Monday, May 19, 2014

Abhay goes swimming ............again!

I cant help the dejavu feeling, when it comes to Abhay’s ‘swimming class’ phobia! After years of prodding (Gosh! I make it sound like he’s over 30 years old…but it does feel like forever!)….he now enjoys himself in the swimming pool… provided it is minus the perceived rigours of a swimming class and instructions of a swim coach!!!! So the minute there’s talk about enrolling him into summer swimming classes, he goes from from an acquaphile to an acquaphobic……from a fish in water to a fish out of water!!! It’s probably his sixth swimming class in three years……..with a forced hiatus last year owing to non-access to swimming pool along with certain logistics issues (which we promptly justified as not wanting to push our then six year old into something he doesn’t want to join!). To be fair, he does get more comfortable during the course of a three week class. So much so that towards the end, he acts as if he was born to swim (our very own Ripley’s Believe it or not)! But once there’s a gap …… it all goes back to square one! Well… one cant have first time jitters forever…can one??

We’ve read many books on swimming and fear thereof, it seemed quite pointless to down that tide again….but a random Google search yielded a link of a hilarious book that simply deserved a mention on Onestoryaday! “Clem Always could” by Sarah Watts is a wonderful book on guiding your little one to try out new things, even if it seems scary the first time! Little Clem could do a lot of things – make bat-ball out of anything as he always loved sport, could dress himself as he always had style, could jump, run faster than waves, do a puzzle, make friend and so on so forth. But if there was one thing that Clem couldn’t get himself to do was swimming. So when his mom took him to the swimming pool, Clem just wasn’t keen. None of mom’s usual strategies like reasoning out, bribery, pleading, physical force, seemed to work. So Clem’s mom let Clem do what Abhay’s mom finds it hard to do – just sit by, watch and leave! :-) At home, as Clem goes about his usual routine of finishing up his drink or using the toilet, mom tried to explain to Clem that he in fact had to learn to do many such things…to which Clem shot back saying that he always knew how to drink or use the toilet! Mom persists on and reminds Clem of the time he had to learn to brush or bathe or write but Clem feels that he could always do those things. Pointing out how Clem is to learn many new things as he grows up, mom takes him to the swimming pool the following week. But Clem is adamant and thinks of  everything from invisible sharks and crocodiles to laughing bystanders to prevent him from getting into the pool! Finally Clem meets his friend Grace who jumps into the swimming pool without a fuss when Clem is emboldened to follow suit. What happens thereafter is something I’m hoping to see happen with Abhay too!! Once Clem's in………….it feels like he always could!! A great book to help your little one cope with the first-time jitters …..every time!!:-)

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