Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Confidence and Attitude

Though I am certain Cora has many faults, the biggest problem this week seems to be her confidence. She is sure of herself in ways I did not think two year olds understood. Size does not intimidate her. Looks do not intimidate her. I do not intimidate her.

Today, instead of whining about day care, she requested to go see Miss Sheri, Toby, Drew and Kyle. I was delighted. When I picked her up, I discovered that her newfound love of daycare was accompanied by her regular bravado. The trial period for Miss Sheri was over, and she was quite hilariously describing to me why Cora deserves an A in attitude, from the hands on hips pose to the Clothes line, block the other kids from the toy bin routine.

Regardless of my lack of sympathy, I did talk to the little dictator about manners. I think the description of "head strong" goes about as far toward true as "stubborn as a mule."

Stubbornness and confidence don't always work well together. Yesterday on our weekly trip to the big pool, Cora showed unusually high confidence in water. I was thrilled until she migrated from the safe "leasure pool" with its 5 feet depth to the lap swim pool with its 13+ foot diving well.

After watching the joy and bravado the other children showed jumping off the diving board, and before I could climb out of the pool and catch up with her, she was on the steps to go off the one meter spring board. This is not bad. I love her desire to do all new things. I usually encourage her to try. There was just one little problem.

Cora can't swim yet. She has steadfastly refused to let go of me in the pool. She clings to me with the desparation of someone who knows they are going to drown if they let go.

I stood there holding her hand, explaining to her that she would end up sinking thirteen feet to the bottom if she jumped off. She just nodded her head yes, and stared determinedly into the debths. "Do you still want to jump?" I asked.

"Yeth." she said.

"Are you certain? Mommys not going to catch you. You will be all by yourself in the water."

"Yes."

"You are gonna have to swim. Do you still want to jump?"

"Yes."

"Do you want to practice first?"

"No. I jump."

Confidence is a beautiful thing. Right now, its scaring me beyond belief. Luckily, Cora is still small enough I can pick her up and bodily remove her from the diving board.