formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

There's One In Every Group...

The other day I told you about Nick, my newly appointed ‘Assistant Coach.’ Today I’m going to tell you about Alex, the child I will drown before the end of the summer.

Alex was my pain-in-the-ass-success-story last summer. He was the kid who refused, for nearly a week, to even put his feet in the pool. He’s tiny for his age and scared of pretty much everything, including the water, so in order to get his butt off the pool deck, I had to promise him I’d only hold him for 10 seconds in the water before returning him to the safety of the concrete. Of course, it took me 30+ seconds to walk 20 feet into the pool, 10 seconds to stand there, and 30+ seconds to walk back to the side. When he realized he’d been in the water for more than a minute without dying, he was shocked. And thus went our summer… me misleading him and Alex being amazed by what he could do. It was very rewarding at times and very frustrating at others. Everything I told him to try was met with, “I can’t.” To top it off, his mother and grandmother (who has a voice like fingernails on a chalkboard) are hoverers (which is probably why he’s scared of everything, poor kid). I don’t like hoverers. They make me nuts. I used to take him to the middle of the pool to work with him, just so we couldn’t hear them. Additionally, Alex has zero attention span and simply does not listen (probably because he's used to tuning out adults like The Hoverers). As I said, a pain in my ass. But, by the end of the summer I had him in the water without his floaties and at least trying to doggie paddle. He never quite got it, but he was a million miles from where he started. And it was good.

He’s back in my group this summer since he still can’t swim. In his honor, I implemented a rule for all my Little Sinkers. No one is allowed to say, “I can’t.” We can only say, “I can,” or “I’ll try.” They all get it… even Alex (of course, I threaten to feed them to the fishes if I hear the dreaded ‘c’ word… they giggle, but their eyes get big and they wonder…).

So Alex came up with a new line…

I don’t want to.

Grrrrrr.

So I implemented yet another rule. No one can say, “I don’t want to.” I told them they have to try and if they’re afraid to do something new, they can tell me and we’ll figure it out.

Last night… it was Alex’s turn to blow bubbles in the water through his nose…

Me: OK, Alex, just put your face in up to your nose and blow out! Easy peasy!

Alex: “I don’t feel like it.

Me: ...

Little shit.

21 comments:

Stu Pidasso said...

ohhhhh my, but I know the feeling. A private talk with the parents might help. When they see how Alex treats you they may just do something about it.....just resist the urge to hold his head under water, girl, resist, resist, resist.

Good luck.

Heather said...

I would advise you NOT to drown him... especially since you've plainly (and publicly) noted your intent. I think the you'd have a hard time defending your innoncence in court. :)
Haha... sorry. I know it's gotta be frustrating (especially with the Hoverers), but don't you find it just a little funny? No? Not a bit, huh? Oh well...
Good luck!!

lisa said...

This kid is a great manipulater. My suggestion is that you don't make him do anything. But he has to still be in the water holding onto the side. Give him no attention. He'll get bored and come around. Tell the Mom your plan as well and ask for other suggestions. Bribery works, too.

Lemmy Caution said...

I’m going to tell you about Alex, the child I will drown before the end of the summer.
.

That was hysterical. Almost launced coffee out of my nose onto the screen. Good stuff.

Remember....underwater, nobody can hear the screams. lol

Tabitha@ichoosebliss said...

LMAO!!!!!
Don't do it!!!!!

only a movie said...

Oh man... you're awesome. I'm an expert in kids who say *don't want to*, and I couldn't imagine dealing with them in water!!

:-)

Amy McMean a.k.a McSunshine said...

WOW this kid is a tad much.

Mel said...

This made me think of Maureen and what she used to tell her children when they would say they didn't want to do something. She would say: You don't have to want to do it. Just do it.

sherri said...

Or you could say, "Okay then, I will HOLD your face under the water until you blow out!"
Bet he'd at least try!

My hat goes off to you.

My kids all took lessons and learned to swim very quickly. My youngest was afraid to put his face under, but quickly tried it.

I remember the hoverers being there too. They must have moved to Pigsnuckle!

mo.stoneskin said...

Every time I have a bath I realize I've been in the water for more than a minute without dying. It fills life with a constant sinusoidal experience of anxiety and sweet, sweet relief.

Amy McMean a.k.a McSunshine said...

you were number 11 on my list.

Michelle said...

snort!

Chris said...

Quitters suck. Maybe you should just dunk him under water and when he begs you to stop, just say, "I don't want to."

It'll teach him the lesson, or he'll drown. Either way, problem solved.

Sam_I_am said...

I have a Girl Scout who does that to me and I tell her "fine, if you don't want to then sit there quietly while everyone else does it." Not long, here she comes to do it ;-)

Comedy Goddess said...

Hate to say it, but it sounds like he's your Waterloo! ~wink~

Lisa said...

alex....huh..........yep, every group has one, poor you xx

Michelle said...

Alex is going to come up with a different I don't wanna every single time!! He is that good!!!

HAHA!!

Sometimes Sophia said...

He sounds like a thoughtful kid. Maybe you should ask what he wants to be when he grows up. If college is in his plans, it's possible he'll have to pass a swimming test before he can graduate. Ask him where he sees himself in 20 years... still in the pool with the babies learning how to blow bubbles? Maybe you should just hit him in the nose with your elbow by accident...

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Just wop him on the head with that long 'assisting pole' thing most coaches seem to have... I think he deserves it! ;) xox

blognut said...

Is this the kid that I wanted to throw in the deep end after the first swimming lesson story? I think it is - so you've already done enough - go ahead and toss him in the deep end.

But you have to give him credit, too. He may be a little shit, but he sounds like a smart little shit. Those are the best kind to drown, too.

LMN said...

yes.... hard to stay a step ahead of those little guys. clever, aren't they? well, if your lesson ever gets through to him (not saying "I can't" or "I won't" or "I don't want to"), it could change his life.

Unless you feed him to the fishies first. Good luck with that one!!!