My husband would tell you that I tend to take the long way around to get to the point of a story, starting and stopping several times, and maybe even backing all the way up at some middle point and having to retell it all again.
I'm going to try not to do that now.
However, I am going to back up for just a second so that you get a clear understanding of where we are.
Picture an infant and two two-year-olds. Add to that one frazzled mommy. Now imagine the 4 of these people in a swimming pool...a swimming pool in which no flotation devices were allowed.
Yeah. That's why we didn't go to the pool much for a long, long time.
By the time it was less...er...impossible, the boys were all quite scared of the water. Nice.This frazzled mommy (who can't do much beyond a glorified dog paddle herself) felt ill equipped to tackle the job of swim teacher.
So, periodically, we have enrolled the kids in swimming lessons. We aren't trying to raise up the next Michael Phelps. We would just like them to be able to stay afloat without floaties & maybe even move a bit if the need arises.
This past week was the level test for their classes. Shorty failed. No problem. Thing 2 failed. Well, whatever. They all failed last time, too. Thing 1...passed.
They have never been in a class without each other before. I didn't even know which one of them was going to be more upset. Thing 2 puts a lot of pressure on himself to do things right. Thing 1 doesn't care as much, but is more sensitive.
Right away I talked to the instructor to discuss our options. It would be possible to hold Thing 1 back if we wanted to. Of course, he wouldn't learn as much. But then, just being in the water is better than not being in the water. Plus, he's not a rock star swimmer.
If Thing 2 can really REALLY improve on a few things in the next 2 weeks, they would be happy to move him up. That's a lot of work in a very short period of time. Thing 2 might just be motivated enough to get it done, though.
Or we could separate them. It would happen one day anyway. They aren't always going to be at the same level in everything they try. However, that could foster competition, comparison, and feelings of inadequacy. Already. They are only five. It would be nice to encourage comradery for a while longer.
|photo by www.jillheupel.com|
Once we were in the car and away from public eye (not that I was anticipating anything embarrassing), I told them. Shorty didn't care. Thing 1 was happy. Thing 2 was in tears and argued that he DID do all of the things that his teacher said he needed to work on. He DIDN'T WANT to be in class without his brother. He screamed. He cried.
So...our goal over this holiday break is to swim as much as possible, specifically working on what the poor guy struggles with. His hope is that he will be able to convince his teacher that he can move up with his brother.
If he still doesn't pass?...well...hopefully we won't have to answer that question. I think there will be tears from somebody no matter what we decide.