Helping Chickie learn to swim.... This is one area in which I feel like I've failed. She's never had lots of pool time, and she has quite a bit of fear when we do go to a pool. She's brave enough now that with water wings plus a donut-style floatie, she'll float around without someone holding her. But holding her breath and bobbing her head under the water is out of the question.
Several weeks ago I signed her up for swim lessons. Today I checked to see when the lessons would be starting.... and groaned when I saw the date "7/12." So she's missed her first two lessons. Aargh! I'll bring her tonight, and she'll get the last six lessons of the two-week class.
I was talking to a neighbor recently, and she told me her son had also been afraid of swimming. They'd signed him up for swim lessons when he was about Chickie's age, and he was still so afraid that they'd only gone to a couple of lessons. That should have discouraged me, but what she said next encouraged me instead.
"This summer," she said, "he just got over the fear." He's six. He just needed some time to outgrow that fear.
That makes sense to me. Chickie has had plenty of irrational fears. She always gets over them eventually. I need to remember that her current fears of swimming and spiders will probably eventually go away, just like her old fears of taking baths and pooping!
So I hope the swim lessons "work" by helping her be more comfortable in the water. But if the fear remains, we'll just continue to be extra-cautious with her in the pool. I'll remind myself that she'll probably decide she loves water before too long, without me having to do anything but let her grow up. I think this is one of those areas in which I need to relax and be patient, letting my daughter be who she is, and letting her grow at her own pace.
Maybe I should have put her in swim lessons earlier. It might have made a huge difference. And...it might not have. Either way, in the long run I think she'll be just fine. So I'm going to try to cut myself a little slack on this one, and to cut Chickie some slack too.