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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When They Finally 'Get It'

We had a couple of reasons to celebrate a little here this week. 

For those of you who have kids...you know that feeling you experience when your child just doesn't quite get something? For example, when a baby commando crawls, and just when you think he'll never get up on his knees and you're just minutes away from strapping a cleaning cloth on his front - I mean, you may as well get some use out of this and finally clean those floors that have been making him so dirty - and suddenly up he goes. He's on his knees.

Well, we had a couple of those moments this week.

On Saturday, the 9yr old went to his friend's birthday party. It was held at an indoor rock climbing centre. We've been to the same centre a few times with the kids ourselves. In fact, we were there to have a mini-birthday party for our 7yr old back in February. (By mini, I mean the kids, Hubby and I.)

The 9yr old has never really been a risk taker. It's difficult for us to convince him to challenge himself, and when we were last at the centre he would only climb the walls about half way up. On a large ladder that reaches the ceiling, he did manage to push himself to climb to the top of it - twice - but once there, he refused to jump from it - even after reassurances by one of the employees he most definitely would not hit a wall opposite the ladder (the 9yr old's fear), and instead he chose to climb down about ten to fifteen steps before finally letting go. We knew it was hard for him watching his younger brother act like a monkey and just climb the wall with ease.

Well...on Saturday, although I wasn't there, Hubby assures me it was like a new child climbing those walls. He was climbing to the top - and without hesitation - and this time he jumped freely from the ladder without having to move down any steps. Amazing! I'm guessing being surrounded by his peers may have had something to do with his new found confidence, but whatever it is...we're over the moon for him. He came home from that party happy with a sense of achievement, and that's what we want for our kids.

Yesterday, on our way to the 4yr old's swimming lesson, I once again thought about the fact that we've been doing the same lesson, week in week out for over a year now. Although, initially, he got off to a good start, there was that one teacher who put his progress back a number of paces, and since then he hasn't really improved much at all. The same old thing was occurring each week: he'd put his head down in to the water for a few seconds, but refused to try and swim unassisted.

As I pulled in to park at the swim centre, I considered pulling him out by the end of the month. I figured we could just start up again when he started school next year. Until then, Hubby could continue to take him to the pool on weekends, and perhaps I could do a swim with him during the week?

As I sat flicking through a magazine (something I've never done before at the pool, actually) glancing up occasionally to see how he was going, I was surprised to see my son SWIMMING. Like, head down and dog paddling his way through the water for a really good distance...without his teacher holding him. I sat mesmerized, expecting that at any moment he'd change his mind and refuse to swim another inch, but he just kept going. I was ecstatic, and I praised him afterwards like you wouldn't believe - after taking video footage as evidence to show Hubby.

So take heart. If you think you're child's never going to 'get' something...you may be surprised. Today, tomorrow...soon. It'll happen.

Now, if I could just get the 4yr old to eat some solid pieces of fruit...

Do you have kids? Have they taken longer than others to 'get' something?

Image: We Heart It


Kellie said...

I really relate to this. Only yesterday I was bragging on Facebook about how our little six-month-old daughter finally ``sat'' all by herself! The difference between her and her older sister Ella (now three) is it took ages for Ella to ``get'' things, whereas Baby Holly is ploughing through the development milestones - and before I'm really ready for it! It will be interesting to see if this continues.
Big congrats to your brood on their achievements!! I know how proud you must be. :)

AlyceB said...

Haha, like sleeping through?! That took Jonathan 10+ months.

Corinne – Daze of My Life said...

I'm still waiting for my 4yo to start swimming. I'm completely ready to pull her from lessons. For 1.5 years I've sat and watched her not swim. I hope she 'gets' it one day soon.

Melinda @ Here We Go Loopy Lou said...

I completely understand this! My eldest son (5) is the same. He will plod along and one day it all clicks and he never looks back. Swimming in particular. I am hoping the same will apply with new foods very soon!!!! My 3 year old son just does things, no fear! My 12 month old son is shaping up to be a mix of the older 2, thinks about things first but does them! How they are all so different!

Kellie said...

Yep, yep, yep. The swimming in particular! My daughter has been in lessons since she was 1 (she's now 3) and Im STILL waiting for them to let her float on her own. They dont let her, so she's developed a fear of being on her own. I dont want her to have to rely on floaties, but I need her to 'get it'! I myself have a fear of the water and I dont want her to have that. Gah.
And I was waiting almost 8 months for her to 'get' doing number two's on the toilet but we've had a break through! She used to hold it in for days but lately she's just been going, sometimes 3 times a day haha.
Great post!

Dorothy said...

It's a great feeling, isn't it? I felt the same when my boys finally swam independently after months and years of swimming lessons with no progress. And then, my nearly 5yo, finally started to poo in the toilet! No more nappies!!! Yay!!!

Now to teach my 8yo to ride a bike without training wheels... sigh.... Maybe he can learn how to climb first?

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Maxabella said...

They always get there in the end. What a week you've had (or at least the kids have had and then you can bask in their glory as if it was your own 'cos that's what we lucky parents get to do!!) x

MaidInAustralia said...

Oh yeah, all the time. And it's so exciting when they do get it. I remember when my son finally mastered reading - and he know reads beyond his class even though he lagged behind for years. And he said: 'You're right Mum, you said that one day I'd get it, and everything would be much easier, and it is! I just had to keep trying.'
Best feedback I've ever been given from anyone I think.
We all have little challenges and fears that defeat us for a while ... so imagine how much more daunting it is for a kid. They are awesome!

River said...

Have you tried your 4 year old with frozen pieces of fruit? just like an iceblock...

cat said...

Oh yes, our daughter just "got" all things water in December.

Doodah said...

At my daughter's Kindy, they did the usual tests and decided that because she couldn't hop, there may be something wrong with her.
She was still 3! And frankly, it hadn't occurred to me to teach her to hop!
She turns 5 tomorrow and is now skipping all over the place (finally) and she's damn good at it! So proud :)