Manly and I had a good teaching moment as parents. We learned something about ourselves and humanity. And about what not to do next time….
It was freezing cold outside so we thought it’d be fun to swim at the hotel pool where Nana & Papa were staying, and Everley talks about her memories of the beach often. Win Win right? Not exactly…
Thinking that she was excited about jumping in the pool with Mama & Daddy, we did just that- we jumped in! And to her dismay, the water was kind of chilly. So we sang a song and did a dance to make things exciting 😀 Bad idea. Being wound up in the positive just got her more wound up in the negative. Manly finally lifted her out of the pool because she seemed truly frightened of being in the pool. What did that result in? A sopping wet, bedraggled toddler screaming in agony that she didn’t want to be in the water or away from her daddy.
It was a rather sad situation. Part of the time I was nursing the baby and unable to help my husband and my daughter make a gradual adjustment into a new situation. My husband, especially, felt he was traversing new parenting waters-“What do I do or say next??”
I explained to him later that one decision from the parents – to swim in the pool- had resulted in a rippling effect for our toddler. She was first reticent which then became disillusionment that turned into fear which led to feeling abandoned.
How often does that happen to us? Or to someone we know? We think it might be a good idea to try something new, but then we find out we don’t like it, and the more we don’t like it the more frightened we become, and then when someone doesn’t understand our fear we feel alone and hurt and abandoned. You know what I mean?
In the future, Manly and I intend to be aware of what our daughter is experiencing and why she’s experiencing it that way; we also intend be more sensitive to how someone feels abandoned in a situation. Our counselor has helped us recognize that particular cause & effect in the dynamics of our marriage many many times before. Interesting how we have to tend to one another in relationships, isn’t it? Whether it be with our spouse or our children.
Despite how it looks in the above picture, she actually decided all on her own that she wanted to try getting in the pool one more time with Mama 😉
In the end, it was a Win Win 👍