Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Swim On

My son darted up and down the small hills and ramps at the skate park. We chose a quiet Friday morning to visit for the first time, and he rolled around like a champ, not that I was surprised. After all, he learned to ride his bike in ten minutes. TEN. MINUTES. Seriously, kid, slow down.

The older skater dudes navigated around him, complimenting the skills of "Little Dude."

Another mom joined us with her three kids, one in a stroller, and two on bikes with training wheels. The older sister (around six) promptly pointed out that her little brother's bike matched my son's exactly, except, "Yours still has training wheels." Uhm...sister...yours does, too... Anywho, the kids rode around but couldn't really navigate the hills because training wheels don't really corner well.  The mom grew frustrated, sighed, told her son he was too timid and "that other little boy is riding circles around you,", and off they went.

I wanted to shout after her, "Don't judge your kid by my kid! Yesterday, he wouldn't get in the pool!"

It's taken me a couple of weeks to process that my son outright REJECTED swim lessons on the third day.  He had his reasons.  He wanted to go where we went last year. He didn't like that the teacher kept changing. He didn't like that the teacher on the final day was a guy. I couldn't argue with any of his reasons, try though I did.  The first day I was furious with him. The second day, he got in the water. The third day, after he refused, I told him we could leave, and we just left...I didn't have it in me to argue with a fournado.

"I want YOU to teach me how to swim."


Luckily, our gym has open swim for kiddos whenever the gym is open. So, to the pool we went. Sometimes, I bring Little Sis in her water sling, and other times, she's at home with her daddy while I get some Mommy & Son time with my little man.

The kid is stubborn, I'll give you that.  At the end of last summer, he jumped off a diving board into nine feet of water and swam to us.  At the start of this summer, he basically refused to get in and simply enjoyed doing the "monkey crawl" along the edge that the teachers helpfully taught him during the one lesson out of the eight I paid for that he actually attended.

So, when we got in the pool together, he wanted floaties. Our gym has those "arm weights" that the kids can use as floaties. Fine.  He used those for a few visits.


A boy clearly younger than him got out of the pool and started leaping, free of floaties, to his dad. LEAPING. SWIMMING.

Little Man took one look at him, "I can do that." He got out of the pool, dropped the floaties, and leapt to me and swam under water. We played at this for a while. He yammered the whole way home about how fun it was to swim without floaties.

And the next day he wanted the floaties again. It's ironic, really, the tides of learning to swim.

We go back and forth. I let him use them. We practice without.  He does flips off diving boards into eight feet of water.

And we swim.

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