Tag Archives: swimming

Swim Fail, The Return

As I posted earlier, Lily was shockingly moved to Level 2 of swimming this week after failing Level 1 at her previous swim lesson. Today the opposite happened. I was sitting in the parent coral a ridiculous distance away from the actual swim lessons. The parents are infuriatingly not allowed to sit close enough to see much of anything, but I noticed Lily was suddenly sent away from the Level 2 group to take class with the Level 1 group.

What the hell? No one had talked to me about this at all, and I was pretty sure no one had talked to Lily either. I couldn’t tell if she was ok about this. When she’d been moved to Level 2, we’d all made a huge fuss about it and now she was back in Level 1? WHAT THE HELL?

I stood questioning it with another mom and kept saying “Should I go say something? I feel like I should do something. I should, right?” She said she would be over there yelling at the instructors. So I went (though I didn’t yell). I didn’t wait for the lesson to be over. I went right then and asked what the hell was going on because seriously WHAT THE HELL? You can’t play with a kid’s emotions like that! “You fail! Nope, just kidding, you pass. Nope! Wrong again! FAIL!!!!”

I ended up interrupting two swim lessons because two different teachers had to come over and explain what was happening, but I don’t care. They could have avoided this by telling me what was going on BEFORE the lesson or after yesterday’s lesson. Indeed, they told me they’d decided to move her back down yesterday, so it’s not like they couldn’t have told us about this in advance. I asked if they’d explained to Lily why they’d moved her down and they said they hadn’t! I mean SERIOUSLY. This is a little girl here. Let her know what’s going on so she doesn’t feel like she’s done something wrong.

The explanation for all of this was that the person who had tested her on Monday had been too lenient and Lily wasn’t ready for Level 2. Trust me, I could have told them that. In fact, THEY told me she wasn’t ready for Level 2 two weeks ago. That’s why I was so surprised when they moved her up! They said in some of the other time slots for Level 2 she might have been ready, but the Level 2 in our time slot was too gigantic for them to give her the attention she needed. Again, I could see that. BUT TELL ME before you do something like that so I can prepare my child for the fact that you are demoting her after I gave her SO MUCH praise for being promoted.

RAGE.

Lily, luckily, was actually happy with the change. She was upset during her one day in Level 2 because she was the only kid who couldn’t float without help. She likes Level 1 better and was more upset that they had moved her up when she wasn’t ready than she was that they had moved her back up. She said in tears “They shouldn’t have moved me up! They made a mistake! I can’t float!”

And as I told her repeatedly, SHE didn’t do anything wrong. THEY did. Fine, you accidentally put a kid in the wrong level. TELL the parents or work a little harder with the kid. Don’t just demote her without communicating with anyone! It’s not like I’m not there for the swim lesson.

This rant was brought to you by our city pool’s swimming program. Once this session is over in a week and a half, I think we are finished with these people and taking swimming elsewhere. So far, we’ve cut the city pool’s swim lessons and a local dance studio out of our lives for ridiculous customer service. Who’s next?! Is it really this hard to be organized and good at communicating with parents when you are giving children lessons?!

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Mystery Success

Two weeks ago, Lily brought home a certificate that said “Congratulations”, but she had failed swimming Level 1 for a second time.

Today we returned to the daily grind of swim lessons. Lily has not been back in a real swimming pool since that fateful Swim Fail day. We have not practiced any strokes or talked about swimming much since our first round of lessons ended two weeks ago.

Yet today when we returned to swim lessons, Lily was promoted to Level 2.

I don’t get it.

Neither does Rose, who takes swim lessons at the exact same time as Lily and thinks she was also promoted to Level 2. She wasn’t, and I have very little confidence that she will make it this summer. It’s going to be interesting tomorrow when she sees her big sister abandon her for a different area of the swimming pool.

To quote the fight I keep having with her:

“No! I’m in Level 2!”

“Not yet. You’re still in Level 1. Maybe if you work hard you’ll be in Level 2 soon!”

“NO!!!! I’m in Level 2! I swam in Level 2 today!”

No. I promise you. No.

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Building Character, Part 1

How to feel like the worst mom on earth:

Bundle yourself in a sweatshirt to watch your kids swim outdoors in 65 degree weather.

I was faced with somewhat of a parenting crisis last Monday morning when we woke up to chilly overcast windy weather, but my kids were supposed to start their swim classes that day. What to do, what to do? I ended up taking them because the lessons were already paid for and I didn’t want them to miss the first day. They were brave little soldiers, shivering in their little bathing suits before getting into the pool. Our pool is heated, but it’s a sad state of affairs when the pool water is warmer than the air.

The kids survived. They had fun actually, but I still felt so guilty watching from the sidelines in my sweatshirt. I would never go swimming in that weather. If you asked me to, I’d think you were crazy. Yet here I was forcing my kids to do just that just because I’d paid a little money for them to take lessons. Bad. BUT they are learning how to swim, which is potentially life saving for them. So really, I asked them to get in the pool to save their own lives, right?

Nope, still feel guilty.

It stayed that cold for the first two days of swimming. On the second day, it actually rained while they were in the pool. Then I felt really guilty. I didn’t even want to be outside, but I made my kids swim. Hey, they were wet anyway. What’s a little rain on top of that? Terrible, terrible, terrible. All the parents in the chairs were like “Are we BAD parents or GOOD parents for making our kids swim through this?” As far as I know, none of the kids from swimming dropped out during those first two days. All of us parents were bad or good or cheapskates together. We already paid for those lessons! We didn’t want to waste them!

The actual swimming part wasn’t so bad. It was the getting out of the pool part that was traumatic.
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I mean, really. The girl was wearing a ski cap after going swimming outside! That’s just wrong!

All that coldness just builds character, right? Tomorrow, another very guilt-inducing experience that happened last week. We might not have been the best parents last week. Or maybe we WERE the best parents and our kids will have the best character ever because of it?

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Friday Funnies: Favorite Parent

I apologize in advance for how crude these cartoons are even for MY crudely-drawn cartoons.

Anyway, Dr. Toy Warden and Lily are on spring break this week from the university. Did you know that Lily goes to college? It’s true. If you live near a college with a child development program, I highly recommend checking out its early childhood education training programs to see if it has a preschool. The program here is outstanding.

We’ve done something fun as a family just about every day this week. Yesterday we went swimming. I feel I was superbly brave participating in this activity considering I am nearly 27 weeks pregnant, huge and uncomfortable. Going swimming means flaunting my gigantic body in a swimming suit. While we were swimming, my maternity suit kept floating up and revealing my giant belly! It’s definitely the most attractive I’ve ever been. I think I deserve some Mommy Bonus Points for agreeing to all this.

Neither of our girls knows how to swim yet. Lily was in a swim class last summer, but she utterly failed it. As a result, the kids need to be held in the pool most of the time to “practice swimming”. The thing is BOTH girls wanted ME to be the one to help them swim. Given that I’m gigantically pregnant and my hips are a complete mess that neither a chiropractor nor a physical therapist have been able to help, dragging kids around the pool is exhausting and sometimes painful for me! BOTH kids insisted on hanging off of me. They actually got in a fight over me.

I kept begging them to go swimming with their eager-to-help, physically able, non-pregnant, actually quite fit dad, but they weren’t having it. In fact, mid-”My Mommy Fight” this happened.

That’s right, they actually fought over NOT having to claim their father as their own after fighting over sole ownership of me.

Dr. Toy Warden and I cracked up. I mean, it was pretty insulting for him when you think about it, but we know the girls really love him. In fact, at this very moment they are curled up with him watching their favorite music videos on youtube. They just prefer swimming with me for whatever reason. Considering how slow and cumbersome and huge I am right now, I can’t imagine why, but whatever. I find as a stay at home mom I get a little preferential treatment from the girls sometimes even though I think their dad is much more patient with them and deserves more of the love. I guess this is my payment for staying home: utter adoration until they turn 11 and decide they hate me.

So, after this little display of daddy disloyalty, tonight Lily insisted that her daddy come play catch with her. In fact, she said “I don’t want MOMMY! I want YOU, Daddy!”

To which her dad promptly and properly retorted, “Since when am I your daddy? I thought I was ROSE’S daddy. Isn’t that what you said at the pool today?”

But she didn’t get the joke.

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Swim Fail

Lily just finished up two weeks in beginning swimming at our community pool. I had hoped by the end of the class she’d be able to float, but alas, it was not to be. She refuses to attempt anything that involves having her feet off the floor of the pool unless she is being held by someone. As you can imagine, she did not pass the swimming test at the end of the session to move on to the next training level. Check out the awesome “certificate of completion” she got.

“Lily has completed Learn-to-Swim Level 1″ “sign up for Level 1″. Completing a level implies moving on to the next level. That’s the most sneaky way to say “Your daughter failed swimming” I’ve ever seen. If she “completed” it, she should be in “Level 2″. Considering she failed it, a certificate of completion is ridiculous. All she “completed” was two weeks of swimming, and I’m not so sure that deserves a certificate. A report card? Maybe, but a piece of paper that says “Congratulations”? No.

“Congratulations! You didn’t learn how to swim!”

That’s how I read it.

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Kids Play: Horseshoe Necklace


These inflatable rings are part of a water horseshoe game that came with a baby swimming pool. Naturally, all the girls at this baby pool party decided to use them as necklaces.


One necklace is never enough!

Check out my guest blog today over at The Village of Moms.

Share your funny kids stories, pictures and videos on this blog by emailing them to creativekidsplay@gmail.com.

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