Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Swimmers!!

Swimming is not exactly something that the kids love to do. They like to play in kiddie pools and will even hang out on the steps of friends in-ground pools. But actually get their entire body in the water and kick around? You must be kidding!

This became an issue of mine several weeks ago. Our Sunday School class had a gathering, and I was exposed to several children the same ages as my kids playing freely in the water!!! While Thomas and Sarah Grace panicked each time Joshua and I tried to entice them past the steps. Since then, they have freaked out at two different pools and the lake. I was determined to shake this fear.

Over the weekend, some neighbors of our invited us to use their pool while they were away, and I was quick to jump on it. Monday morning, Thomas and I trekked up the street and got down to business. He was hesitant at first, but we sat on the pool steps and talked about trusting Mommy to take care of him. After nearly twenty minutes of me talking until I was blue in the face, he finally began to calm down enough to let me show him how to paddle his arms under the water. While we still sat on the steps. Of course, when I took him out into the water, he nearly lost it again, but we chatted some more about trust and he relaxed a bit.

Over the course of the next forty minutes or so, he got to the point where he would kick with his feet and paddle with his arms as I supported his belly. Then he said he trusted me enough to catch him when he jumped in from the side of the pool. I was ecstatic. We played around for a bit longer and came back home. Then he called his Daddy and relayed all of his new accomplishments.

This morning, Granny and I took all three kids to the pool and worked with the two older ones. It took some, but not much, convincing to get Thomas to pick up more or less where he left off. After a little bit, I asked him if he could jump in from the deep end and swim to me. He was hesitant at first, but he finally agreed to try it. So long as I was close enough to catch him.

On his first attempt, I caught him, then helped him to get swimming in the right direction. He dog paddled all the way to the steps by himself! Then asked if he could do it again. Yes! On his second attempt, I barely touched him, and he was off. By the third time, I was just kind of background scenery to his three ring circus.

By then, Sarah Grace, who had been working with Granny, decided she wanted to jump in at the deep end and swim. Sarah Grace is by nature braver than Thomas. Most of her hang ups with water stemmed from seeing her brother get so worked up over it. And most of her accomplishments today were because he was not freaking out.

Off she went, down to the deep end, made sure I would help her if she needed it and jumped! She came up spluttering a bit, but started paddling her way towards the steps. Unfortunately, one of her floaties was losing air, and both the kids are still dependent on them for added buoyancy. She did really well, but managed to keep listing to one side and needing help to right herself and keep her face out of the water.

By the time we were ready to leave, Thomas and Sarah Grace were paddling happily around the shallow end as Elizabeth went from me to Granny to me to Granny. Elizabeth, by the way, while not swimming, per se, had no problem being supported by her arms and kicking herself around. Her main distraction is all the water in the pool that needs to be lapped up for her drinking pleasure! Ew!

I am proud of these little swimmers! Who knew they could come so far in just a couple of days? Great job, Thomas and Sarah Grace!


The Bouldins said...

Yeah for Your Brave Little Swimmers!!

(What is it about drinking yucky water? Julia loves to slurp it out of her wading pool, the dog's bowl and her baking soda-y bath, but not from her cup. Blech!)

Potpourri of Praise said...

How awesome is that? I am glad they are eager to be little "fish" since the pool is great summer fun:)