Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mr. Daniel's Purgatory

Annie started swim lessons yesterday. It's a bit ridiculous to feel behind the eight ball at age four, but most of her friends can swim, and it's getting a bit embarrassing to have Annie splashing with the toddlers at the baby pool. After a litany of ear infections cleared, we finally got our act together and enrolled in her a two week "bootcamp". I take her to the pool for a lesson, every day, for the next two weeks. After this "immersion" (pardon the pun), she goes twice a week. Whenever she is ready, she gets to take a float test where she gets pushed into the pool fully dressed, and has to float on her back for four minutes or make it to the side by herself.

A couple of friends and a dvd provided by the school prepared me for the worst. Bootcamp is not very popular with the little ones. One of Annie's friends would poop her pants whenever her mom pulled into the pool's parking lot. I was a bit nervous for the first lesson. They have two observation rooms, overlooking the pool- that are hidden by two way mirrors, so I could fret in peace without freaking Annie out.

In a bit of a sadistic fashion that is characteristic with my parenting style- it was hilarious to observe Annie experience her first lesson. She was filled with anticipation and glee when she first entered- convinced she would be "swimming" by the end of her half hour lesson. Watching her face slowly realize the amount of hard work and risk involved with learning to swim was priceless. As her teacher propped her up against the side of the pool and instructed her on the proper way to hold your arms during floating, I saw her thought process unfold.

The glee quickly turned to fear. After her instructor kept reassuring her, the fear was replaced with anger. While her three class buddies started to cry, Annie got pissed. S-E-R-I-O-U-S-L-Y ticked. She folded her arms in front of her, frowned the biggest frown, and started to tell Mr. Daniel The Swim Instructor where he could go. I couldn't stop laughing as Mr. Daniel plopped all four crybabies on their "floating carpet" of a raft and tried to get them to kick around the pool. Annie told him off during the whole ride.

This morning Annie told me that Mr. Daniel let her "die" yesterday. I explained to her that Mr. Daniel did not let her die, nor would he. But I did tell her that in a past life, Mr. Daniel must have done something very very bad to have to sit in a pee-pee filled pool day after day and try to teach little ones to swim. Let's all say a rosary in his honor, shall we?


Laura said...

I am so looking forward to updates on this! I can see Annie now - in all her glory :-)

jen said...

I can totally picture this.

and am cracking up!

I'm Just Beachy said...

I remember my initiation to the "deep end" during swimming lessons all too well. We were thrown off the low diving board( which at 5 years old was still pretty high)and had to swim to the side. After going under and fighting to the surface I sputtered my way to the side, being quite a crybaby. Still, I am so grateful to know how to swim.