Friday, April 15, 2011

Swimming lessons, ballet lessons, life lessons

Yesterday Annika started swimming lessons and ballet lessons.  It wasn't my plan to have her in 2 different things on the same day, but it just sort of worked out that way.  Back in March, when it was time to register for lessons, I had just planned on putting her in swimming lessons.  She had done the "parent & me" swimming lessons twice, and I wanted her to move into the "real" lessons - the ones that you need to be 3 to start.  The classes started a week before her third birthday, but I hoped that they would be willing to make an exception for her.  They wouldn't.  No ifs ands or buts - there was no way I could register her for swimming until she was 3.  Couldn't even get her on the waiting list.  So I signed her up for ballet lessons, so that she would have some activity for the spring.

Fast forward to this week.  On Tuesday, the day before Annika turned 3, I checked the website and found that there was one spot in one class still available at the pool I wanted.  Perfect!  The only problem was that it was on the same day as her ballet class.  Swimming at 11, ballet at 6:45 - was it a recipe for disaster?  I decided to go for it, because I really wanted her in swimming lessons now before summer.  I couldn't take her out of the dance class, because we had already bought the shoes (for $25!) and I couldn't return them (and I didn't want to take the chance that she'd outgrow them if we only did ballet in fall instead). 

So yesterday was her first day for both classes (swimming had actually started the week before, so we missed one class).  I was so incredibly proud of her, in both of her classes.  In swimming, I was prepared to go in the water with her (since this was a transition class, parents were allowed in the pool if needed), however, the teacher recommended that she try it on her own first.  And she did great!  There were a few times when she seemed a bit uncertain, but she didn't cry or ask me to come in the water.  And she listened so well to her teacher.  Annika can be quite shy around new people or in new situations (or sometimes even around familiar people in familiar places), so I was unsure about how she'd react.  But she listened and tried to do everything the teacher asked.  I think it helped a lot that the teacher was a woman, and was very friendly and good with kids.

Then came ballet.  Now, first let me say that if you ever get the chance to watch a bunch of 3 year olds doing "ballet", do it!  It is by far the cutest thing you will ever see.  All the little girls were dressed up in ballet outfits, so I was quite glad that I had found one for Annika.  Again, during the lesson, I was almost bursting with pride at how well she was doing.  Not that she could do the moves perfectly or anything, but that she listened to the teacher and tried her best and interacted with the other girls.  There were a few girls that were quite shy and didn't want to participate, and I was a little worried that Annika would follow their lead, but she didn't.  There was also one time when another girl bumped into her while they were dancing, and knocked her down.  I was sure she was going to start crying and run to me, but she just picked herself up and kept on dancing - no big deal.

It's so awesome to see my little girl growing up and learning new things.  It doesn't matter if she doesn't become a pro swimmer or a prima ballerina - she's learning more than just physical skills in these classes, and that's what really counts.  She's learning social skills.  I guess that's what happens when you're 3. :)


Melissa said...

I love seeing the independence that just seems to explode at this age. I loved watching Sydney during swim lessons this year, and I honestly didn't care when she didn't pass either. I love that I was learning new things about my sweet child I think I know so well, and in turn I was learning things about myself to boot!

These moments are the best, moments of love and hearts swelling with pride.

She is delicious in that suit and the baby leggs!

Andrea said...

That is so awesome that she did so well in both! And I know full-well the pride that comes not only in your child listening to the teacher/instructor, but in watching the way they react (or don't react!) in situations that you thought would result in some negativity.

So fun watching our little ones grow up! She is so very cute!