Major mom faux pas. Yesterday at the pool, my daughter who swims regularly on a swim training team refused to swim. My generally sweet, good-natured seven-year old little girl had a complete melt-down right there at the pool. She insisted that she can’t breathe in the pool 50 times back and forth, and that when she swims across, the class is too hard for her. This reaction had come after having taken the class for four weeks without a peep about any difficulty.
My patience was short. I gave her a hard time about not taking the class, seeing that this is the last week. Our very public tug of war went on for a while. Finally, my friend turned to me and said, “Maybe she’s sick? I’ve never seen her act this way before.”
I thought about it. How many times had that happened to me in the past where it turned out exactly that? When my kids were young, they used to have episodes that were unlike any I had seen before. How did I react? I was mad. I blew my top. Inevitably, they’d wind up with sky-high fevers the next day. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office and feeling sick inside for having not seen an illness coming. It was a major faux pas on my part.
However, yesterday, this wasn’t the case. She was belligerent and just wanted to get her way. There was no fever this morning.
However, I feel somewhat compelled to tell any other moms with very young kids that next time your child throws a fit, and it seems out of the ordinary, take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. When you end up in the doctor’s office the next day, you’ll feel guilty.
Avoid the guilt – feel your child’s forehead next time. I promise you that five times out of ten, if the behavior is that atypical, something’s wrong.
If you have a chance to avoid the guilt, take it.