Tiger kid

Self professed Tiger Mom I am not. I really try to teach my girls to want things on their own. To advocate for themselves. This frees me up to shop and workout. I trained them right. I do have a little Tiger Mom in me though. I am blunt, don’t sugar coat things and as a result of that the girls are pretty tough. They have some badass in them. Well, not Sophie but Sarah isn’t afraid of anything.

A few months ago we installed a pull up bar for the girls to work on upper body strength. Like all home gym equipment, it became a nice place to hang laundry – especially pool towels.

One day, Grace came into the kitchen for water wearing workout clothes. She was red faced, sweaty and out of breath. I was a little shocked, I thought she was being chased by someone with a knife but she said, and I quote “I decided to go all Tiger Mom on myself”.

I couldn’t make this up if I tried. You know you are a little jealous. If only she would clean her room.

Where are your parents?

Back to the grind! Day one of part two of a three part perpetual season.

I thought I would get a little writing done but alas the lobby is filled with screaming children. There is a definite Lord of the Flies culture going on. Ie suspect that at least two of these 7-10 year olds will grow up and get married.

There are a few who have no parents here. They are the worst. They go unattended for hours. Some of them don’t even practice their siblings do. But their parents drop them off anyways. I don’t know where they all go. I suspect their is a private invitation club. We have only been with this team since September, I must still be in the initiation period. I keep checking my mail.

I don’t always sit around. Surely you know me better than this. There are times when only my oldest swims and I do what I call the drive by. A rolling stop at best. I have better things to do. Like make one of my craptastic meals. Most of the parents of the older kids do this. There are parents that I am not even sure if they exist.

I definitely know the kids though of the parents that never come in. They are the last ones in the pool and first ones out. They pee 22 times. Sit on the bleachers for ten minutes digging through their bag and sit with ice packs on an imaginary shoulder injury.

I can’t be that mom that actually wants to watch practice. My brain would cry real tears if I did that. Instead I have come up with a method of making my kids think I watch practice. Every time I am in the building I make note of something they did in practice and then ask them questions or make comments on the way home. From time to time I walk in with them and wait until they are in the pool before leaving. I also make a point of talking to the coaches when they are available. Often about the weather but the kids don’t know that.

I am of the personal belief that I don’t have to stand with my nose pressed against the glass watching practice. I have even seen parents film or time their kids in practice. I just want them and their coaches to know I am paying attention! And I care.

There is this little boy that spends 3 to 4 hours a night running around that pool. I was going to offer to feed him but my kids told him my dinners were craptastic. I feel sad for him.

And perfection would be?

Had an interesting conversation today. One of my favorite topics, or more to the point, debates. How do we teach our children to strive for perfection?

We all want the best for our children. We all want them to do their best. I have yet to meet a parent who says “I really don’t give a shit how well my child does”. Not just sports or academic but all aspects of life.

How we find perfection for our children has been the topic of much debate. Thank you Tiger Mom.

The nagging question is, “what is perfection?”

I am grateful for the lack of definition. It allows me to be smug in my parenting, knowing that at all times I am pushing my children to reach the pinnacle of perfection!

Perfection to me means:

Getting mostly A’s with a B here and there. In pretty hard classes. I am perfectly thrilled when my kid is mastering a grade level ahead. I don’t care if the are doing college courses in 4th grade. I also really have no interest in doing 2nd grade reading assignments so if they can do that on their own – bonus round.

Kiddo doing a non graded, after school science fair project completely on their own (as evidenced by the misspelling of volcano) because they wanted to do it on their own. Score again kid.

Same kid coming to me early in the night saying my spelling words are hard I need your help. And them laughing at me trying to use words in a sentence. Party.

Non complaining car rides to swim practice. No begging me to skip. Kids not faking an injury to get out of practice. Really? You LIKE to participate in your sport? Sweet child of mine!

I might be a total slack ass as a parent. My kids don’t have ulcers, they don’t cry and they don’t throw up from nerves either. I guess I will take the slack ass title and own it. And my definition of perfection is probably closely aligned to above average. Whatever, works for me. Although the bar is always getting higher. See, I see perfection as something worth chasing. Who wants to find it at 12? Downhill spiral from there ya know?

We are coming back from spring break and nearly three weeks out of the pool. Long course season starts and I have a kid who wants to make long course zones more than she wants three new pairs of UGGs. She is 100% capable of making it but also is notorious for being the queen of so damn close. I owe it to her to make sure she is pushing herself harder than she ever has before. She is going to have to put her body in some pain in practice and in her races. I wouldn’t even consider this but I know two things to be fact. She wants to do it. And she can do it.

I am not very good at this hard ass role but I need to figure it out. She is counting on me. New chapter begins. We can do it.