My Quest for Happiness…Day 2 #100DaysOfGratitude #YMCCommunity

This morning our daughter’s Kindergarten class had their first session of ice skating…

While we were waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, little miss had a meltdown. She kept saying that she couldn’t skate and didn’t want to go. I got her into her snow gear and all laced up while she protested the entire time. We walked to the ice, she stepped on, and began to cry. Right away, her teacher saw that she was upset, so she came to her aid.

Superstar Teacher

We want our daughter to learn independence and gain confidence in her own abilities, so we encourage her to try things out on her own first. She had taken prior skating lessons, so she wasn’t a stranger to what was involved. Just like riding a bike, it eventually came back to her. Even a couple of boys from her class came to her rescue and showed her how to skate. Chivalry is still alive and well in our world.

Chivalry

The little dude started to get restless, so I sat him in his stroller. He wasn’t too thrilled about this new arrangement. After a few minutes of his meltdown, Ms. Superstar Kindy teacher, comes and suggests that perhaps I’d like to go on the ice with Captain Get-me-out-of-my-stroller. I inquire at the Skate Shop, and sure enough, we are allowed to go on the ice with the stroller. We just needed helmets and I required a pair of ice cleats.

To our daughter’s surprise, me and Stroller King step onto the ice and join the Ice Princess in a family skate. By now her confidence has increased, Mr. Dude is being entertained and we are having a great time.

Mom & Dude

When our session is over, we head out to the Skate Shop and gear down. Little Miss is now bummed that it’s time to go, but I reassure her that it won’t be the last time we go skating and congratulate her on overcoming her initial fear and for doing such a fantastic job.

So today’s gratitude is:

1) I am grateful for our daughter’s Kindergarten teacher.

*she showed compassion and helped encourage our daughter to trust her abilities in herself. She also, helped me be a part of our daughter’s learning experience by suggesting getting on the ice with the stroller and our son.

2) I am grateful for ice cleats.

*I am a horrible skater, so these fantastic articles of footwear kept me upright instead of being a flailing mess that I’m certain, twenty Kindergarteners would get a kick out of.

3) I am grateful for umbrella strollers.

*this allowed me and our son to enjoy a family moment with our daughter! instead of having to watch from the bleachers.

 

Taking the kids swimming solo should be considered an Olympic sport! #YMCCommunity

Our 4 year old daughter is currently enrolled in her second round of swim lessons where she is doing it all on her own. I mean, sans Mom & Dad.

Swim lessons

I decided that it would be a good idea to have her do them on the mornings that she’s not in preschool because she’s at the age where she needs to be doing something active, daily or she turns into a pre-pubescent teenager with her dramatic outbursts and irrational behaviour.

While she’s in her class, our 18 month old son and I paddle around the pool and splash away, burning off some of his surplus energy in hopes of an epic afternoon nap for him. This usually works out very well and our daughter and I get to spend a few hours in the afternoon doing stuff together like colouring, her homework from preschool, cooking or baking. She loves this, because now she gets me all to herself and I’m relieved of the refereeing duty of keeping our spawn from tearing each other’s heads off or destroying more of the house.

So after swim class, neither kid is ready to get out of the pool. And of course they want to go off in different directions. With the “Arms reach under 7” Rule, this makes Mommy swimming solo with the mites a challenging venture. We grab a floaty pad, not a floating maxi pad, but a foam “sheet” that both kids fit on, that doesn’t sink under their combined weight, and head over to the “river” and quickly float on down. Then a quick detour through the waterfalls and bubbles before heading back to the shallow end where Little Dude does a belly flop into the water. A couple minutes in the wading bubble pool and Mr. Man decides he’d like to go for a walk run around the pool deck, prompting a hasty retreat from the pool area into the change room. Not before said micro man throws an epic spazz and protests being strapped into the stroller that we’ve parked along poolside.

Fighting the stroller
Screaming all the way to the change room, one imitating a 2×4 in the stroller and the other stomping and pouting, we manage to find an available shower cubicle. I park the stroller inside and tell our 4 year old to stand guard as I grab our things from the locker right across the way.

As my back is turned, Little Miss Awesome, closes the door and locks it. I load up my arms with all our stuff, turn around and smack right into the door, dropping everything onto the soaking wet floor that has little bits of grossness swimming about. Through my teeth, I growl for her to open the door and by using that tone, she knows that if it’s not opened immediately, the afternoon is going to turn out very badly for her.

Once inside, swimsuits are stripped off, shampoo is applied and I allow the princess to do the rinsing of her and her brother as I quickly get dressed. Bad decision, ’cause immediately, water is being sprayed everywhere getting all our stuff wet yet again. Hilarity ensues and the kids are having a ball. I manage to get everyone dressed and the wee lad returns to his backwards arch as I try to get him back in the stroller. Jeez Louise! I pick him up, throw the pool bag into the stroller, turf the swim diaper in the bin and head to the van. Our daughter is being more helpful now, but insists that SHE open all the doors en route and throws a hissy fit when a gentleman holds the door open for us because she wanted to do it.

I just keep walking. At this point, I’m beyond nuclear meltdown and just have to get everyone into the van before I lose my cool.
We arrive at the van, I let the diva unlock the doors, but Grumplesaurus Rex will not sit in his seat!

I hate my car seat

Photo credit : Illustrated with Crappy Pictures™

Patience, don’t fail me now!

I wait for him to break his concentration and when he finally does, I get the buckles clicked. Touchdown!

The 10 minute drive home was filled with an awesome aria of screaming from the boy and the yelling from our daughter to “Be quiet!”

I couldn’t get home fast enough, but safely drove the posted speed limit, of course.

Have you attempted to take the little ones swimming on your own? What are your tricks to make it a fun and stress-free adventure?