Thursday, April 15, 2010

Past behaviour is no indication of future behaviour

Almost two weeks ago, Mallory started swimming lessons. We didn't want to put her in a parent/tot program where the parent essentially holds them the entire time... we wanted to wait until she was ready to go in the water on her own. At the YMCA, that happens when you turn three. (And not a moment before. We tried to get her into the session that started back in January or February and were met with a big fat NO. This session started on April 3 and she did not turn 3 until six days later; I was worried they would turn us down this time too, but thankfully, they didn't.)

Anyway, Mallory went to that first lesson and behaved as if she has spent her entire life swimming in pools and that the Y were being idiots for not having admitted her sooner. She was the first to volunteer a pool rule to the instructor. She jumped, she floated, she dunked under water, she put on a life jacket and paddled down to the deep end and back. She was the smallest one in the class but did more than a couple of the other kids. I thought she would do OK, but this was kind of a surprise, because we don't take her to the pool with us when we take Liam for lessons. We've done it once or twice, but she's always wanted to get in the water, too (and come damn close a couple of times.) That's why we generally trade off and have one of us take Liam swimming and have the other one stay home with Mallory.

We were kind of gloaty about her performance that first week and I suppose it served us right, because last Saturday when we took the kids swimming, Mallory put on her swim suit, went over to the instructor, sat on the edge of the pool, and then refused to get in the water for the entire half hour. No kicking or screaming or crying, just plain old refusal. I kept giving her the stink-eye from my spot on the bleachers on the other side of the water, and once I went over to talk to her to try to straighten her out. But it didn't work. She just calmly stared right back at me and ended the session as dry as she'd been when we arrived.

She had no explanation for this after the fact, of course. She just didn't want to swim. She assures me that she will swim next week but that's as much information as she's given me. The swimming lesson was the morning of the birthday party, and I am hoping she was just excited/nervous/whatever about that, and that she will get back in the water without issue the next time around. She's been warned that she can't swim in the pool in our yard this summer without taking lessons first (a warning that, frankly, doesn't seem to faze her in the least.) So... only time will tell.

The one good thing about it (looking for a silver lining here!) is that we'd washed her hair on Friday night to get ready for the party, and I didn't have to deal with combing out chlorine tangles the following morning. Hey, it's something.