Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Consider the towel thrown in

This past winter we did several rounds of swimming lessons, and it was hands down the highlight of Katy's week. We were in the water with her during the lesson, and the aim was mostly to make kids comfortable in the water. Katy has the opposite problem. She's too comfortable, but she loved it.

We have a neighborhood pool within walking distance of our new house. When I heard that they offered swimming lessons in the summer, I practically ran over to ask where I could sign up. I got Katy into a class that met for 2 weeks, Monday through Thursday. The best part was that this was the first class in which she would go in by herself. That meant that I could take her during the day, and I wouldn't even have to get wet. Just sit on the bench with David in the shade and watch as my daughter enjoyed every minute of her favorite pastime.


The first day was great. We walked over, she loved it, David did great. It went very very quickly downhill from there. We had sickness, cold weather (who wants to go swimming when it's 62?), and the biggest challenge: Katy would NOT listen.

In her defense, she just turned 3, and she's definitely the youngest in the class. Most of the kids are 4 and 5 years old. Also, she's freezing the entire time, and they want her to sit on the wall and wait her turn. And third, she's in the pool, which is her favorite place in the world, and she's supposed to contain herself from splashing and jumping and playing around? I really think that she does not contain the self-control to do that.

But. If you were to ask each of the 4 teachers in that class which kid was their biggest challenge? Which one the worst listener? Which was practically requiring one of the teachers' attention the entire time? I'd bet a year of our salary they'd all day Katy. It was that bad.

I stepped in. I tried this. I tried that. Finally I pulled her out of the pool. Which wasn't that great of a strategy because she kept saying that she wanted to go home. And today I gave up. Even though we've already missed 2 days, we aren't going back for the last day tomorrow. It just isn't worth it.

So what I thought would be great fun was a huge struggle these past two weeks. We'll wait and try again in a few months (or next year?). But I hope this struggle isn't indicative of her future in organized instruction, or else we have many a stressful parent teacher conferences in front of us.


Erin said...

Maybe closer to 3-and-a-half.

Not to harp on it too much, since there are still MANY times I view Calum more like a wild animal in need of domestication, BUT he seems to be more reachable at this age than 6 months ago. You gave it a good shot, and you should feel good about that. Sorry it didn't turn out as you had hoped.

Pam said...

I'm on a road trip. We sit for several hours/day in the car or doing BORING stuff. I'll tell you a few stories when I get back. 3 year olds = 0 attention span :-)

Oma Froehle said...

An hour is an eternity to a 3-year-old. Also, Katy has really never been in a class situation where she had to accept a teacher or authority figure who told her what to do and when to do it. (The "activity center" concept at church doesn't really teach this.) Taking turns and waiting for instructions is a hard lesson and probably beyond the maturity level of a 3-year-old. When I taught 2's and 3's in Sunday school, the MAXIMUM time we planned for any activity was about 6-7 minutes. Most of the time we spent coaxing them back to the table or sitting them back on their chairs. She will be better at 4. Nursery school with do wonders, too.

Kelsey said...

Two summers ago I stressed that we didn't have time for swimming lessons, it just wasn't convenient w/ our traveling schedules for the summer. We still lived w/out going that year. I agree that Katy will probably do better when she's a little older. I think it is SO important to teach kids to swim, but not important to torture them!!! :-) If there are year-round lessons at a rec center you might have better luck in 6 months.