Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Water Worries

When I was young, one of my favorite things to do was go to the library. The smell of the books, the thrill I felt as I ran over to the new books section, the anticipation of the stack of unread books I selected to take home. I loved the library. I still remember getting my first library card. I was so proud. Clare, Christopher and I frequent our local library now, and I am so happy that Clare shares my love for books. She always comes home with a pile to read (and maybe a Hello Kitty DVD or two). She adores story time. She'll sit and read by herself in her room. She sets up her own story time with her stuffed animals and dolls. I am so excited to share this with her, and can't wait to introduce her to some of my favorite books when she is a bit older. (The Little House on the Prairie and Harry Potter series are on the top of the list.)

When I was a kid, I also loved the pool. Swimming lessons, open swim, jumping off the high dive - you name it, I was game. Maybe that's why I am having trouble understanding Clare's total fear of going in the big pool now. She screams and cries. She'll put her feet in, but that's it. And when her teacher dunked her underwater during class last week? Well, I'd rather not think about it.

Clare loves the water, as long as she can keep her feet firmly planted on the bottom of the pool. She will play happily for hours in the shallow end. I want her to actually learn how to swim, though, you know? It is hard watching every other kid in the class happily do what the teacher asks while Clare sits on the edge of the pool, scared and crying. She told me she wants to wait until she is eight to get in the big pool. I don't want her to miss out.

I am not forcing her. I am trying to be patient. I feel so frustrated, though, because I don't understand. I don't know how to handle this, other than to let her find her way into the pool in her own time.

We went to lessons yesterday, in the rain. Clare sat outside the pool, freezing. Finally, I wrapped her up in her towel and took her to the library. Eight books and three DVDs later, we came home for lunch. She was happy. I just hope she decides to swim, too. When she is ready.

For better or worse, she has no fear on the playground.


  1. She'll get there. Adam was the same way at swimming lessons (he even had to repeat one level because he was so far behind the other kids). I don't know if it was peer pressure or just maturity that eventually changed his outlook, but he at least participates now in swimming lessons without protesting too much. He doesn't love the water like his brother does, but he at least tolerates the classes. We told him that he HAS to learn to swim ... esp when living in Minnesota, when so much of our free time revolves around lake recreation (or swimming pools).

    I love that Clare is a little reader already!!

    They have Hello Kitty DVDs? I had no idea.

  2. Just remember, for every kid that happily jumps in the pool, there is probably a kid that is awful at the library and won't sit still to read a book (and the parent is dying that their child will never enjoy reading). She'll come around. I know it's hard to watch, though. <3

  3. Katie has a really good point. It's so easy to see the things are kids won't/can't do vs the things they will do or are very confident in. My husband is the same; he only sees how all the other kids are fine ("no one else is crying here!"), that there must be something we're not doing right with Mason. Not true.

    And I was talking about this with another friend who's daughter JUST dunked her head at the end of this summer. Refused water in her face before last week. But she never pushed and low and behold, she did it all on her own. We've seen that with Mason too. The more you push, the more they dig in their heels. You're doing so right by Clare.

  4. Also, Mason is afraid to climb ladders or hang from things at the playground. Jon pushes and pushes but he refuses. He'll do one rung, then maybe a second on his own, but the second you're looking or give praise, down he goes. So, Clare's got that going for her. ;)