For almost 2 years Mrs. Sayuri has been in an Early Stimulation Swimming Class at a local swim academy. All this time I have been accompanying her into the pool; she has been jumping and swimming into my arms and blowing bubbles into my face. She has loved it and I have too. It has been a way for us to spend special time together – even more since Mr. Happy Feet was born.
But due to her being three now, Mrs. Sayuri has had to move up to join the 3-4 age group class. This means mommy-less classes.
I tried my best to emotionally prepare her for this.
Teacher suggested I tell her that I was too big to go in with her now and that was why she would be going in alone.
Sorry, but uh… she may be three, but please give her a little bit more credit than that!
I did the only thing I could do, and I told her the hard truth. I assured her I would be right there on the sidelines watching and cheering her on, but would no longer be entering the pool with her for classes. She was hesitant. In fact the morning of her first solo class she said she didn’t want to go.
We went anyway.
About ten seconds into that class is when the crying started. And she didn’t stop crying for almost the entire fifty minutes that it lasted. I thought she might tire and give up. But NO, she didn’t.
I almost didn’t have it in me to put her through that. The whole time she cried “I want my mommy”. She also screamed things like, “I want milky”, “I’m tired”, “I have to go potty”, “I have to go poopoo” and “I want my papa”. If all else fails with mommy, she wants her papa. That broke my heart. Teacher refused to let her swim to the side of the pool where I was since she kept trying to paddle her way over to me. Every time Teacher would redirect her, she would wail even louder.
All of the other parents tried to reassure me that their kids all were the same way. They got over it and now they can’t wait to get in and swim with Teacher.
I hope Mrs. Sayuri will make me eat my words, but she is one very stubborn little girl. I don’t know if she will adapt or not. I don’t want to “break” her.
When I talked with the teacher after and asked her how long she thought it would take for Mrs. Sayuri to be calm for a class she told me it could take a while and that it was a “process“. I also had to ask her not to use the words “shut up” with my daughter. I don’t even say that to her. She apologized.
When we went out to the car to greet Hubby, his first question was: what happened? Apparently, he could hear the incessant crying from where he was parked in front. He almost came in to put a stop to the madness, but Mr. Happy Feet was asleep in the back seat and he didn’t want to wake him. I felt horrible. I already felt bad, but then I felt ten times worse. What was wrong with me? Why didn’t I just put an end to it and pull her out of the pool and say to heck with this? The moments where I question my ability and judgment as a parent are the worst.
In retrospect I realize that I am in no rush to push her toward independence. When she is ready, it will happen – on its own. She’s only three years old for crying out loud!
Call me crazy, but for reasons unknown, I want to give swimming class another try. Tomorrow will determine it all. Will she cry the whole class again? Will I step in and call it quits? I don’t know.
I feel so emotionally vested in this whole thing. It’s not easy for either of us I’m afraid.
Update: We have officially decided that we are not returning to swim class. Little Mrs. Sayuri does not want to go and thankfully I came to my senses before I tried to put her through that again! Thanks for the comments. They helped me to listen to what my heart had been saying all along