Friday, June 19, 2009

Swim Lessons - The Final Update

Okay, some of you may be tired of reading about swim lessons...but Micah has just been such a character through this whole thing that I want to record it for my own sake. And I know grandmas and aunts always like to hear this stuff! :)

Day #5 - Micah did the usual thing at first: "Micah, make sure you get in the water and do your swim lessons today! No slushie unless you get in and do your lessons."

"Okay, I will Mom. I just want to sit on the steps first. For just few minutes." ...and the few minutes turn into about fifteen -- half of the lesson.

Today he decided that instead of getting in though, he would come crying to me, whining about being cold. He had gotten down to the second step, and was actually wet up to his chest...and usually you are cold just after you get out of the swimming pool...so he really was standing there shivering...but I knew that if I gave him a towel, he would curl up and get warm...and he would never get back in today.

So, as hard as it was, I had to stand my ground. I told him that if he got in the water he would be warmer. I was not going to give him a towel until swim lessons were over. "But Mom," (shiver, shiver, shiver) "I'm cold now!" It became a battle of the wills, who would be the most stubborn. But eventually, he gave up (or got cold enough) and he did go get back in -- past the steps and into the water...just in time for the Ring-Around-the-Rosies game that marked the end of swim lessons. Phew! I so don't want to have to go through with that "no slushie" thing!

Day #6: Water Safety Day -- Lifejackets. The first rattle out of the bat they put lifejackets on all of the kids. Micah started screaming as soon as they put his on. It killed me not to go running out there...but I didn't. I watched from afar, trying to stay where I could see, but where Micah couldn't see me.

The lifeguard did eventually get Micah calmed down. (As in not screaming.) But then as everyone got into the water, Micah did a 180 and came running back to me. He cried, he whined, he begged, he threw himself on the ground to throw a tantrum (but that didn't last long because the lifejacket made it difficult to lay flat on his tummy and kick and pound his fists!). The lifejacket was cold, the lifejacket hurt, he didn't want it on.

So again, I had to stand my ground. "Micah, the lifejacket is not hurting you. Yes, I'm sure it is cold (it was wet), but you will be warmer if you get back in the water. I am not going to take it off for you. Your teacher will take it off when swim lessons are over. And don't forget -- no slushie unless you get in the water and do your lessons."

At one point, I was able to get him interested in the lessons again when I told him that the kids were making big splashes as they jumped off the side to the lifeguard into the deep water. Did he want to go watch? (We couldn't see from where we were.) I was able to get him to hold my hand as we walked out to the deep end where his classmates were. I sat him down and then walked off...as he came running and crying behind me.

Soon swim lessons were over though, and Micah was still standing by me whining and crying. I told him that I was not going to take that lifejacket off. He would have to go tell his teacher that he was sorry for acting ugly and ask her to take it off. Conner came to us, got dried off, everyone else had left...and Micah was still crying. Finally I was able to take his hand and lead him out to the teacher. He apologized, she took it off, and we headed to Sonic...where Conner got to get a slushie...and Micah didn't.

Yeah, that was fun. But honestly, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The crying didn't last all that long. I actually think that he kind of got it and understood what was going on!

Day #7: Water Safety Day #2. Today the kids were supposed to have watched a safety video. But it was broken (or something) and the lifeguards just talked to them. They all got to take turns throwing the big red floatie thing into the water. Micah did great at that. And then they all lined up to jump into the water to their teacher. And guess what? Micah did it!! He just jumped right in like he had no problems at all! Woo-hoo!!

Day #8: The last day. Yogi came to swim lessons with us today. (Today was his birthday, and he was planning to spend the day hanging out with us. Happy birthday, Dad!) And wouldn't you know it, Micah was the first one in the swimming pool. He walked right in, he blew bubbles (only getting his mouth wet, of course!), he let the teacher swim him around while he floated, he practiced his arm movements, he even got to do some Little Bill kicks! Seriously, you would have never known that this child had ever had any problems. Dad kept "accusing" me of making it all up -- but I had plenty of witnesses! :)

So swim lessons ended on a wonderfully good note. Neither of the boys passed their level, but honestly, I never expected either one of them to. That's fine. They are really at okay places for a five- and a three-year-old.

And then we got to spend the rest of the day celebrating Yogi's birthday! Bret came home today, too. Yay!!!! :) (To hear a little about his first day of class you can click here.) So we of course went to the Myers' pool after dinner. I'll tell you what, something just clicked in that Micah's head on Thursday evening when I had taken the boys swimming. He was wearing his lifejacket (yes, he loves his lifejacket!), and figured out that he could float. I caught him doing that, and pointed out that if he would kick his legs and move his arms, he would be swimming. He gave it a try, and oh my goodness, that child became a little fish! Bret couldn't believe the transformation! Micah spend this evening in the pool holding onto the edge, pushing off, and swimming back to it, super-proud of himself every time.I guess that may be one of the reasons he did so well at swim lessons this morning -- that and because his Yogi was there!

Conner has made a transformation, too. He can swim all the way across the pool without his lifejacket! It's certainly not graceful, he has a lot of work to do on his form and efficiently taking breaths, and he's tired by the time he gets to the other side. But he can do it!!

I'm so proud -- even with all the bumps along the way -- that I think I might bust. They may not have passed their levels, but I think that these swim lessons were well worth the little bit of money that we spent. Especially since it looks as though we will be swimming a lot this summer!

4 comments:

Gammie said...

Yay! Congrats to all of you!!!!
We are so proud of our little grandfish and super proud of that mommy for standing her ground!

Bret Wells said...

I'm so glad we've gotten to swim so much this weekend - both the boys had a light switch flipped, I think.

Conner is now quite proficient at swimming across the pool (width not length) and Micah, in what looks very similar to riding a bicycle, concentrates himself from place to place!

One of the great things about being a parent is getting to see your children learn - it still astounds me every time. Thank you Rachel for being so patient and so committed to taking them to swim lessons - I know it was a sacrifice.

Amanda Brooke Kilgore said...

Good job at standing your ground, Mom! It sure would've been hard for me to stand firm - especially when Micah was so cold and when he didn't earn his slushie, but I applaud you! Rock on with your bad self!

BooBoo said...

Wow! What a grand finale! ...and so glad that you didn't have to wait very long to see good results from your what had to be some of the longest moments of your life (the tests of wills). Love you and am proud of you all!
MOM pfu,wpfy