Last Thursday was another Summer Swim. As you might recall, the last Summer Swim didn’t go very well. Thursday was a much calmer day for me. I wasn’t in a rush. Thursday was a much calmer day for Alex. He’d spent much of the day over at my mom’s house. Thursday was a much better swim day.
Perhaps it was because he started out so much calmer. Perhaps it was because the pool was just a tad bit warmer. Perhaps it was because there were fewer people there this time. Perhaps it was just a little more familiar.
The moment Alex got into the pool he crossed over to the other side. We were still in the shallow area, but we were on the far side, which just happened to be away from almost everyone else (at least for a while). Alex started to play in the water right away. He liked pushing the mini-surf board down in the water. It was designed for a child to lie on so his torso was supported while he paddled across the water, but Alex tried very hard to sit on it. He also played with a ball. The inside was soft sponge and the outside was coated in plastic. I suppose at one time it was waterproof. Now, the coating was cracked and punctured. So, Alex filled it up with water and then squeezed the water out, sending spouts of water over his face and into the air around him. He loved that! It also turned out to be a great alternative to pinching.
Last time, I could barely get Alex to go out into the deep end where we could just barely touch. This time Alex not only gravitated to the deep end, but he wanted to go over the floating line to the deepest end where we couldn’t touch at all. In the deep end, we worked on getting him to lie flat and he did. We worked on getting him to kick his legs and he did. We worked on getting him to float on the board and he did. Then, after much urging on his part, I took him past the rope.
We made it out a little ways and he was swimming with the help of the board and the life preserver. He kicked his feet. He clung to the board. Then, he pushed the board away from him and sunk into the water. I grabbed his waist while he laughed and I swam one-handed back to where I could touch the bottom. We went back over the rope to where it was safe. He tried to go back out into the deepest end several times before it was time to go, but I wouldn’t let him. When he got upset he squeezed the ball instead of pinching me. We stayed in the pool until the lifeguard called out the time and then we slowly, reluctantly made our way to the ladder. We left with smiles.