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What a difference a couple of weeks make

Written By: Jenn - Aug• 27•10

2 Weeks ago, I introduced a petrified and tearful Wee One to her new swimming teacher, Kate.

I was at my wit’s end trying to get her past her fear of water. Even though we have a pool in our back yard and she was in it all the time, she had zero trust in her abilities, and, apparently, in us. This isn’t really news I guess; I’ve written about her anxiety and shyness previously. She has come such a long way with those issues this past year – she even smiles at and speaks to J-B and Knarf now! But the water… wow. Our biggest frustration over this is that the rest of the family are like fish – the Hubby was a medal winning part of the swim team in high school, and I was a synchronized swimmer for years! We are at home and completely confident in the water, as is big sister The Teen.

We had no idea how to get her past this. ShaMoo mentioned that she had taken Frank&Frank to private swimming lessons at a place in town, and finally I gave up and decided to call them. Small shallow lap pool, salt water, individual instructors. Worth a shot!

The first lesson in the pool had me shaking my head, and I was sure this wasn’t going to work. I had explained to the staff about Wee One’s shyness and almost paralyzing fear of the unknown, etc. They only nodded, told me not to worry, and said they’d seen it all before.

On Monday she had a meltdown so bad I yanked her halfway through the lesson and took her home. On Wednesday, she had another one, but as I’d warned her, I didn’t step in, and just let Kate talk her down. Miserable lesson.

Yesterday, though? No fanfare, no catalyst. No visible reason. Click.

Kate looked at me half way through and said “you brought me a different kid today…!”

Today was Wee One’s 10th and final private lesson of the summer.

I am SO PROUD of this kid of mine. So proud.

What a difference a couple of weeks made!! THANK YOU, KATE!


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  1. Thom says:

    WOOT…good for her. I’m going to say here, as an Uncle that I notice when the kids parents are around they behave totally strange. Maybe it was the fact that you stayed and watched her, if indeed you did do that. Anyway, I stick my my initial statement that kids do act different around their parents. They become wicked and just down right evil in my experience. You get the parent away and it’s like a totally different person. I think all kids do that just to test their parents. It’s always amazed me. I’m glad she got over her fear :)

    • Jenn says:

      I tried both ways – sitting in the lobby watching through the window, and sitting on the pool deck close by. I agree; kids are totally different animals when the folks are around. In her case though, she just had to work through the anxiety. She was absolutely terrified, and I literally had to drag her in, crying her eyes out. The transformation from terror to swimming happily is just amazing. I’m so relieved!! Tonight she went to bed and said as I was turning out the light; “Mom, I am SO proud of myself!” heehee

  2. That’s great that she’s actually enjoying it now. I think it’s so important to be a confident swimmer – especially if you have a pool at your house. I love swimming, if only it wasn’t so expensive here!

  3. Betty says:

    Woohoo! I´m proud of her too! I bet she will be a champion swimmer in no time.

  4. RiA says:

    Yay Wee One!! My brother WOULDN”T learn to swim until he was almost 10 (and stubborn like the rest of us, he once walked up to the shallow end of the pool, when my dad – the picture of patience- got pissed and threw him in – like yeah that’ll help) Now he’s a pt scuba instructor!!

  5. jazzbumpa says:


    And a big hat tip to Kate, too.


  6. Weezer says:

    What a beautiful accomplishment. I wish I could swim better but what I can do I taught myself in a fish pond at my uncles more than 40 years ago. I won’t drown, but I’m no fish, either.

  7. lisa milton says:

    Watching mine swim gives me a thrill – they surely didn’t get it from me.

    Hooray for our little fishies.

  8. Broot says:

    That is awesome and good for you for sticking to it!! :) My wee one started swimming last Friday too. (I haven’t disappeared, I’ve just been SUPER BUSY lately! Hope all is well with you!)

  9. Isn’t it wonderful to see kids overcoming their fear. Both of you have the right to be proud. I can feel the joy here, too. Have a wonderful week :)