At the age of 3 years and 6 months, Spud has gone solo as we enrolled her into a no-parent swimming class earlier this month.
Spud usually is very excited when she gets into the pool for her class and in the recent months, we found ourselves being constantly pushed away as she tells us confidently that she can swim by herself, thereby refusing any help or physical contact from us.She has seemed more than ready and, I actually didn’t think that it was a big deal for her to finally swim solo. If anything, I was the one who had felt quite sad on her very last lesson as I was the accompanying parent in her last swimming-with-parent-class.
In fact, Spud has seemed quite excited when we told her that she no longer will need to swim with Mama and Papa as she is a big girl now. She has been all accepting as we prepped her up on that for weeks on end. That being said, I really did not expect much drama at all.
Boy! I could not be more wrong.
She started getting jittery of not wanting to swim on her own when the day came. When we got to the pool, she had a little melt-down and for 10 minutes or so, had refused to get into the pool and do whatever her swimming teacher instructed her to do. It took a lot of patience and cajoling to finally get her into the water and she agreed to get in only when I told her that I would sit on the edge of the pool with my feet dangling in the water. Even then, it took a good 15-20 minute or so before she finally calmed down and broke into a smile.
Of course that just as she started to find joy in swimming on her own, her time was up and she refused to get out of the water. It then took me another 5 minutes to convince her to get out of the water. How typical.
I almost didn’t realize what a big milestone that was for a 3 year old. And really, for a 3.5 year old toddler, swimming on her own for the first time can be just a tad too scary and intimidating! Actually, not only was it a big milestone for her, it also reflected a bigger milestone for us parents in realizing that our first-born is now tip-toeing in the world of independence; one of the initial stage that signifies to us parents that it was time to slowly “let go”.
Thankfully, her second lesson was a breeze. The moment she got into the pool, she jumped around like a monkey high on sugar! It was quite heartening to see my little girl now learning one of the most important life-skills and put her in the hands of a very qualified, quirky but energetic swimming instructor.