The big change seems to have happened on the day of her very first swimming lesson. The lesson itself was great! She had a blast in the pool and was so brave it scared me. All of the other children were holding onto their parents for dear life while my child was trying to pry loose from my arms. I think she thought she would be able to swim on her own but I had to convince her that she needed to hold onto Mommy while in the pool. This kid loves the water!
What Olivia could not understand is why the lesson had to come to an end. When it was time to get out of the pool she began to throw a fit like I have never seen before. I could hardly hold onto her and she was crying hysterically. I tried everything I could to calm her but nothing worked. She got so angry that she hit me! I was in shock! I have seen her hit the floor and her toys in frustration but this was the first time that she hit me in anger. After explaining to her that hitting Mommy is unacceptable she cried even harder. Needless to say I rushed her into the locker room and got us both changed so we could get the heck out of there! It was a nightmare!
We spent the rest of the weekend and this past week trying to help Olivia work through her frustrations (without hitting!). It was frustrating for me because I have never seen her act this way before and I was unsure exactly how to handle these situations. After speaking with a few people, including the director of the Montessori school she will be attending in the fall, I received some very helpful suggestions. I was made aware of the fact that Olivia is finally starting to realize that she is a separate being from me. She has her own emotions, likes and dislikes. With that change comes the change in her behavior. I now know how to talk to her when she is having a tantrum and certain things to do to avoid tantrums all together. Even in the past few days I have noticed a change.
Because Olivia enjoys every little life experience to the fullest she has a hard time dealing with those activities coming to an end. The biggest trouble we have with her is when we have to stop doing something she is enjoying, like coming indoors after playing in the yard or leaving the pool when the swimming lesson is over. I was told that it is important to give her advance warning that these activities will soon be ending and let her know what to expect next. The tantrums occur when we abruptly stop doing something. It makes sense and I can understand why she would get upset. It is my job to help her deal with the fact that good things must come to an end.
And then there were the monkeys. They were super active that day...chasing each other around and even taking time for a little hanky-panky (I covered Olivia's eyes for that part).As she watched them from the sidelines she shouted over and over again, "Hi Monkeys!". I think she wanted to jump in there and run around with them! Just listen to her laugh...
So I guess the hardest part of this past week has been to face the fact that my little girl is growing up. The growing pains that she is experiencing are just normal changes in becoming a more self sufficient human being. It is Todd's and my job, as parents to help her though this tough time. So while Olivia is starting to learn how to handle disappointment and her frustrations, we are learning how to deal with the fact that our baby is now a little girl! I better buckle up cause it may be a bumpy ride!