We had a really lovely weekend, the perfect mix of fun stuff and chill-out time. Saturday night, we had my cousin & her family (plus her parents, my aunt & uncle, who happen to be visiting) over for dinner, which was a ton of fun. I think it’s pretty rare that you can have two 3 year-olds and a 1 year-old in the same house for hours and not have any major tantrums or tears, so we’ll call that a raging success. (There was a slight issue at the end when Catie refused to help clean up & had to go sit in time-out, but still. Overall it was great.)
Then, Sunday happened.
First of all, it’s rare that we have a day with absolutely nothing on the agenda. So I decided ok, this is it, the time is now for us to work on Catie’s fear of the water. I told her that we were going to go swimming today. She said no, I said yes.
She said: “I can’t want to go anywhere, I just stay home all day.”
I said: Ok then, no TV all day.
She said: Fine.
Damn. I hate it when she calls my bluff.
I said: I know you’re scared of the pool, but I want to show you that it’s a lot of fun and not scary at all. And! If you come with me to the pool? I’ll let you have a cookie with your breakfast.
She said: No.
I said: How about a new toy as a prize for going swimming?
She said: No.
But you know what? This kid inherited her stubbornness from me. If she thinks she can out-stubborn me, she’s dead wrong. This is when I dug my heels in (and made Dave raise his eyebrows).
I said: Ok, that’s it, until you decide to put on your swimsuit and go to the pool? You can go sit in your room and not come out.
She said: Well, she said nothing. She lay on the floor of her bedroom for 20 minutes and didn’t make a peep. No tantrum, just silent refusal to cooperate. Child is STRONG. WILLED.
About to give up, I said: Ok, how about if you don’t go swimming, but you come to the pool and just put your feet in the water?
She said: Oh. Ok!
Finally! So, the 3 of us set off for the pool. We brought her floaty pirate ship, and a couple of plastic toys with us for good measure. And you know what? She did great. I mean, I didn’t expect much, I thought we’d be there for ten minutes and she’d be ready to leave, but she started playing with some other kids there who were close to her age, and she had fun. She wouldn’t go all the way in the water, but she made it to the second step where the water came up to her knees, and she sat on the top step and got her tush wet, so it’s something, right? It was certainly more than I thought she’d do. We were there for over an hour – long enough for me to realize too late that I had forgotten to put sunscreen on my shoulders. Oops. (Catie’s fine. Apparently I’m better at remembering to put sunscreen on her than I am with myself.) And she wouldn’t ride in her pirate boat, but she thought it was funny to put her toys in it and then push it “out to sea” – where either Dave or I would rescue it and push it back to her.
And as promised, after we got home and changed clothes, we went to the store to pick out a toy. She chose a Barbie doll, which has already been completely discarded because all Catie really wanted were the 3 plastic puppies that came with her. And no, she does not know that you can give the puppies real water and that it’ll make them “pee.” I’m not telling her that part. That is some additional mess that I do not need in my life.
Oh, and this entry is getting way too long as it is, but tomorrow? I have to tell y’all about my run-in with possibly the most obnoxious kid I’ve ever encountered IN MY LIFE. Stay tuned for that.