Friday, December 11, 2009

The Way We Get By

Penny and I like go swimming at the community pool on my days off. We go with our friend LC and her daddy, and we try not to think about the amount of pee that must cycle through the pool, but that's what chlorine is for, right? The pool isn't too crowded this time of year, and it has a fun section just for kids, with water features and a slide. As an added bonus, it's good exercise for me, because I'm the one lifting a 25lb toddler in and out of the water.

The first time we went, Penny didn't like the water features, which were spraying water in all directions, and she clung to me like a little monkey baby. But with each consecutive visit, she has gotten more brave and will walk around in the shallow end, let me hold her and swim around, kicking her legs and moving her arms. Our friend LC's dad taught us some of the songs they learned in swim lessons, and that makes it even more fun. There's a version of Ring Around the Rosy that involves, kicking, splashing, blowing bubbles in the water, and finally, dunking our heads underwater. And the dunking isn't too bad, because of the singing!

One of the more challenging aspects is showering in the locker room with a monkey baby. We stand there, shivering, while I try to get the temperature right. Then she gets all slippery and doesn't like the spray of the shower hitting her, but she doesn't want me to put her down on the floor. There are many comedic moments that occur behind the shower curtain. I'm usually more concerned with getting her dried off and dressed than covering myself up, so there's much streaking to the lockers, because if I walk really fast, no one will be able to see me. The last time we were there, I didn't get a diaper back on Penny in time, so I ended up using my towel to mop up the little yellow puddle she left by our locker.

When we are not at the pool, we go to Story Time at the library, where we learn even more songs and check out new books. Story Time is a lot less time consuming because it doesn't involve changing clothes, showering, or streaking.

Meanwhile, Pen has become more defiant in recent days. I know she is testing her limits, but she's been outright disobedient. She had a meltdown last weekend over the binky, and was so screechingly furious it almost resulted in a time-out situation. I was able to defuse things by distracting her with reading and rocking, but I think we might be headed for a real, honest-to-god-TIME-OUT in the near future. And that makes me a little sad, but it is inevitable, right? How else are kids supposed to learn what isn't acceptable behavior? I guess I'm uncomfortable because this is uncharted territory, this discipline stuff. Penny usually listens to me, but lately, seems to NOT hear me. I don't want to be a hard-ass, but I think it is important to be firm. Can you be firm and sympathetic at the same time?


jen said...

We get high in back seats of cars...

Sheree, J, + j said...

Good stuff.

Suzi said...

yes. You are setting limits, and also helping her to regulate her emotions, which are very strong. You are are also helping her to develop a sense of self. All of these things happen in a compassionate interaction with mommy. You've got it!