the swim lessons that almost weren't

Last week was Letty's first week of swim lessons. I researched different pools and I priced several options. I found one I liked and I booked it. I played it up and explained the process to her for days in advance. I thought that if there were no surprises she would handle it well. I told her she could get a milkshake after a successful first class. And off we went. All excited and full of hopes and dreams and a David in a stroller. 

The room was a balmy 89 degrees and filled with sweet elderly ladies doing their aqua aerobics. Letty watched the children in the class before her with an eerie sense of calm. Her turn came.... And her turn went. What I had not been counting on, although I most certainly should have been counting on, was her adversion to the vest. The two other children in her class donned their safety gear with not a hint of a complaint. Letty went off the reservation. She cried. I started to sweat. She cried when I said she didn't have to wear it. She cried when I said she did. David munched on his goldfish and made lovey eyes to the sweet elderly peanut gallery. She cried when I said we would leave. She cried when I said we would stay. She hit me. She told me she no longer loved me. She squawked and she stomped. I perspired. A lot.

We got nowhere that day. Once strapped in the van I joined her with the water works. I was disappointed. I was embarrassed. And I told her so (you know that line, I'm not angry I am just so disappointed. Except I was angry too). I had visions of a maladjusted child unable to attend preschool in the fall. I was quite literally beside myself.

I also said a bad word in front of her. Not at her. But about her. To Matt. On the phone. I won parenting awards that day. 

I washed my hands of this weirdness and put Matt on deck. He spent thirty minutes cajoling her into putting on her swimmie at home and going in the pool. She wore it for a minute. The next morning we four piled into the van for attempt two and attempt of the last. She put the vest on immediately. Her and Matt played happily on the handicap ramp. She followed her teacher bravely into the pool. She followed directions. She swam. She smiled. And she did great.

She went every day afterwards and gasp, had fun. She did so well she will even go for a second week.

Moral of the story? Send dad. Allllways send dad.