Monday, July 02, 2007

Not much to update these days. We're still settling in, quite nicely thank you. There's still nothing on the walls but some curtains, including some half-hung curtains in the bedroom. And by half-hung, I mean, one curtain up, holes in the walls by the other windows. I've given up on painting the bedroom anytime soon, due to time constraints and the fact that T doesn't want me to right now (smell issues). Oh well.

Z has almost finished her second round of swimming class. She gets braver every day. I regret not working with her more seriously when she was smaller, but I never thought nerve would be in issue with her. She's usually pretty fearless, and when we lived in the apartment we'd go swimming all the time. She's wear the orange arm floaties and go all around the pool, sometimes accidentally dunking herself under water with no problem whatsoever. All that changed last summer, when during her first swim class session the teachers had her go underwater. Something happened, water aspiration I suspect, and since then my fearless little girl has been quite timid--sticking to stairs and baby pools.

This year, I bought her a nifty Dora kickboard and a pink noodle and she'd been using it in the baby pool to quite successfully kick around the water. But even at swim class they've been having to encourage her to move away from the steps (well, at the school pool, step). Even though that meant only going into two-feet deep water, she rarely moved away from the step. They'd say, "Zoey, do you want to use the milk jugs? (these help them float)"

"No thank you," she'd say, and keep to her kick board.

"Zoey, you want to jump into the pool? I'll catch you."

"No thank you." She can be very polite sometimes.

It's been frustrating, especially watching all of her peers starting to swim underwater. But she loves going swimming. She loves going to the pool, and we have a nice one in the neighborhood that's rarely crowded. She's already got a savage tan, even though I slather her with sun block. Still, it took her several weeks before she would even go down the little frog tongue slide into the baby pool. She's tall enough so that she wouldn't even have to go underwater. She was just that concerned with the possibility that she refused to go down the slide. Even after she braved the mini-water slide at our friends YMCA (which only went into about three inches of water, and which she absolutely loved once I coaxed her down). And when she did go down the slide, well, it was slowly, little hands gripping the sides to control her speed, and with just a little dip into the water.

Even more odd, she tells everyone that she's a "very good swimmer," and that she can swim underwater. I think she really believes it. Maybe she's starting to practice The Secret.

Anyway, the point of this blather is to brag. Yesterday she finally, under her own initiative, went with me into the big pool. The deep pool. And she let me carry her all around while she pretended to swim. Sure, there was much neck-choking and tight-gripping of me, but overall she did fantastic. We floated with the noodle, she let me grab her sides while she practiced her swimming arms. She sort of jumped into the water from the side of the pool. And (drum roll please), she put her head underwater. Twice. Sigh, I'm so proud.

The lesson from this story, which I give to all my friends with younger children, is to teach your kids to go underwater early. Use the old blow-air-into-their-face-to-get-them-to-hold-their-breath trick so that they're prepared and unafraid. It's much, much easier to introduce these things to them when they are smaller.