One of my favourite things about being a parent is how your child can surprise you. Obviously children grow, develop mentally and emotionally, and become more and more their individual selves.
But sometimes I feel caught unawares by how much my girl can do without any encouragement or cajoling from me or her dad.
A perfect example of what I mean is when it comes to swimming. No wait, let’s back up to baths first.
My girl has never liked getting her face wet, even as an infant. This made washing her hair quite the scream-fest. As soon as it was over she’d calm down but with the amount of screaming she did, you’d think it was torture.
Then, shortly after she turned two-years-old, swim lessons started. My girl was the only child in the pool screaming her head off.
Picture it. 80+ kids in the pool, and my girl’s screams have turned the place into an ear-piercing echo chamber of hell.
Ya, we pulled her out of swim lessons right quick.
Like a lot of children, Sweet Girl doesn’t do the greatest with transitions; she needs lots of warning and set up before moving on to the next activity. With swim lessons, she’d just warm up to whatever activity the other parents and children were participating in (swimming in a circle and singing a song, floating on flutter boards, etc.) and then boom – it was time to move on to the next activity.
She’d simply lose it. No one was having fun. Add water being splashed on her face? See ya.
We decided not to push it and just let her decide for herself when she’d be ready.
This summer something changed. She became excited by the idea of going swimming at the neighbourhood pool (no lessons; just family fun). Gone were the days of simply dabbing her feet in the water. Since June it’s been about jumping into the water and using her floaties to swim on her own (“No, Mommy. I don’t need you to hold me”).
The best example of this leap of confidence? Right here in this photo:
The above photo was taken this past weekend at our friends’ cottage (thank you, Joe and Tanya!). Sweet Girl loved every minute on that ski trainer. Waved to folks on the shore as she passed them by, and even tried to stand up a few times.
Trailing a boat, in the middle of the lake, water splashing all around her and she’s waving to people on the shore.
Her confidence blew me away. My girl is now without a doubt, a water girl.