Saturday, July 16, 2011

New milestones

Chloe has met some neat milestones as of late, so don't mind me while I brag for a few minutes. 

First, she is swimming entirely on her own!  She was right on the verge when she finished swim lessons last month (which I still need to blog about), but she got it for good on July 1st when some friends came over for a little swimming/lunch date.  I think her desire to show off for them is what ultimately pushed her to that final step of trusting the same skills she'd been practicing in the shallow end, now in the deep end.  I remember watching her jump off the diving board with no floating device and then successfully swimming to the edge, then getting out of the pool and doing it again like it was nothing.  Initially I wasn't so sure, but I quickly realized that she really did have it down. 

{It was quite a group - no wonder she felt the need to impress!  From left to right: Brooklyn, Dylen, Chloe, Nikell, Max, Taylor, & Ryan}

Chloe is passionate about swimming.  To say she loves it would be an understatement.  She must get it from her daddy, who swam in high school, loved it, and still loves it to this day. Since the first day of summer, Chloe has only missed a few days out of the pool.  Even this week, while it's cooled down, she's still jumped in the water with no hesitation.  The high 70s pool temp hasn't even phased her.  Brr!!

{June 2011 - Swim lessons at Ripon High School}

Chloe also ditched her training wheels this week!  This has been quite the battle, and I think it goes without saying that Neil and I are relieved it is over.  Back in May Neil raised her training wheels, which did not go over well with Chloe.  She was comfortable with where they were and didn't see the purpose in learning to ride without them.  We had to practice some serious tough love to get her where she is now, but it paid off.  She resisted big time, and actually didn't even touch her bike for three solid weeks.  But last week she showed renewed interest and determination.  Neil took her training wheels off all together last weekend, and held onto her bike while she practiced riding it.  Then they went back outside Wednesday afternoon and within a matter of minutes she was riding entirely on her own.  At one point I heard her say, "I can't believe I'm really doing it!  I feel so good!"  We were proud watching her, and I'm happy, for every one's sake, that this is behind us.  Since Wednesday, we've taken two bike rides as a family, and this morning I pushed Ryan in the jogging stroller during my run while Chloe rode beside me.  Since then she's probably asked me sixteen times when we can go on another bike ride.  She's hooked!  It's pretty neat watching her expression as she rides.  She's still genuinely astonished by her new skill, and proud, too, which she ought to be!  It's a huge accomplishment!  I think it will also provide great teaching opportunities in the future when Neil and I talk with her about overcoming fears and accomplishing goals, even when they seem near impossible as riding her bike with no training wheels did for so long.

{Taken on the 13th.  Neil followed closely behind until Chloe politely requested that he back away.  He happily obliged.}

So between all the swimming and bike riding Chloe has filled her time with this summer, she's also been counting down the days until kindergarten begins.  Today's count: 25.  Twenty five days!!  That's all I have left with my little girl until she's gone all day long, five days a week!  We received a welcome letter last month from the school she'll be attending.  And I'll openly admit that I got choked up opening the envelope. 

It's incredible to me that we're entering this new stage of life. I've been preparing myself for a good year, but now that's it's only a short three and a half weeks away, I'm beginning to feel that mother's apprehension people speak of. Chloe is ready for kindergarten, there's no doubt about it. She thrives on structure, learning opportunities and socialization. She also needs it, I'm afraid.  Not just the predictable schedule, but learning to take orders graciously from other adults, shrug things off and not get so upset, practice patience, and see the consequences of her actions and attitude in a setting outside of home.  Chloe can be overly sensitive and dramatic about insignificant things, and can still throw a pretty impressive tantrum.  In fact, I wrote about two (fairly) recent instances, which I'll share in another post soon.  Chloe is also a negotiator, but she can be reasoned with, and is more than willing to cooperate when a favorable proposition is placed before her.  She practices good behavior beautifully when she knows there's a reward to be earned.  But while it's important to be recognized and rewarded, Neil and I are also trying to teach her that there isn't always going to be a pat on the back for every good choice she makes.  Of course it's crucial, especially at this age, for us to boost her confidence, build her self esteem, and help her see her worth, but she also needs to learn satisfaction from simply knowing in her heart that she's done a good thing, and not having to depend every single time on the recognition of others.  Also, sometimes we just do the right thing because it's the right thing to do, whether someone else sees it or not.

August 10th is the day!


Rebekah said...

wow!!! hard to believe! paige is headed for kindergarten as well this year and we start aug. 8. it's been a fast 5 years that's for sure! can't wait to hear all about her first day!

Wendy said...

Wow ~ way to go, Chloe!! That's all very impressive! I can't believe she starts school on Aug. 10th. We don't start until Aug. 31st. It's a bit crazy to think our kiddos are actually going to kindergarten this year!

Twinkies said...

Wow she really is getting bigger. I'm so jealous she gets to go to all day kindergarten. Lucky mom.