It’s not always all smiles

Our kids learned to swim this year. Really swim. We should join a swim team. They are that good. I’m not just saying that because I’m their mom. They really are strong swimmers. If and when we ever live in the suburbs or a neighborhood with a swim team that we can walk to (That’s my requirement for summer), we will join. Until then, we are going to keep up regular lessons to improve strokes and not forget what we’ve learned. That’s IF we don’t get kicked out first. 

That brings me to yesterday. This beautiful, smiling little swimmer was in her lesson. She was doing great. She was showing ‘most’ of what she can do and she appeared to be listening some…and then, from the observation deck I saw it. She finished her turn, filled her mouth with pool water and began spewing it out like a fountain. Eeeew. I prayed. “Please, God, let her look up at me. She will see my face, my mean eyes, and she’ll be reminded that this is gross and she’ll stop.” Unfortunately, she never looked up and her fountain-making continued and became more elaborate. Her teacher had other students in the water and couldn’t see what she was doing. The lifeguard was right behind her, facing her back. It was up to me to deliver the message. I moved quickly down the stairs into the pool area, approached her carefully and gave her a quiet reminder. “Trinity, do not put pool water in your mouth. You will get sick.” It was quick, quiet and within 20 seconds I was back upstairs and she was done. I ruined the remainder of her lesson. No more smiles. No more taking turns. 

Apparently, I discovered after talking to her later, she was scared. She thought I was the lifeguard. And, I guess she’s pretty scared of lifeguards!
By the end of class she wouldn’t even get out of the pool. It was embarrassing. Probably more so for me than her. We left and had a talk while the older boys had their lesson. It was good. I’m trying to be a better parent. Should I have warned her about pool water in her mouth? In hindsight, no. I should have taken the time to walk her through the lesson and what’s expected of her, what the rewards  and consequences are of her choices BEFORE her lesson. Yes, she’s been in this weekly lesson for a year. But, she’s six (almost) and needs reminders, clear expectations and boundaries. I’m still learning with this one, folks. Love her and   love how she challenges me to grow and admit when I’m wrong. It happens:)
So, at the end of Bakri and Maddux’s lesson, a member of the staff approaches me outside, “Rebekah?” “Yes.” “The office manager would like to speak with you.” 
Oh, dear God. This is it. We are getting kicked out. If Trinity goes, we are all going to have to go. How can we come back here if Trinity is not allowed to swim? Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.
Thankfully, the office manager just wanted to inform me that she has a spot for Trin at the same time as Bakri and Maddux, making it easier for me to have three kids in class at the same time. And, she is working on finding a spot for Leeland. Whew!