Saturday, March 10, 2012

Water Babies

Today marks the first day of my family's summer. It's two more weeks til school lets out for Little A, but the weather has already turned sultry. More importantly, the water in the swimming pool outside has warmed up. Today we went for our first family swim.

At some point last year, Little A taught himself to doggy paddle. Despite other tactile sensitivies, he's always loved the water. Telling him swimming time is over has meant, for the past couple of years, about half an hour of solid screaming, kicking and hitting as he is bodily dragged into the shower.

Then came the Great Fall, which meant no swimming for a couple of months. Thankfully that coincided with what we consider "the cold season" (which is really when the water temperature is falls below 32 degrees Celsius). Little A would test the water with his toes and not even try to get in.

Lately, he's been spending more time by the pool than on the playground - dipping his feet into the water, pretending to jump or dive in, and gleefully watching other children swimming. Then came yesterday, when he jumped in with his clothes on. I fished him out and explained that we had school in an hour and that he'd have to shower and dress. Shocked at having been fully submerged for the first time in months, he didn't complain.

Today, Big A and I let him find his water groove again. After a few minutes of holding onto us and being careful, Little A gained confidence. By the time the hour mark rolled around, he was paddling happily half a length at a time.

I hope we can get in some formal lessons this summer. Some of Big A's former National Swim Team-mates have gotten certified to teach special needs kids how to swim. Little A's cousin has made great strides with his lessons, even learning to blow bubbles, something he could never do before (he has oromotor dsypraxia). I'd like Little A to be "properly" drownproofed, and seeing how he has his father's build and genes, expect he too might swim competitively one day.

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