Abby has a love/hate thing with water. She had her first swim class of the season this morning, and I’m her buddy for our aquatic adventures, so that translated into me becoming a post onto which she hysterically clung for the first twenty minutes in the pool.
There are still nail marks in my neck and I can’t hear in my right ear.
To make it worse, Abby was the only one screaming her face off. That made me that parent, the one that other parents hate because their howling kid is drowning out “The Wheels on the Bus.” And I’m in a pool, so I can’t just carry Abby out to calm her down, and neither can I just dunk her quickly under to snap her out of it (tried it, doesn’t work), leaving me with no option but to grit me teeth and mentally commiserate with howler monkey parents on rainy days.
Abby only stopped screaming, finally, for the last 5 minutes of the class, when the kids got to walk around in the pool and play with toys. I gently played her out to the end of my reach until she was able to tentatively push around a toy boat on her own, but if I made any move to get further away she quickly descended back into panic mode.
I may also have tried to get her to blow bubbles in the water without fully demonstrating how to do it. The end result of that was that Abby’s sinuses and lungs got a good flushing-out with highly chlorinated water, which I have chosen to view as a preventative measure against bacterial infection.
In the end, Abby left the pool happy and excited about her next class. I don’t understand how she reached that conclusion, but neither will I dispute it with her, as this is the first time in a good while where her significant disconnect with reality is working in my favour.