Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Doing Swimmingly

The countdown to Thing 2’s birthday has begun. Just ask her. She is so excited she is nearly stopping people on the street to remind them. She’s told anyone her age within speaking distance that they’re “vited.” I need to go down and check my stash to see what she’s getting versus what we’re giving her for Christmas.

We have a hummingbird feeder outside. I just went out and hacked back a tree we have out there that grows completely out of control every year so I could see the hummingbird feeder because I am curious as to where all the juice is going. For the first month it seemed the level never dropped, but recently it seems like it drops an inch a day. Since humming birds don’t make a mess, I don’t mind, but I’d really like to see the little guys as they come to the feeder. So far I haven’t seen one eating at it. Dropping an inch a day you’d think there’d be a hummingbird parade.

The cruise, which is another story (wonderful but too long to include much here) gave the girls the opportunity to do more swimming. The week before we left on the cruise, I had the girls in their 2nd week of a two week swimming lesson session. I left them to their lessons for a moment to go sign them up for another two week session after the cruise, and came back to see Thing 2 sitting all alone, dejected, on the side of the pool. I came up behind her and she immediately crawled in my lap and started to cry. She said that since she refused to get her face wet she was sitting up there. The words “Time Out” came up in later retellings of the story, but she didn’t say that to me immediately. I am not happy that she was given an ultimatum, get your face in the water or get out of the pool, but I have been a little frustrated with her tenderness of late, and told her it’s too bad she doesn’t like getting water in her face, but she needs to learn how to swim and if that’s the next step, she’s going to have to get her face wet when they ask her.

I didn’t know what to do about this, I hate forcing her to do this if she doesn’t want to, and here I had just paid for her next stretch of lessons, and I do need her to learn how to swim. So I dug around in some of the cupboards and found a set of goggles that we’d bought for her earlier in the year when we were trying to figure out how to get both girls to get their faces in the water. Thing 1 hadn’t really been having that much of a problem with it, by the way. She is the oldest in the class – I had her in the same beginning class as Thing 2 since the requirements for Level 2 on the website seemed beyond her.
I called Hubby that night and mentioned it to him, and he surprised me with how concerned he was, he seemed to really feel for this poor little girl who hates to get her face wet, which is very sweet. I wasn’t ready to be that upset about it, and she seemed pretty okay with the goggle idea.

The next day was like comparing apples to dolphins. Once she had her magic goggles on, Thing 2 started out by blowing bubbles as she was asked, going deeper and deeper until her whole head was under water. By the end of the lesson she was plugging her nose, bending her legs and motoring around the pool in a funny squat walk with just the top curls of her head out of the water. The rest of the week’s lessons she was just like that, all about getting her face in.
On the cruise it was more of the same, with her learning quite a bit from Hubby. By the end of the cruise she was letting go of her nose, and she and Thing 1 both were swimming underwater – with their faces submerged. Thing 1 has a kind of underwater breathstroke that she does, and Thing 2 kind of does a wildly splashing front crawl. But both of them were swimming halfway across the pool and back, in water well over their heads, and loving it.

We’re into our next session, Thing 1 is in Level 2, and Thing 2, since at the end of Level 1 she still hadn’t quite mastered some of the required skills, is in Level 1. I think she pretty much mastered everything she was supposed to with her daddy’s help in Alaska, but we kind of are obligated to complete this round of swim lessons. The would probably be okay with another round, both of them in Level 2, but I thought they needed a little freedom the rest of the summer, so I didn’t register them for the next (last) session of the summer. But they’re such little fish now, I imagine we’ll work on swimming more next summer, unless I decide to see if I can get them some lessons this winter.

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