Remember how as recently as two weeks ago The Big Fella was improving at swimming lessons? Well, not this week. He spends the entire lesson looking at me, instead of the instructor, and repeating “Can we go to Top Ryde now?” He means the shopping centre, to get donuts.
After 20 minutes of only barely cooperating, The Big Fella loses it completely and starts crying. The instructor takes the group up the other end of the pool, but there is no consoling him. “I don’t want swimming lessons,” he cries.
I join him at the other end of the pool. I feel the eyes of every parent on me. I imagine they're thinking I’m a clueless dad who doesn’t know how to control his kids. But I guess on reflection most of them are probably thinking ‘poor bastard’ or ‘I’m glad it’s not me’.
The Big Fella is now on his hands and knees beside the pool. “I don’t want swimming lessons,” he cries over and over.
I look hopefully at the instructor for ideas. “This is why we have a separate class for two-year-olds,” she says.
I feel like asking ‘yes, but why is my two-year-old the only one going bonkers?’
Actually, he’s not going bonkers and I don’t think this is a standard two-year-old tantrum. He actually sounds quite sad, like he really means it.
I put on a brave face as we walk away from the pool, but I am feeling sad too.