The next morning, we showed up at the local pool and Booker had the meltdown of the century. It was mortifying. I tried bribing him. I tried shaming him. I tried punishing him. Nothing worked. He wouldn't get in the water. I failed.
I took him home.
I put him on time out.
I told him he could come off time out if he agreed to get in the water the next day.
He wouldn't agree.
He spent four hours in his room on time out.
I got bored.
I went up to his room and told him to put his swim suit on.
We went back to the pool. Just me, Booker and Ike. No swim teachers. No audience of parents. No pressure. He put on his goggles and jumped into the deep end. And just like that, he was swimming alone and in the deep end for the first time in his life.
I don't get this kid. Thankfully I've got some time to figure him out. It's going to take me 18 years though, I'm sure of that. After that first day, swim lessons were a breeze. He would still hesitate a bit when he had to try new things but eventually it clicked. Now he's doing big arms, back floats, stream line and even tries diving into the pool. Our pool at home just got much more interesting for Booker.
Last night I told Booker that today would be his last day of swim lessons and on the last day everyone gets to go down the slide. He panicked. He can't go down slides. On fact, he told me that he can't go down big yellow slides. They're too fast. Any other color, fine. But not yellow. He can't swim at the bottom. He wasn't go to do it. Fine, I said. I don't care anymore.
But something must changed- peer pressure, the promise of an otter pop? Who knows. But for some reason he marched up those steps and did it. Making me one proud mama. I wish I could have caught him at the bottom.