The newborn to one year stage is baby bliss in my opinion. Lazing around, nursing on demand and plenty of parks and the ability to cart them around to coffee shops or strolling the mall, for the most part, like an adorable accessory that occasionally needed a diaper change. Enter toddlerhood- a total game changer in parenting and the true initiation into motherhood.
Tantrums, opinions, requests, loads of questions all day long, weird routines established, potty training, feeding, bed times, all a hot mess. In our house anyway, and I have TWO. I resisted and held out for the better part of three and a half years, but now we get into the activity stage. I am loathing the day I become a taxi cab driver, carting them from activity to another. The days of sleeping in are slowly coming to a close- I can feel it.. as we start building a schedule slowly and soon possible pre-school part time next fall. I keep hearing how “exciting” and “fun” activities with your kids can be, and the “joy” you get from seeing them blossom and grow into little people. What I am gathering, and maybe you can attest, is less and less of my SELF and my identity and flexibility and ability to do what I like and WANT. It sounds selfish, and it probably is. Or is it? Does parenting HAVE to mean completely giving up EVERYTHING about yourself. Complete sacrifice? Probably to a degree, and maybe you don’t have time or a way to actually FEEL that pinch before you get pregnant. I think some things are left to discover otherwise you might never procreate!
Some parents LIVE for the day their kiddos can kick a ball and are old enough to put on a team shirt. While I think there are fun parts of watching them learn to play a game and use their newfound athleticism, (being able to stand up a mini cone using only one foot), I have to admit to you I am sort of a slow to warm sort of soul when it comes to this parent cheerleader role. Luckily for me I have a super active and sporty and encouraging husband who is taking the reigns on some of this and also opening my eyes and my mind on how to approach it all. He has enrolled Remy in soccer on Saturdays as well in the Soccer Buddies program at Arapahoe Sports Center. The first class was total chaos and a disaster, the second time we went, we chose a different time slot, it was less crowded, more organized and a night and day experience. So advice might be choose a good time, choose a smaller class size so they can focus an dear the instruction and have less distractions, try to get them in a class with kiddos at the same developmental stage as your own, go when they are fed and energized and at their most playful.
Now, swimming. I DO think and feel that everyone should learn how to swim as a life skill. A life-saving skill. So we are killing two birds with one stone, the one bird being able to squash and burn some of their insane levels of energy with physical activity, and the other bird is momma being able to go to a kiddie pool this summer and somewhat relax a little bit knowing she can at least get her head out of water in a frantic pinch if for goodness sakes my head was turned. We thought of swimming lessons at our nearby pool so that she could get some physical activity into her schedule and hopefully burn some of this extra energy. Its working. Her lessons are so far teaching her to be more comfortable in the water first and foremost, learning to float on her back, bob her head in and out of the water on her own, fully submerged, and eventually feel comfortable jumping in on their own. Each half hour class, twice a week, starts and ends the same and I can see SOME improvement, but Remy may need more time in this first level. She is still calling for me during her back stroke portion and she is still VERY hesitant to dip her head in all the way when instructed. This was me when I was her age! Hopefully with more sessions and practice, her comfort level in the water will vastly improve.
There are only four toddlers to one instructor at utah Park Pool in Aurora, and we have really found her instructor to be amazing. She is incredibly patient and persistent with the kids and is doing well with them. I have noticed a couple kiddos have missed several classes and one dropped off completely, and once last week it was just Remy in the class by herself so she got a private lesson. Here’s a few photos from that session. So far only Remy is in swim lessons, we are waiting for Arlo to be potty trained and old enough to take lessons on her own without a parent. Arlo is having a blast tagging along and telling us everyday with various things, “I wanna do dat too….” with her little nose scrunched up. Arlo and Remy are both in soccer which is great! They are both taking a class at the same time- side by side in different levels which works out well.
As you can see, Arlo is Remy’s biggest fan and cheerleader…