Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Swimming!

Remember my posts on Max swimming last year? if not, find them here and here. when Max was a baby, he was pretty darn easy to get into the water. Sure he had the look of uneasiness the first few times we went in, but there were definitely no major meltdowns or cries of fear and discomfort. So the entire 2012 summer, we went swimming and went swimming often. Trips to the pool side involved taking Max in my/our arms walking into the deep end, bouncing up and down...side to side...circles..front...back..you name it! Multiple times over- easy breezy!

Summer of 2013 however was another issue. at first site of the pool and first taste of the cold water (in an indoor heated pool i might add), Max was uncomfortable, scared, and did not want to come back even 10 seconds later! Im totally kicking myself for having such a large gap of pool exposure. I admit it was naive of me to think that Max would remember his positive pool experience feelings and carry it over to the next summer.  i was expecting his eyes beam with excitement watching other kids splash around, the urge to just cool off in the water instead of hanging out in the arid poolside, the natural need to splash little wet puddles! he used to loves having a bath, how could he not love the pool? he loves mud puddles, why can't he splash at the shallow end? ol Maxiboy was scared of the water.

^^ pool side view! seriously, how can anyone refuse? ^^

My only strategy for this was some tough love on the little guy. basically, pick him up bring him in the water, keep him close and get him wet! then after some protesting, we'd follow his demands and take him out and let him explore the deck. we continued this pattern for the duration of the day. it was really like the eating experience, he has to try it before he refuses, and then he can choose what to do with the information. So nearly everyday at the community center (indoor), the local pool and our condo pool (outdoor), we took Max and repeatedly exposed him to the water. I'm pretty sure we broke the ice after the first day as i got many moments (and i stress, moments) of splashing and squealing with  delight


Today, about 7 weeks or so since we started bootcamp, Max is 80-20 about going into the water. There are days when he cant wait for us to get in our swim gear before he starts getting all antsy- basically telling us to hurry the heck up so he can get in. And of course, there are days when we have to wait it out at the pool deck and woo him in (one on the deck, the other in the water). Lately, what's working best is the baby slide at New Brighton- it has little steps/stairs, and since Max is so obsessed lately, it's an easy lure :o)

Alas, he might not always stay in waist deep water, but we're fine with hanging out at the shallowest end of the deck as long as he's getting wet and having fun. We do still just pick him up and bring him into the deeper end every now and then, mainly because we want to cool off as a family (not just 1 goes and the other stays), so far he's been fine with it as long as he gets to be tossed in the air and splashed in the water once he is caught over and over again (it's like throwing a watermelon in the air and catching it, a workout all on its own).  Plans for the future? swimming lessons and indoor pools during the cold months!


^^ i have to admit that my husband has WAY MORE patient than I when it came to teaching Max that the water was safe. Even today, he's still gentle with him and will entertain him around the shallow end while i take some full body dips or soak in some UV rays. Thanks xoxo! ^^ 

^^ looks like someone is loving the water! yay! ^^ 

Hope you're cooling off somewhere and having fun too! 

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