I had a really challenging special-needs mom experience today. I was really excited for G to have his first swim lessons. But the class sucks. I mean, it flat out sucks. There are two teenage lifeguards assigned to a group of 12 preschoolers– three of whom spent the entire 40 minutes in hysterics because they didn’t want to go in the water. At one point, one teacher left to bring a child to the bathroom. It’s far away, and they were gone for 15 minutes (almost half the lesson). So, the other teacher tries to coax the crying children into the water, leaving the other eight kids wandering around in the water with their noodles. I found myself feeling sad, angry and conflicted over the situation. To begin with, it was completely unsafe to have all those kids unsupervised in the water. So, I was angry that the class was understaffed. But it made me very sad to see G looking so lost. I think if the same thing had happened to S when she was that age, I would feel angry about it, but I would feel like adding a teacher would probably solve the problem. With G, the situation made me feel very helpless.
June 27, 2012