The cheshire grin and the great big win

This week, there was a little girl with a cheshire grin, who sat by the pool ready to get in. Not a tear could be seen as she sat with her team, ready to swim and eager to get in.

There would be nothing unusual (apart from the slightly naff rhyming) about this if it weren’t for the fact that one of the four little people who sat ready for swim lessons has cried through almost every swimming lesson since the middle of last term.  Every one of us sitting by the side of the pool each week, has felt mum’s pain as the beautiful little blonde princess (BLBP) refuses to get in or gets in and then cries till she gets out.  For her pain is our pain and we have all been there.

Every week Mum walks in full of hope for her little legend and almost every week, BLBP sobs and begs to get out with mum. Mum sighs, sometimes offering bribes, sometimes remonstrating but mostly I think she just feels beaten.

It isn’t that BLBP can’t swim, quite the opposite.  She is probably the best little swimmer out of all four of little people.  There is just something in her beautiful blonde head that tells her “no, you don’t want to get in there.”

Every week, Rachel, Jane and I would offer sage advice and reassurance.  “It’s a phase, all kids go through this, one day something will click and she’ll be fine.”  We hoped against hope that BLBP would just take off with not a care in the world.  Every week we would hold our breath for Mum and every week we would hope that it would be different.

And this week it was.

BLBP and mum walked in, after a private swim lesson and a week off sick.  We were so excited to see her.  BLBP approached the pool, we all held our breath.  She sat on the edge and started to protest a little.  The breath escaped our lips in the quietest sigh.  BLBP’s mum looked defeated.  We felt defeated for her.

Then something amazing happened.

BLBP put the biggest smile on her face I have ever seen, launched herself at Ms Deb and proceeded to out swim each and every one of our kids.  We could not have been happier.

Me? I wanted to cry tears of happiness for BLBP and mum.

That little legend did what we knew all along she could do, she swam her heart out.  I hugged her and mum and next week we’re off for milkshakes with Max to celebrate.

As a mum there are many moments of pure joy but there are also those moments of feeling like a failure.

Feeling completely defeated, like you just can’t win.

Today was not to be one of those days.

Today was a day of cheshire cat grins.

Grins for another mum who had a great big win.

Hope that one day that would be us.

It made everyone’s day.

Great work BLBP x


Have you ever felt defeated as a mum or a parent? How did you handle it?


You’re never alone in your parenting journey.  Talk to a friend or calling one of oz’s great phone conselling services like Parentline 1300 1300 52.