Thursday, August 20, 2009

listening in water

i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders i will remember to use sunblock on my shoulders.

Also, on the little strip of nose that sits under the bridge of my glasses.

(ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch)

And yet, we had an amazing time at the beach. The Toddles, however, declined to go in the water. He explained, calmly, that he won't go in when his swimming instructor is present, and he has no intention of going in without the instructor. I tried to argue the point, and settled for luring him in, calf-deep, to help hunt for pretty seashells, barnacles and the odd hermit crab.

(oh, yes: ouch.)
***********************
Courtesy of the Grandmere, the boys have had three swimming lessons at a local dam-building pool, and so far, so mixed. The Eldest jumped into the pool on his first lesson, spluttered, caught a faceful of chlorine, and reconsidered. And then jumped into the pool again. By the end of his second lesson, he happily kicked from one end of the (shallow) pool to the other, using a kickboard. By his third, he was debating the wisdom of trying the odd stroke or three without the kickboard.

The Toddles, however, was debating the wisdom of the instructor. And possibly pools in general.

Hooray for us, that we have a friendly, energetic guy doing the teaching. With extremely long arms, able to easily reach and pluck a sputtering child from the water. He's calm, certain, pleasant, and really likes to keep the momentum going during a class. Which means, of course, that when the Eldest shouts, 'wait - stop!' the instructor will respond verbally - but not physically. 99% of the time, the Eldest only needs that verbal response, however. 

From the bleachers, I can see the smallish gulp that the Eldest takes, before adapting to the teacher's chosen pace and goal. He's a good sport, that kid, but eventually, he does run out of flex (as magid says). The Toddles may not see the gulp. But he did explain to me that he didn't listen to my brother. Oh, said I, but watch: he's not going to let the Eldest get into trouble. See? And he is talking to the Eldest. The Toddles, firmly not-in-pool, shook his head. But he didn't listen. 

And therefore, the Toddles does not think that the instructor will listen to him. Um. Point taken, kid.

Having little to lose, I said as much to the instructor, who promised to adapt to the boys. The Eldest, when I related this, burst into tears. Tears of relief as well as over-flexedness, and he admitted that he loved the pool and lessons, and he feared that I'd take them away, if they weren't working out.  I should have seen this coming: when the Grandmere went home, he burst into tears. I'd wanted to go swimming with her again, he wailed.

The Grandmere had spent three? years? bugging me about arranging swimming lessons, but neither of us had foreseen just how much this child would love the water... And as for his brother, well, I'm working on it. Possibly even in a (cringe) bathing suit.



5 comments:

magid said...

I'm surprised that the Toddles is so careful/reluctant towards the water, since he seems so fearless in general. (I was there myself: I didn't get taught until I was 11 or 12, which meant I was also self-conscious about being in a bathing suit, as well as older and slower and all that).

*much aloe and cooling thoughts for your shoulders and nose*

Anonymous said...

I am once again struck by your attentive and respectful parenting.

Do you want Eldest's name in there?

Maybe try Noxzema for the sunburn.

Anonymous said...

My #2 is overly-cautious as well--interesting. Maybe that's why they're friends?

I should not be typing this because we should be in the car to meet you very shortly.

I'm using aloe.

Miryam (mama o' the matrices) said...

my vote is for aloe! And a really nice cooling spray that I found at Whole Wallet. And, yes, i admit it, 12 hours of evil topical anaesthetic & ice packs....

many thanks for the heads-up: I should know better than to write a post at 2 in the morning!

Dana said...

My roommate showed me this post. As a swimming instructor, there's a few things you can do, before having to resort to the dreaded swim suit.
If you have a bath tub, you can teach a smallish child to backfloat, blow bubbles, go underwater, kick (messy, but just remember "straight legs and pointy toes"), and even to open his eyes underwater with and without goggles.
Additionally, in the name of religious respect and inclusion, I've seen or encouraged many people (mostly women)into the water in their clothing of choice. I recommend tight clothes, preferably non-cotton, but comfortable.
Best of luck!