her fine bargaining skills did their best to convince me that "when she gets a little bigger", she'll be able to do such things...

Here's to hoping she notices a growth spurt in the morning... because Miss Katie will be waiting on her tomorrow.