Sonya has been progressing well and is even going under the water for two whole seconds at a time! By that I mean her WHOLE HEAD under water. Not just her face. That is progress for her, trust me. She seems to be less afraid and is having more fun. I'm hoping this will continue as we go to friends' pools throughout the summer and she doesn't decide to become fearful again at some point.
Georgia absolutely LOVES going in the water. She can't wait for her class, and when Sonya and Lana are at the end of theirs, she begins to yell,
"Mwy tuwn! I go in pool!!"
It's all I can do to keep her from getting in the water before the other class is out. Today they had us practice putting the kids on the side of the pool, either sitting or standing, and "jumping" into us. This basically meant I held her hands and kind of pulled her in the water. She had a blast with this. She must have made me do that with her at least 25 times. She would jump into me then would immediately say,
"I tye again!"
So yeah, she's all good with the water now too.
Then there is Lana. Oh my Lana. Well, we spent Tuesday much like Monday. She was eager to go in the water. She sat on the ledge, when everyone started kicking and she got splashed, she was done. I begged, bribed and pleaded with her to get back in the water, the rest of class. That child is just so stubborn, and it wasn't until all the kids were getting out that she decided to sit back on the ledge again. I didn't know what to do. So I went home and did what I always do when I get frustrated with the kids about something and it's not 7pm or "wine time" yet. I called one of my sisters to bitch.
This particular time I called Beth. She suggested using a reward chart. This is what she did when she was having a difficult time potty training Zach last summer. She told me to get a timer and for every 5 minutes Lana was in the water, she would get a sticker on the chart. It had ten spaces, and when she got to the end she would win a reward of her choosing. Then if I needed to, we could start the chart over again.
So, I logged on to Supernanny.com and printed out a reward chart they had there. (This is a great resource to go for ALL moms! That British lady really knows what she's doing.) We bought some colored smiley face stickers at Target, and a digital kitchen timer, and by Wednesday morning we were good to go. My other thought was to keep Lana out of the water until the rest of the kids were done with their warm up kicks in the water. This way she wouldn't be splashed in the face to begin with.
I had explained the chart to Lana the night before and she seemed to understand what we were doing. She sat out of the pool for the first couple minutes and when they were done with the kicking, I took her over to get in. She sat herself on the ledge and I started to the timer. I also told her that in order to get her stickers she had to do what the teacher told her to. The first time one of the teachers came to do an exercise with her, she shook her head no and began to cry. But the teacher was persistent, yet nice with her. and she did what was asked and sat back on the ledge. Then she turned around to me and said,
"I want to get out now."
"Not yet," I told her. "The timer just started you have to keep it going to get your sticker."
She turned back around and waited until it was her turn to get back in the water. The next exercise there were a little less tears. Then she hit her five minute mark and got her first sticker. I think I was more excited than she was, but I could tell she was getting used to being in the water and collecting her stickers.
She ended up staying in the pool the ENTIRE REST OF CLASS. And, AND, she was even giggling and having fun by the end! I called my sister as soon as we got home and told her what a genius she was. The chart worked! There was no more begging and pleading. She managed to get halfway through her chart on Wednesday and finished it yesterday. Yup, she stayed in all day yesterday and today without any chart at all. She seems to be enjoying it now and is excited to get in the water. Since she has started to trust that the instructors are going to hold her and not drop her into the water, there has not been one tear. I honestly thought we were going to spend the entire session with Lana not doing anything in the water. Instead she's spending time in the pool and becoming less afraid of the water, and actually learning to swim. She's not going to be joining the Olympic Swim Team anytime soon, but at least it's a start. Then again, as you can see Lana surprises us. She may be challenging Michael Phelps before we know it.
So, even though week one of swim lessons started out shaky, it ended pretty successfully. Plus all it cost me was a few stickers and a trip to Menchies for some frozen yogurt yesterday.
And that's waaaayy cheaper than a pony.