Kit for Kat!
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Tag: swimming with kids
Kit is a great swimmer for her 5 years of age but this age also has its moods – sometimes great and sometimes a true troublemaker. Kat on the other hand, is a serious swimmer who prides in doing laps and endurance swimming. What this means is that when I send the two swimming to the pool downstairs, some days are just perfect (mostly when I am watching them) or some days are miserable (mostly when our nanny is watching them) and Kit comes home crying or sulking with a vow to never go swimming with Kat again (a vow which is easily forgotten by the end of the minute!)
So, today when they came back with Kit howling at the top of her voice, I did not think it was anything different – till Kat explained the whole situation to me. Apparently, Kit was getting bored in the pool today as there was not enough space so she started splashing Kat and pulling on her bathing suit and generally causing her trouble. At this point the lifeguard beckoned Kit with her finger (!) and scolded her and warned her that she can never enter the pool again if she behaves this way. What way, may I ask? Kit knows when she is being scolded and does not take it well when she thinks she is not wrong (sometimes even when she is wrong) – so she started crying at which point the lifeguard scolded her again!
This same lifeguard was on the other hand allowing a little boy to take her rescue tube and play with it in the pool (bumping Kat several times with it when she was doing her laps) - now how professional is THAT!!
So first when Kit came home crying with Kat, I lost my cool – there is something about sobbing and the inability to make out anything what is being said that truly frustrates me. After I heard the story from Kat and our nanny, I called up the resident manager and explained the situation. Sadly the lifeguard had left for the day but she has promised to talk to her tomorrow and get back to me. She says the protocol is to explain to the parents first or the adult with the children and if that does not work, parents should be contacted – they are not allowed to scold children (5 years old?) directly- absolutely not their business!
Kat always likes to hear me fight for the right – she says it gives her confidence – so I guess something good did come out of this situation today.
Once all sorted I explained that everyone was in the wrong and no one can make that right. Kit was wrong for having acted in a way that prompted the lifeguard to get angry. Kat was wrong in having cut short her already short exercise routine and not having controlled the situation with Kit. Nanny was wrong in not having protected Kit when she was being scolded or interfered or called me. I was wrong (and surely crazy) for having trusted them all and sent them together believing everything was going to be OK!
Now that the anger is out of me, I have a severe migraine – all that blood rushing did me no good. Did it?
Maybe it is this lack of swimming instincts from my end (Papa does great!) but both of us are...er...very pushy parents when it comes to swimming for Kit Kat. This is one sport that is not taken lightly at our house (oh yes!). Kat has been a great swimmer and was in the swim team for some time but then she started ‘fearing’ the instructor (he was very very strict) and her twice a week lessons became a major challenge for us. Kat promised that she would swim in the pool downstairs as many times of the week as she could manage but she could no longer swim in THAT place with THAT instructor – she did stick to her promise for a long time but now with Middle School, even walking with the backpack on is a challenge (the new gym routine made her so achy in the first week – where has all the calcium and energy gone? – one can only wonder at the 3 months long summer vacation which has thrown everything and everyone out of sync)
Swimming, we believe is a great way to tone a body and has no bad effects on your bones etc. It’s a super way to keep fit especially now that Middle School for Kat has a great selection of lunch…
Little Kit started on her swimming as early as 6 months or so. First it was the “mother and baby” class where I went in the pool with her (it’s not deep at all so no lifeguard skills needed – yay!), followed by independent swimming in the teaching pool – she went through several unrecognizable names of classes until finally she completed Beginner 1 this summer. Well done Kit!
A huge step for Kit last week was her first Beginner 2 class in the BIG Olympic sized pool. Since her first exposure to structured swimming, Kit has always been in a warm, small sized pool. This was the first time she was in a class aged 5-8years (Kit is not 5 yet) and in a much cooler, big sized pool. I watched her with pride as she struggled to complete a length – she was running out of breath and her kickboard was going in all directions once she lost her strength but her determination was admirable. She carried on and never once gave up in the middle of her lap. She was swimming with big boys but that did not dampen her spirits at all…she was breathless after the 45mins class but was overjoyed to have achieved it. Parents are allowed to be on deck in the first class – after every lap, Kit would turn around and ask me if I was taking pictures and videos of her for Kat and Papa – I surely did and she proudly showed those off when she came home! Not sure if the determination will be the same this week or not but my gut feeling is that Kit has the will to go through it. As a parent it was a proud moment for me and I could not help but think of her as a little Kat who went through the same process few years ago – the resemblance was so striking.
These are little baby steps as Kit follows in her sister’s footsteps – every step is precious, challenging and unpredictable – sometimes Kit Kat push us along with them effortlessly, sometimes they struggle and so do we – but we have to keep on reminding ourselves that we will get there with love, patience, understanding and appreciation and that we WILL have all these skills one day, some day!
As for Kit, go Nemo go!!
It has been a never ending round of packing and unpacking suitcases this month (latest being the one we packed few days ago in case we had to rush downstairs when Irene struck)...all is getting back to normal now (sort of!)
Kat was actually sad to get out of the rental car (aka our mobile home) because she felt that it had been her home for the last 2 weeks (I don’t blame her – with all the snacking we did on the road, it did seem like ‘Mom’s kitchen’!) On the other hand, Kit was sad as the end of the road trip meant a stop to endless snacking (anytime, anything!) and the uninterrupted Backyardigan after Backyardigan episodes she watched on the iPad (courtesy Kat who had the brains to download these before we left).
Call me ‘weird’ (it’s actually trendy to be weird now!) but I will miss the constant running around and the checking in and out from so many hotels en route. However, the most I will miss is the bonding time Kit Kat had over this holiday; both with us and between themselves...cherished times!
One such display of sisterly love was when Kit Kat were floating on the tube (attached to our boat) at Lake Tahoe. Sunny sky, warm water and peace and quiet in the air – the only sounds we could hear were from Papa driving (so fast!) and all of us shouting in excitement.
After several rounds of duo floating together, Kit wanted to do one turn on her own (more so, because Kat had one!) – Papa and I agreed and Kit had a ball!! Beaming from ear to ear, she held on to the tube with all her strength and at some point, Papa got so excited that in the flow of it all, he suddenly accelerated – Kit caught on well but the other second, she lost her balance and fell into the 1000 ft (at some parts 1500ft I believe) deep lake.
Of course, Kit Kat had their life jackets on all the time but still the sight of a tiny Kit in the vast expanse of water was chilling. We reversed the boat right away and would have got there in a few seconds BUT Kat was already in the water – going to save her little Kit! There was a look of extreme alarm on Kit’s face when she fell but I could not miss her joy on seeing Kat swim up to her. Our expert swimmer made it to Kit before us in the boat and swam back with Kit. Since then, Kat has been the official lifeguard for Kit (rewarded with hugs and wet kisses from Kit much to Kat’s eww!‘)
Moments like this and I am truly convinced that no matter how much the sisters fight, there IS a special bond between them…most days, I am almost positive that given a chance, they could pull each other’s hair, teeth, clothes, books and everything apart!!
It’s interesting how a hotel with buffet breakfast can change its ratings (for Kit Kat) from a great hotel to THE BEST. (I saw a similar look in their eyes when we went on the Cruise last year and we saw all that food for the first time...) I think it’s not just the food but the way it’s laid out, easy access etc. When it comes to actual eating, there is so much confusion (especially with Kit dropping cutlery almost all the time, losing her napkin, fighting to make my tea endlessly) that in the end, the breakfast is not so successful!
When we went to the Crystal and Fantasy Caves, we were sceptical about how Kit would react to the tour, hundreds of steps and the darkness associated with it, combined with the excessive heat. As it happens, in situations like this I trust Papa more than myself (my school friends can vouch for my lack of balance!) so we began the journey with trepidation. Kat was great and once you tell her to go in a certain manner, she actually listens to you. Kit, on the other hand, does not and insisted on taking 2 steps at a time (my heart lietrally skipping a beat every time she did that). Once we made it down to the depths of the cave and while I was trying to look at the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites (also trying to figure out which was what), Kat was busy clicking pictures with her iPhone (I, simultaneously fearing that this was the last time I was seeing it before it was sacrificed to this beautiful island!). Papa was so busy listening to the tour guide that Kit found the perfect thing to do – in the quietness and serenity of these magical caves, she was on the lookout for mermaids! She kept asking us if we could see any and then she started pretending she could see one swim by – very soon we had several members of our tour playing along with her. Once someone told her, he had seen two mermaids behind that rock in the water – Kit was convinced forever! With 2 pee stops, endless steps, great photo shoot opportunities and the magical mermaid mystery, the caves were a big hit with the girls...
One thing I truly miss about Bermuda is the beach. On second thoughts, I think I miss it more because Kit and Kat miss it. I’m not such a great lover of excessive sun (I begin to itch especially on my hands and the sun induced migraines turn me into someone my family don’t seem to like!) but the play time with the girls on the beach is so much fun! Couple it with the pink sand beach of Horseshoe Bay and this became SUPER fun this year. This year would also be the official landmark year for Kit as it was in 2011 in Bermuda that Kit learned to play in the waves on her own. Of course, Papa and Kat were always around and near her (I was always behind!) but this was the time that Kit was not being held but was enjoying the waves on her own and OMG, the fun she had, it was written all over her smiley face! If it was not for the rip current and the rain, they could have stayed in the water all day – a true growing and glowing moment for Kit! Well done!
Back at home in NY…perfect finale to the trip were the July 4th fireworks that we watched from our room (one of the joys of being on a 40+ floor is that you don’t have to rush to the roof to get the best space anymore!) What an amazing job by Macy’s – those fireworks are great and Kit watched them wide-eyed this year (I think she was too sleepy last year)
Days well spent, sun well soaked and some great bonding time for the entire family – Goodbye Bermuda – we MISS you already!
P.S. Kat is SO happy we made it back home safe…the Bermuda Triangle was her biggest concern before we left and the hot item on her ‘to-do prayers’ every night!
While Kat and her cousin are so busy having gladiator fights (?) and playing cricket with kickboards and noodles (thank God this is a residential pool and most times we don’t have other swimmers), Kit is only worried about her newly bought Splash Bombs. She is my little mermaid and swims beautifully on her own now and considering she’s only 3.5 years she does a remarkable job. She even streamlines into the water from both sitting and standing position and if she has an audience on deck – what a performance we all are honoured with!
Coming back to the Splash Bombs, these water toys have been the best gift Papa could have bought for her. Kit is totally in love with them and they help with her swimming as she throws them all over the pool and then swims to collect them. If any child gets hold of them, she gets all possessive and then eventually shares but for the last week, each and every session in the pool has been all about these funny squishy shapes that Kit has with her in her little orange bag!
Yesterday the big and funny lifeguard on duty was playing with Kit by throwing these toys in the pool for her every now and then. In the beginning, Kit played along but after some time she got suspicious of him and came and whispered in my ear:
“Mummy, I think he wants my toys. Sorry but these are not for SALE.”
The way all indoor pools are built, Kit’s whisper did not really sound like one and everyone heard it and it came out really hilarious.
We all had a good laugh (Kit included) and after some more fun and play (more grumbling about the dripping all of us), we were back home – ready for another splash another day!