This summer Ava started swim lessons. The first day was great! She did fabulous. She learned how to kick, blow bubbles, and float. I also had to dunk her under the water 4 times for a few seconds. She took it like a champ! The teacher mentioned that usually the second day is when babies start getting upset because they know what to expect. I was so proud of Ava that I didn’t even think twice about it.
It was time for day two. We walked up, set our stuff down and got ready to get in the pool. The moment we stepped into the pool Ava started crying and screaming. The happy pool baby was gone. She wanted nothing to do with the pool. The swim lesson was 30 minutes long and it felt like hours. She cried and screamed the ENTIRE time! There were times when you could barely hear the teacher talking. My first thought was to get her out of the pool, pack up our things and leave so she wasn’t taking away the learning from the other babies. However, the teacher stated that it was important to stay in the pool and to keep working through the exercises even with her crying. She said that it's important for her to know that when it comes to her safety she doesn’t have a choice about participating. So we stayed and kept going. The timer went off signaling the end of class and I couldn’t have been happier. Ava didn’t stop crying until we got in the car.
The next day was the same way but I did what she said and stuck it out even though I was so embarrassed. I felt like all eyes were on us. The mom’s in the group totally understood and actually felt bad for me. Which was nice, but almost made me feel even more uncomfortable.
The teacher suggested bringing an underwater camera for the last day to take pictures. I had zero interest in it. It was the morning of the last swim lesson. I put Ava in the same swim suit that she wore on day one hoping it would maybe bring me some luck and put her in the same happy mood she was in on the first day. I said several prayers on the way there and had a heart to heart with Ava. We arrived, stepped foot in the pool and Ava was silent. I checked to make sure she was ok. I think I even pinched myself. There was no crying or screaming that day. Once or twice she got a little fussy but that was it! She actually enjoyed it and the last day was a success! Now I felt like the champ!
As we were leaving I apologized to some of the moms for Ava’s behavior. They all laughed and told me not to worry about it one bit. They explained how their children have been the same way before whether it was at a restaurant, in the grocery store, at a party, or really just anywhere. The stories they shared made me feel much better. I know swim lessons won’t be the last melt down Ava has but it was definitely the first. I was such a rookie.
Now, two months later we have experienced a few more melt downs including her's and mine. Haha!