“Welcome to our OOL
Notice there is no P in it.
Let’s keep it that way.”
We spent a lovely day at Oma & Daddo’s Cool this weekend. Bubba is a bit on the clumsy side as of late. His arms and legs get longer yet his ability to maneuver them remains… slightly off. So we’ve reached an unspoken agreement with sir-protests-a-lot. He will wear a life-vest and we (read Mommy) will not worry so much about him falling-in-the-blasted-pool. He’s never in or near the pool by himself, in fact, my parents have their doors set to chime and announce when any door is opened just to ensure we know where the sneaky-snake is at all times. But, we always like to be prepared.
At the beginning of the summer, Bubba was very hesitant about getting in the water. He was quite content to play on the edge of the steps squirting pool-goers with water and filling/emptying buckets until he started to shiver. As the summer has progressed he’s gotten more and more comfortable with and in the water. He went from standing on the steps, to letting us lift him into the water, to holding our hands as he jumped to…
WAIT! WAIT! Don’t jump without us. Chill out, Evel Knievel.
Hence, the life-vest.
Bonus, it’s an extra protection for his pasty-like-mommy pale skin.
This weekend, we reached a whole new level of pool. (See what I did there?)
Bubba has started to doggy paddle.
Helped in a huge part to both Daddo and the super-fantastic-life-vest, Bubba can kick his legs and paddle his arms to move in a specific direction of his choosing. Namely, away from the stairs. He’s still a little worried about going under, I would be too if I opened my mouth every time the water got close… but I can’t believe he’s already trying to swim. I have no idea when kids learn-to-swim for real but maybe all of that summer Olympic watching sparked an interested for him. We wanted to see how he did on his own, so after an initial jump, we allowed him to kick and paddle toward the steps so he could jump again, and we took our hands off the life vest. To my utter surprise, he not only stayed afloat, not sure why I was surprised, that’s a life vest’s job, but he was able to maneuver quite well. Especially with Daddo’s encouragement. He will also float on his back in the pool which is something that was highly protested by him during swim classes earlier in the year. The best part of watching Bubba & Daddo was the pool-piggyback. Daddo would swim around and Bubba would cling to his back like a little monkey.
Bubba has recently discovered fear, as in, he realizes that things can be dangerous or frightening and he does his best to avoid those things at all cost. So we had to delicately balance him “swimming” and still knowing that we were right there in case he needed us. What a metaphor for parenting, right? When is the right time to let them try on their own? How do you know it’s the right time? What if you don’t want to let go?
We had a goal this summer: to get Bubba interested in, used to and enjoying the pool. I think we’ve succeeded. We can’t go to O&D’s without preparing to get into the pool.
Next task on the agenda, getting him to close his mouth long enough to jump in. We can hardly get him to close his mouth outside of the pool… this may be a challenge, to say the least.
Here goes nothing!