H’s swimming lesson in the Yellow hats wasn’t a huge success, so we made plans for her to try in my gym pool as I can take her for free on a weekend until she’s five.

Today was that day.

We probably did around 45 minutes of swimming, and the first 20 of those were H swimming front crawl and back stroke almost half the length of the pool on her own, with a bit of help when she needed to come up for air (due to the pool depth – 1m20) – and no floats.

I can see she’s nearly there – she just needs to master taking a breath and not panicking – the luxury of the training pool where she has her lessons means she can stand up for air – and she needs to get out of the habit and practice keeping swimming.

A few more sessions and maybe we’ll crack it?

Part of me thinks I should find a different club for her to swim where the pool depth won’t be an issue, but the other half thinks she’ll do fine once she stops panicking when she remembers she can’t just stand up and has mastered coming up for air – like I said, she’s nearly there.

We got out a noodle for her to have a kick up and down the pool, which she did well – she has the stamina, it’s just a lot to do and she is still only four anyway, so I don’t expect the world. Funnily enough the noodle gives her the support on her upper body that she needs to be able to breathe.

Yesterday evening she put her toothpaste lid into her mouth. Shaun insisted she took it out immediately (which then provoked an angry reaction from H) which led to me spelling out the consequences had she swallowed it by mistake.

For the first time in her life I had to say “because you could die” which gave her the biggest scare she’d ever had in her life.

Extreme? Possibly, but now she’s almost five it’s time to drill home ‘consequences’ that bit more. She wouldn’t put Lego in her mouth, but would do a toothpaste lid? No sense to that decision in my logical world. Last night we cuddled on the bed until I knew she was calm again. I tried to tell her as calmly as possible so as not to scare her too much, especially as I didn’t want her to have nightmares.

I don’t think her life was ever in danger, but she’s really testing the limits with things she’s not tried before. I’ve insisted she checks with us first – I’d like to think we’re fairly relaxed with her and allow her to do a lot of things, but new boundaries need to be set for a while, if only so we know what she’s thinking.

Personally I’m finding a toothpaste lid pretty gross!

This morning we talked about consequences again without mentioning death, giving me time to think of things which you shouldn’t do which she’d understand (like crossing the road in front of a bus, or playing with fire). I’ve never seen her quite so scared as I did last night – so starts the unpicking of this wonderful world she thought she lived in, as we start to discover there’s danger in most places. Sigh.