Monday, July 19, 2010

Swim Lessons - Day One

Today was day one of swim lessons. I took him a bit early, so we could watch the senior citizens do their water aerobics. Ok, really I took him early because I wanted him to see the pool and all that goes on around it, tell him about "walk, don't run" and stuff like that. But as a sidebar, some of those senior ladies were looking pretty awesome in their swimsuits and I'd seriously consider joining that looked like fun.

So, the main reason my hubby and I wanted Busy to take swim lessons is because the child has no fear. I know, it's not unusual for a 3 yr old to be a bit daredevil-ish (new word, I'm coining it) but I've worked with toddlers since I was 18 (long time) and Busy is on the extreme end. (How's that for a run-on?)  I was literally holding him by the waistband to keep him from vaulting in with the swimming grannies.

So his instructor introduced himself to us and told Busy to sit by the side of the pool and put his feet in while he went to get the other 2 kids.  I knew it was going to happen; I could see Busy set his jaw and steel himself with bravery. I know my child. He thinks like me. Busy had no intention of merely sitting by the pool and letting the water lap his toes. No sirree bob. His mama had been holding his waistband for 20 minutes and that was far too long a wait for the cool rush of chlorinated water. He was going in full force. And he did. He jumped. Folks, I have a jumper. He bent his knees in good long jump fashion and jumped. His bottom bounced on the first step into the water, and then the second step. In less than a second, all 45+ inches of him was under water. And not that I needed any further encouragement for him to have swim lessons, but I could see in an instant how fast a child can drown. In seconds. He did exactly what My Love and I knew he would do if he were every around a large body of water.

I know that child heard his instructor say to him, 'Sit by the side of the pool.' I know he understood; he's a smart kid. He did not want to simply sit, he wanted to swim. And by gosh, he thought he knew how. It stunned the instructor, but he did react quickly - fished him out, made sure he was ok and repeated his instructions to sit by the side of the pool. And only because the initial swimming hadn't gone as Busy had envisioned it, did he obey.

The other 2 kids were at least 4, so a good year older than Busy. But considering he'd never been in a real swimming pool before, he did remarkably well. He did listen and follow directions. Which means I know he understands me when I tell him to pick up his toys. Despite my guess that the instructor is still sporting a driver's permit instead of  a driver's license, he was a very patient and overall good instructor. See, no age discrimination here.

So for 30 minutes he took his turn swimming. And when it wasn't his turn, he flirted with a very cute 4 year old little girl. Who was wearing a swim (surf type) shirt and swim shorts which I'm going to remember if I ever have a little girl. It was super cute, and very modest. I don't really have a problem with a girl wearing a regular swimsuit or even bikini (ok maybe a bikini) when they are older, but I think modesty is drastically undervalued. And there are creepy looky-loos who'd get a kick out of seeing a 4 year old in a bikini, so why not err on the side of caution? But I digress...

So, there was all the makings of an excellent day until it came time to leave. When Busy threw the world's most ridiculous fit, literally kicking and screaming. I got soaked trying to drag him from the pool. He was screaming at the top of his lungs "I WANNA GO SWIMMIN'" and holding on to every post we passed in an attempt to keep me from dragging him to the locker room.

Now take a good look at this face. Go ahead, look at it:
Does this look like the face of a child who would throw such fit? It doesn't does it? This, my friends, is the face of the most strong-willed child on the planet. He is perfectly congenial so long as he is in agreement with what's going on around him. But this face, is the reason I have read James Dobson's The Strong Willed Child not once, but twice. Ok, so not really the point here, except to say that he LOVED swim lessons and I'm praying the fit does not repeat itself when we go back tomorrow.

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