With the amount of time that the wee ones spend napping, we sometimes miss out on the common childhood activities, especially with me working three days a week and Mister Man attending preschool five mornings a week.
We managed to do gymnastics for awhile, but we gave that up this winter. We’ve done Language Stars since last summer, but after this fall, I think that may also fall to the wayside. We’ve yet to do dance or an organized sport (although we may do a soccer camp next week). Mister Man also started swim lessons in January once a week.
The swim lessons were ok, and he certainly enjoyed them, but he hasn’t made much progress. His biggest issue is that he doesn’t want to put his face in the water when swimming so he can see where he’s going (much like when he was trying to be born — it caused issues then, too!). And don’t get me started on Little Miss. When we’ve gone to Florida with her, she would go in the baby pool only and wouldn’t even consent to being carried in water deeper than what she can touch.
At the end of May, we joined a new healthclub (ostensibly so I could run inside in the summer since I don’t sweat, again causing issues), and we’ve been getting a ton of use out of it. They have a great indoor and outdoor pool. They’re both pretty big, and they start at zero depth, so even Little Miss enjoys the pool.
Once the swim lessons at the old place were up, we signed Mister Man up for swim lessons at the health club (ironically, cheaper AND better than the private ones), which started last week. Little Miss will start in three weeks, after she’s turned three (and I don’t have to take the lessons with her) since she’s now potty trained.
We’ve been spending a ton of time at the pool over the past few weeks, and I can see that they’re finally starting to get more comfortable in the water. Little Miss finally let me carry her around the lazy river. Then she let me grab her hands and pull her through the “deep” water (really about three feet).
Mister Man has also started getting more adventurous. He’ll go under the mushroom that has water cascading off the top and get wet from there with minimal fuss. And then we invented a game where he would twirl around in the water and make us “dizzy” so that we — being the adults — would fall over. He thought that was great fun and did it over and over and over again. Eventually, he started putting his face in a bit. And now he has to be all the way under water and spinning to have me fall over.
And today — his first handstand. Granted, his hands may or may not have actually touched the whole bottom, but it was close. And he was proud of himself. He’s even swimming full on under the water, although I’ll admit that he doesn’t go anywhere fast. Speed will come later.
As for Little Miss, now that she knows she’s going to take swimming lessons, she’s taking notes from Mister Man. Little Miss Independent can do it all herself, and anything he can do, (she’s convinced) she can do better. She’ll stand on my knees in the deeper water and jump into the water to Grandpa or Daddy and “swim” her way there, fully submerged.
Quite a leap for the girl who wouldn’t go past her waist a few weeks ago. My biggest concern is what’s going to happen to Little Miss’s very thing and scraggly very blonde hair with all the time she’s spending in the pool. Even though I try not to get my hair fully wet each time I go (it’s long and takes forever to dry and when we leave the club with exhausted wee ones, the last thing I need to worry about it my hair), I can still feel that it’s really getting dry. And I remember having green hair as a kid myself…. Somehow, I have a feeling that I’ll be investing in some chlorine extracting shampoo soon.
The real benefit of spending so much time at the pool is that it wears them out. Of course, it wears me out, too, and I’m almost ready to go to bed now, but I have a softball game at 8:30 so that isn’t happening! In fact, Mister Man fell asleep on the car ride home. Granted this was after his second swim session of the day. We went to a park district pool with some friends for a playdate for two hours this morning (and it made me realize how nice we have it at the club), and then Mister Man had a swim lesson at 3:30 and we swam after that until 6.
My favorite part about him falling asleep though? I was listening the kids’ radio station in the car, and they happened to be playing the Star Wars Theme Song. Most kids? Bouncing up and down excited about the song and the music. My son? Falls asleep. Typical!