Thursday, March 26, 2009

Swimming Lessons ... the fun

Doodle has weekly swimming lessons.
To say they are the bane of my existence is an understatement. I hate them. I hate the other mothers there who are rude and whisper about him when I am sitting right there.
I hate that no matter how hard he tries Doodle can't behave in the class. It's just TOO EXCITING to be in the pool bouncing around with other kids and it's really hard for him to behave.
Is he bad? No. But he's not angelic. So, I sit on the pool deck, and if his behaviour gets out of control I step in and deal with it. It works for me. It works for Doodle. It works for the teacher. The other parents not so much.
I hate that other parents think it's okay for their kids to throw buckets of water at the teacher, but criticize my kid for spitting.
I hate that another mother called my son a brat, and implied I wasn't watching him, doing my job, when in fact I was. I do.
Part of me is angry because it's unfair that my son struggles with something (behaviour) that other parents feel they can critique when I would never do the same to their kid. It makes me sad that they are so busy seeing what's wrong with my kid that they don't notice he's being kind to their kid, and in fact their kid wants to play with mine.
So much of the time I appreciate the kind things people say and do.
The fact that there's someone at our church, many people in fact, but one in particular, whom Doodle loves and listens to is incredible.
The fact that the other moms at school welcome me to stay at their kids' birthday parties so that I can take over if he gets too excited.
The fact that Doodle's teacher, and school resource team, do their very best to make sure Doodle thrives and fits in overwhelms me.
The fact that Doodle's doctor, naturopath & psychologist all have figured out ways to treat him while keeping him entertained, is incredible.
And, most of the time that's what I dwell on. We're so incredibly lucky to have family, friends, doctors and teachers who see the best in Doodle, who remind me that he is an amazing kid, and assure me that when we figure out how to help with with a few things he'll be even more amazing.
Most of the time that's what I remember.
But then there are days when all that positivity is shot down, by a mom who thinks my kid is a brat, who thinks that her kid is superior because he what? can handle a swimming lesson?
Those moms? I hate them.
I am not about to go announcing the fact that my kid has ADHD. It shouldn't matter to other parents.
And, I'm not for one second going to apologize for my child.
If he hits someone or is mean, then yes, I expect that he apologizes. But, I'm not going to apologize because he needs more attention, struggles to behave or, god forbid, tries to get a turn ahead of your kid. Who cares if he is first in line to swim with the teacher?
Quite honestly, I'm glad he's like that. He knows what he wants and so does everyone. I could take a lesson from him on assertiveness.
But, before you tell me how to discipline my kid, teach your own kid that if he grabs something out of another kid's hands there may be a reaction.
Case in point, last night when a little girl asked for a toy from Doodle he handed it over. When a boy grabbed a toy out of Doodle's hand he grabbed it back.
Why should I be critiqued? And, also. This is childhood. Stand back and let them solve the problem. If there's no danger involved, who cares in the end which one gets the toy? I don't.
And, you know what? When my child has a temper tantrum because swimming lessons are over, dirty looks shot at me are not effective. He's 4. I'm doing my best. And whether or not there is a reason for these temper tantrums, they happen. Here's a secret. The best way to stop a tantrum is not to get angry and frustrated. It's to stay calm and deal with it. That's what I do. Or at least that's what I try to do. So, if I'm showing empathy to my kid who still wants to be swimming that's my business. Not yours.
Sometimes parenting sucks. Apparently for me it sucks the most at swimming lessons.
I am so dreading next Wednesday night.


Kerry J. said...

Oh LD I'm so sorry!! I wish I was there to give you a {{{HUG}}} and that I was there to give them a piece of my mind! Doodle is amazing and you are an amazing mom and I'm so sorry that they made you both feel like you are not. Mean people just plain suck!!

SciFi Dad said...

Damn. You're a much better person than I am. I would almost certainly have said SOMETHING to those other parents.


Urban Daddy said...

Respect: Toss the bitchy mother into the water.

Turn to the rest of them, glare at them and ask, "Who'se next!".

Or... Key their cars. lol.

Steph said...

I'm with Urban Daddy on this one! We are soooo incredibly patient!

Steph said...

...oops...meant to say 'you' not 'we'. My fiance and I on the other hand are not incredibly patient with things!

citygirl said...

I would not be able to contain myself with the other parents. You have amazing strength to not lose it on THEM!

Badness Jones said...

Don't worry about those moms, all our kids, whether ADHD or not, have good days and bad. Most people are wonderful and get that, but there's an ass in every crowd. Hugs!