Parents keep track of all kinds of milestones with their children. First steps, first words, first tooth coming in, first tooth loss and any number of others. Those are interesting because they are finite. Learning to read is less finite and one recognizes letters and then recognizes sight words and then reads short sentences. Piano is very similar. You recognize a key, then multiple keys and then play with one hand and then with both.
Bicycling is an interesting one, because there is a finite moment when the training wheels come off. However there are self induced crashes long after balance is initially achieved.
I took the girls swimming this past weekend at Lake Arbor pool in Arvada. I read a book from the deck while they splashed around for the first half hour we were there. Then they cajoled me into getting in the water. I enjoy playing with them, but part of me always wants to challenge them a little bit. They have been taking swim lessons on and off, but don’t really have the hang of it.
After playing around a little bit we did some floating exercises and then freestyle arm strokes and backstroke. The kick board is always their confidence builder so we spent some time kicking also. Finally I got the idea to have them push off the wall towards me and take some arm strokes. This was not without issue, but they did get their heads under and pull their arms through until either I caught them or they put their feet down. I was most impressed by their poise in the water and willingness to try something new.
There have been times when the two of them were not best suited to be participating in activities at the same time. They would most often distract each other and alter the activity into a game that did not develop skills. However, lately the girls have been challenging each other. If one can do a handstand, the other wants to try. It is kind of exciting to watch, but at the same time the line between healthy an unhealthy competition is a fine one. A person’s self esteem and sense of self can quickly change by seeming trivial situations.