I’m having trouble putting into words what’s going on with our Poppy without bawling. So, give me a couple more days and I will update, I promise. In the interim, I’m going to tell a little story about the Diva. One that some of you may find relatable, or maybe not.
This is my sweet and innocent daughter. She is a good girl, so well behaved, cute, smart, but she HATES any sort of physical activity. She is a whiner, in the very worst of ways, about physical exercise. So, now that summer is here, we have FORCED her to join the swim team. By the end of last summer, she could easily swim one end of the pool to the other. She was diving, confident and comfortable in the water. But, last year, she was still in the little kids program and only required to swim two days per week.
Now she has hit the big leagues. She is required to swim all five practices. Oh, the horror upon learning this. She doesn’t want to. She can’t do it. She’ll be TIRED. She may even drown y’all. I listened to none of that, and on Thursday night, I took her to the pool for her first swim team practice. FPD had the boys at drum line and I was managing the two tiny Chinese in the baby pool. Imagine my surprise when I look over to address a noise I hear coming from behind block #6 to see a line of children standing there and one of them hiccuping huge gulping sobs.
Yep. It’s my daughter. I go over to her and ask what’s wrong, even though I’m well aware. No answer, just continued sobbing. I asked her again and again, getting increasingly inpatient with each passing sob. Finally, she tells me they’re going to ‘make her dive off the block.’ I look at the coach, who just shakes her head. You can dive off the side, Diva. You did it last year.
I DON’T WANT TOOOOOOOOO!!!!
It’s on now. Yes, you will. No, I won’t. So, our turn comes in line, she steps down into the gutter and freezes. This is where my rubber meets my road as a mom. I did what I’ve always done in times when my kids are frozen in fear. I stretched her arms out into a nice streamline, tucked her chin and pushed her wailing butt into that pool. She bellyflopped and came up with an absolutely furious scream. I told her she had done her dive and that she could be done now (practice was over in three minutes anyhow) and as we walked towards the showers, I passed about eight parents who stared at me as if I had no soul.
I do. It’s just a competitive one. She doesn’t want to, but she absolutely CAN do it. She may get tired, but she needs to learn she won’t drown. For me, being a mom is about teaching my kids that life is FULL of hard things. That, and that I’ll always be there to push them into the deep end of the pool, should they need that nudge.
–FullPlateMom, whose whiniest baby went to swim practice the next day and didn’t shed a tear, and for all her trouble, she earned a donut. Because I believe in pushing my kids, and occasionally bribing them.