Karen signed Courtney up for swim class and then promptly left town for the first one, leaving me in charge. I was a little apprehensive because I haven’t spent a whole lot of solo time in public. I’m not exactly the best judge of social protocol by myself, let alone with a child. So far my new experiences with Courtney have been as a family unit – Mom always around to reassure and stuff. I’m not sure I’m well equipped to deal with a total kid freak out on my own.
My biggest concern was being responsible for some traumatic water experience that would have her hate the water for life. I want her to love the water so much and don’t want to do anything that would prevent it. I mean, how else is she going to be a future surfing champion if she doesn’t like the water! heh.
When I arrived at the Y, I was relieved that they had a men’s family locker room. At least I wouldn’t have to figure all of the logistics out with tons of people milling all around. Changing Courtney into her swimsuit and stuff was actually a lot easier than I anticipated. She was a real champ about the whole thing, even sitting on the bench patiently while I changed into my suit.
When we walked into the pool area I was relieved that it was warm. In fact, I was concerned that it was too warm! It was like Summer in the tropics. I was a little lost upon entering the area. There were lots and lots of kids of various ages all over the place. I finally found my little corner and we settled down to wait the five minutes until our class. Courtney sat on my lap very quietly and took it all in.
The instructor lady finally told us it was time and to get into the pool. This is where things started to go south. As soon as we started to climb in the tears began to flow. There were about 8 kids and their parents and Courtney was the only one who didn’t want to be there. All of the other kids were having a blast.
She continued to cry for at least 15 minutes. At one point I asked the instructor what I should do and she said “if it were me I’d keep her in so she gets used to the water,” so I did. She finally quit crying, but she certainly wasn’t enjoying it. She was still digging her nails into my back as she clung for dear life.
The instructor was singing all kinds of kids songs, expecting us all to sing along and participate. I knew I was lacking in the childhood song area, but had no idea just how bad until this class. It’s a good thing I mumble naturally, because I didn’t know any of the words.
As the class was winding down Courtney finally let go of her death grip and let me float her around a bit. Just a bit! If I let her get too far away the tears would return. Needless to say, she was quite happy to get out.
Walking out of the tropics and back into the reality of the Winter locker room didn’t do much to help Courtney’s mood. But we got sort of rinsed off, changed and on our way home. Logistically all that changing stuff is a bit challenging.
Except for the whole part about Courtney not liking the water, I say things went swimmingly well (sorry, couldn’t resist). At least, from a solo trip in public perspective.
Reassuring Mom will be in attendance for this week’s swim class. I’m hoping things go a bit better. Perhaps we’ll even see a smile.