Tuesday, 3 March 2009


So my son has been taking swimming lessons. I don't think there's anything better in the world he likes to do. Despite being a very shy soul, as soon as he starts his lessons and gets in the water, he has a huge smile on his face. He just finished Level 2. Unfortunately, he didn't pass. This was on Saturday. He was supposed to stick around poolside and wait to hear the instructor's comments, but he just walked away, so I got to be the lucky person to tell him he can't go on to Level 3. When he and JR came out of the change room, I explained he needed to repeat Level 2 to get his endurance up and he really needs to push his torso up when he swims - he does look like he's always sinking - he's more a vertical swimmer. I asked if he wanted to be enrolled again for Level 2 and he nodded yes. I had the feeling the news didn't sink in, but I left his name and our number for the next course in 2 weeks.

This morning reality kicked in. He cried. He cried a lot. I told him he shouldn't give up because he enjoys swimming. He insisted on going on to Level 3. Had to explain to him that he was held back for his own good - if the instructor let him pass as is, he wouldn't feel safe, and if he's afraid then he may develop a fear of swimming. He didn't want to listen. He wanted to give up entirely. I understand when a child (or even an adult) doesn't pass something, it's hard to take. But why give up on something that you truly love? I'm willing to pay for another session in hopes that he will improve. If he doesn't, well I guess swimming isn't his forté and we'll just leave it at that.

One thing that concerns me is he used his legs as an excuse. He has constantly complained about his legs being too sore - many times to the point where he has been in absolute tears and misery (but he didn't complain after swimming). A couple of years ago, our doctor checked him out then referred us to a specialist at the Shriner's hospital in Montreal (the place is so clean you could eat a meal off the floor). He looked at me like I was crazy, even though our doctor thought there might be something more to it than growing pains - he said there was nothing wrong with him. He agreed that it could just be growing pains. I'm beginning to wonder if I need to take him back to the doctor.

Now I have to question if sports camp is really a good idea for him this summer. The past two summers haven't been a great time for him at day camp. The first year, we enrolled him at the beach because it was really close by, and we thought it would be fun for him. He was burnt quite bad the first day. The counsellors forgot to slather sun screen on 3 children that first afternoon. I had to take a few days off work to stay with Francis, who was in pretty bad shape, and he informed me the counsellors didn't make flotation devices mandatory while in the water, even the deep area. We were pissed. So he went to the one located at his school - so much for a break from school. Last summer we went back to the day camp at school and he was bullied pretty much the whole time he was there. He really wants to go to sports camp because one day last summer there were some Olympic-themed games there and he had a blast. I think it's a good idea from the viewpoint that the kids may not have enough leisure time to devise ways to bully and spit (yes, spit) on the younger kids, or they'll at least have less time to do it in. He'll be devastated if he has to go back to the school.  I don't have much faith in Anim'Action now - if the bullying can't be controlled at one camp, can it be controlled at another? There is a sports camp at the college near where I work. I'm hoping it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, because I really can't afford much more than the Anim'action fee here in town.

Of course, all this had to happen while I made him do his French dictée corrections. Yeah, I'm a bitch - it's March Break and I'm making my son do homework. If he did his corrections when he was supposed to, he wouldn't be in this predicament. Plus, he's failing French. He's quite capable of applying himself and getting a better grade, he just doesn't want to. He hates French. This is not a good attitude to have while you live in a 90%+ francophone society. I don't know how to turn this around for him. I have offered bribes, but that only worked for one week.

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