She wouldn’t let me put the swim cap over her ears. She doesn’t let me do a lot of stuff these days. She let the swim teacher do it though. I saw and smiled.
She does more for the swim teacher than I could ever get her to do. She’s stubborn with me. She’s five with me.
But she has a great pose. And jumps off the diving board in the exact same way no matter how she’s told to jump. One day she won’t do that anymore. Her brain and body will line up a little better. She will put her own swim cap on. She won’t want me to walk her over to her lesson or clap when she jumps.
She won’t be so five anymore. She will probably still have a great pose, though. She’ll likely always have that. Fancy Roozle is so fancy.
Fancy Roozle is fancy about swim class. And everything.
Perhaps it helps her get super brave. Like brave enough to swim half the pool without a life jacket or any help and then jump off the diving board like a total pro.
Or maybe she was just ready for all of that and went for it. As she does. The fancy is just to make it more awesome. As it does.
Swim, Roozle, swim.
We’ve tried this before. We tried it when she wasn’t ready. We said “She loves the water!” and tried to convince ourselves that she could do it. Or that she would do it. We knew she wouldn’t. She clung to us in the water. She begged us to stay home.
She really just wasn’t ready.
Parenting is tricky with a kid like this. There’s a time when it’s okay to push a bit. There’s a time when it’s totally not okay at all. We pushed swimming when it wasn’t okay to push. Then we listened and quit the class.
This summer, as I watched her swim across a friend’s pool (without her life jacket), I knew she was ready. For a beginner swim class. The one with toddlers. The one to build her confidence and send her on her perfectionist way.
She had her first class yesterday. No parents in the pool. She begged me to cancel it for weeks, but I refused. Not this time. This was the time she needed the push. And I felt awful about it.
The class was perfect. She learned how to dive and swim on her back and jumped off the diving board three times. This is the same kid who wouldn’t put her face in the water at the Baby Splash class last fall. This time, she cried when we left because she didn’t want to get out of the pool.
When she’s ready, she’s all in and ready to start from the beginning. Okay, Roozle, let’s start right there.
She learned to swim this weekend. And by learned I really mean started. Because that’s how it goes with Roozle. She learns in her head long before she actually does things. She waits. She needs to be ready. She needs to be pretty close to perfect.
I’ve signed her up for lessons and failed. I’ve encouraged her and failed. So I just wait. And wait. And sometimes wait some more. I’m getting pretty good at waiting, even with my enthusiasm problem. When she’s ready, she lets us know.
“I’m ready to take my life jacket off!”
“OMG ARE YOU SURE?”
And there you have it. She swam. Above water. Again and again.
Now she’s ready for swimming lessons. Not the times that I’ve signed her up or begged her to go. Now. When she decided. She’s ready to get better. I had nothing to do with it. She was just ready.
Parenting Roozle is a lot more about waiting than teaching. More about watching and learning than guiding. I’m okay with that. She’s doing just fine. And she can SWIM across the pool. She clearly gets how this all should go way better than I do.
Vacation with Roozle is a very easy one. Find a pool, go to it, swim a lot, then go home. That’s it. She eats yogurt and cereal and is dipping almonds into hummus (I have no idea why) in between. But mostly just swimming. All the swimming.
It’s even better with a $4 raft from the grocery store.
I love vacation.