They say every child is different.
And I'd have to agree.
While Mairead and Lilah differ in so many ways, they both were the same about one thing. Swim school. They loved it pretty much from the beginning. Loved being in a class without mommy and daddy. But, unfortunately, I can't say the same for Clara.
Clara tends to be a bit more (and I hate this word) Shy than her big sisters. Once she gets comfortable, she is outgoing and crazy just like her big sisters. She wants to do pretty much everything her sisters do and most of the time, she is 100% successful. Since we moved to Virginia, Kevin has been working diligently with Clara in the pool while the big girls were in class. She can swim. She can swim underwater. She can jump in.
She turns heads. She's had swim instructors notice her and she's had the attention of the swim team instructor, too. Kevin and I have been talking about putting her in a class, and not to learn to swim, but just to learn to be away from us, which she needs so very badly to gain self confidence. So, tonight was her first night. We knew it probably would not go off without hitches, and we were right. It's weird because she has no trouble with babysitters and being left, but tonight, she was not happy.
For the last week, we've been talking up swim school. She knows the girls do it. She talks about doing it, and she walked over to the school area tonight, but when it actually came time for me to leave her with the teacher at the pool, she lost it. She was hysterical. I sat with her. Reassured her. Bribed her. And nothing worked. I know she loves to swim and would love it if she only gave it a chance. Thankfully, the teacher, Kevin, has had Lilah in the past, and is familiar with Clara's swimming abilities. He reached his arms out for me to take her, and nodded at me to let me know it was okay. So, I handed off my crying little baby girl to the teacher and I walked away.
We watched her from afar. She continued to cry. She'd have periods where she didn't cry, but if the teacher approached her, she'd start up again. He was so patient with her and it was just what she needed. He reassured her and was gentle. Kevin and I questioned whether or not we should let her continue, but every time we'd go to walk over, she wouldn't be crying. Finally, at the end of class, we walked over, and even though she was sniffling and crying a little, she didn't run over to us, she stuck it out and stayed in her class. I couldn't have been prouder of Clara. I know it wasn't easy for her, but she finished the class.
And she was so proud of herself, too. (After the fact)
After class, she swam with Kevin, and she showed off her mad swimming skills to her teacher. He reassured me that she was fine, and that I should definitely continue to bring her back! And we will.