Monday, June 22, 2009

Water torture....

Last week, Hazel and Owen's swim classes started. I was so thrilled that Hazel's friend Alex was signed up for the same time slot as us. I thought this would make for much smoother sailing. And at first it appeared to be working. Here they are meeting their teacher and looking thrilled to be such big girls!

That was before Hazel realized that she would actually have to get in the water. Her teacher immediately made her put her face under water. Even though Hazel is deathly afraid of water being on her face, I was glad that the instructor was being so assertive. Then they went right into this:

Which led to this:

Little did she know it was only going to get worse. Her teacher made them tandem dive for objects on the bottom of the pool. On the FIRST DAY! Now I was starting to feel a little annoyed. My child was screaming bloody murder and clawing to get away and this girl just kept dunking her under the water. Now....maybe she isn't aware of this, but when you go under water with your mouth wide open, you choke on the water. Maybe I should have explained that to her.

Then they practiced this:
Which led to some more of this:
Every time the teacher let go of her, Hazel scrambled to get out of the water and perch safely on the side of the pool crying and looking wounded. I just don't quite get how this is at all productive. They didn't build any trust or take the time to get to know each other. Hazel just sees this girl as a human torture device and now starts crying every time she sees her. I had to talk to the manager and get her to tell Hazel's teacher that I would be hanging out by the side of the pool during classes and making sure that Hazel was not pushed past her comfort level. It just went too far. I am ALL for tough love, but it went beyond that point. She even had nightmares about swimming after that first class. Even though she is getting a little better about trying things, she is still crying through every class and does not trust her teacher at all. I can tell she is just waiting for the girl to throw her in the water at any moment. Poor baby.
In sharp contrast, her friend Alex loved every minute of it and volunteers to do everything and even wants the teacher to let go of her so she can do it "all by myself"

Here she is swimming to the edge:

And darn proud of herself!

Notice I have no pictures of Owen. I almost forgot he was even there. Just to fill you in, though, everything on his end is going just swimmingly (der der) and he looks like an old pro out there!