Friday, August 6, 2010

Water Babies, Take II

It's been three weeks of intensive daily swim lessons for the kids. After the first week, I put Joey in private lessons with Kacie as well. He's done group lessons on and off for a couple of years, but I think - no, I know - he needed a push, as he had pretty much plateaued, wasn't being pushed hard enough, and was letting his fear and anxiety hold him back from progressing. So for the last two weeks, it's been all three girls plus Joey in swim lessons every afternoon. Phew.

So where are they all are now? You may remember from the previous episode of Water Babies that there was a whole lotta crying going on. Over the last three weeks, a lot of progress has been made. Here, see for yourself:

Lilah -

Out of all of them, she is the most cooperative, the most willing, and really, the most comfortable in the water. I have no doubt it's because she's the youngest - too young to have real fear yet. It makes me really, really wish that I had gotten the other kids in swim lessons a lot younger than I did.

Daisy -

Daisy has come a loooong way in the last couple of weeks! She's actually very athletic and graceful, and I think she has the potential to really become good at swimming and a lot of other things if she can just have confidence in herself.

Annabelle -

This is painful to watch. It's actually very strange, because Annabelle seemed to move forward with swim lessons on a bell curve; she gradually improved in skill and attitude over the first couple of weeks, and then this week it all went downhill for her, and both yesterday and today were spent like this, with her beside herself with fear. For me, it was both completely aggravating and heartbreaking - part of me wanted to just throw her in the pool and say "GET OVER IT!" and part of me wanted to just wrap her in a warm towel and a hug. Ack. I don't know, I just don't know. This - this hysteria and complete and utter terror - this used to be Daisy about a million different things. Daisy, though, has overcome so much of her fear about a lot of things, while Annabelle has grown more fearful. And the sad and frustrating thing about watching her today was knowing that she knows how to swim! She has learned how to swim over the last couple of weeks, and when forced to, she can and will, but she's got herself all freaked out and she seems unable to get a grip on it. Well, we're done for now. I wish it had ended on a better note for her.

Joey -

When I put Joey in with Kacie two weeks ago, he had basic swimming skills thanks to the group lessons he's taken sporadically over the last couple of years, but he had gotten to a point where he was afraid to go in water deeper than he could stand in, and that was holding him back. Joey, I am sad to be realizing more and more, definitely has anxiety issues. About a lot of things. So this session of swim lessons was about pushing him to get over this roadblock he had hit, and he had a lot of stomachaches during swim lessons (which magically disappeared as soon as his lesson was over), a lot of headaches, and quite a few tears. This kid is really athletic though - he can actually swim really well - he just hasn't had the faith in himself, I think, that he needs. Anyway, when he started with Kacie, he would cry when she made him go into the deep end, but as you can see, he is now swimming laps the entire length of the pool. He's still got a ways to go to be completely comfortable in the water, but I'm pleased with what he accomplished.

We will definitely be back with Kacie next summer, this time with five kids. I will be putting all three girls and Joey back in, and next summer Finn as well.

Aside from swimming, I am so glad to have become acquainted with Kacie. If you follow my other blog, you may remember back in April when I first signed my kids up for swim lessons with her, I wrote about how my friend Jen put me in touch with her, and how it turns out that she's one of six kids and that she has an adult brother with Down syndrome. I never did get to meet her brother over the past few weeks, but I did get to meet her mom, Cathy, and it has really been so great to connect with another mom of a child with Ds, and to get the perspective of a veteran, so to speak. Really, really refreshing; I have completely enjoyed our conversations and look forward to many more. Oh, and, Kacie not only teaches swim, but she babysits! And, as Alycia, our beloved regular sitter, is out of town this weekend, Kacie is babysitting for us so Michael and I can go out for a post-birthday celebratory dinner!

1 comment:

diane rene said...

awesome videos! My heart broke for Annabelle. I went thru a point where I was terrified to swim ... I think I was about 7 or 8. I grew up with a pool so I knew how to swim, but I still suffer anxiety over it.
all 4 of my kids are fish - they love being in the pool and fortunately, none of them seem to have any of the fears and phobias I did. they even like swimming at the beach (which I have never enjoyed)