children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Swim for Your Lives!

Until mid-July, swimming had been a contentious subject in our home.  My boys were later than most to even tolerate the pool.  I’m guessing it had more to do with not being able to see so great without their glasses more than anything else.  I handled their general dislike of the pool by avoiding it like the plague.  Maybe not the best plan to have them overcome their fear but it was a heck of a lot easier than tantrums, tears and general mayhem. That’s all changed now.  The boys’ swim instructor quickly learned to use their fiercely competitive natures against them.   In a week they were proficient swimmers.  By the end of their four weeks of lessons they were very good swimmers.   If she wanted to work on a skill, say big arms for instance, all she had to say was, “Let’s count to see who gets the most.”  Big arm strokes would fly about as if their very lives depended on it.  It was highly entertaining to watch.

I am forever grateful that now my boys can swim and actually love the pool.  The only problem is now that they are comfortable, well, they are more like themselves in the water.  This means they are loud, competitive and displace water at high velocities.  Their replication of a Phelps/Lochte showdown is particularly splash inducing and I fear for any toddlers-in-floaties that may be in their respective ‘lanes’.  I apologize in advance if we run into you at the pool.  If you see us coming and quiet is what you want, you may want to consider going to the library instead.

children, gratitude, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

Watch and Learn

I had taken the boys to the pool and sat back and watched as they energetically tackled the slide and sprinklers.  At the top of the slide are two attached water cannons.  When the slide gets crowded these cannons become quite popular.  A boy a good head taller approached T.Puzzle and attempted to yank the cannon from T.Puzzle’s grip.  I had to coach myself to stay put and let it unfold.  As much as I wanted to leap to his rescue I decided to see how T.Puzzle would handle it.  Turns out years of assertiveness training from his older brother paid off.  T.Puzzle stood his ground and as the older boy continued to try to intimidate him with words and a few swings of his arms, T.Puzzle didn’t budge.

I learned a valuable lesson.  The minute you stop trying to control something, especially the behavior or circumstances of your children, these are the moments when they begin to show you who they really are.  If you are really lucky they may show you something unexpected.  They may show you that bullies are only as powerful as you allow them to be and sometimes a four year old can handle a confrontation without hesitation.  That’s when you realize maybe you need to start taking notes from your kids instead of always insisting on being the one who is teaching.