22 June 2010

Kid Philosophy 102: This I Know

Preface: Our desktop computer had a temporary period where it was "mostly dead," and was therefore holding all our pictures hostage, so that's why it took a little while to post this blog.

After everything that I said about almost everything being a belief, I’m happy to tell you that there’s at least one thing that I know we have done right with Eamon: swim lessons. Okay, it’s a little thing in comparison to discipline, eating, sleeping habits, etc., but I’ll take certainty where I can get it.

Eamon Wolfe LOVES the water. There’s no cosmic reason for this. I didn’t go swimming a lot when he was in the womb, he wasn’t born on a boat or in a water birth, and he isn’t a Pisces. The reason is terribly mundane: he loves the water because almost every Saturday since he was 7 months old, Aaron and I have taken him to the pool for “swim” lessons (parentheses added because there’s only so much swimming they do at that age).

I won’t say it’s been easy. Swim lessons start at 9:00 which means that we need to be out the door by 8:40, which comes earlier and earlier every Saturday. Both Aaron and I go because it’s nearly impossible to corral Eamon while you change out of your own wet swim clothes. There are no doors on the changing rooms (just curtains), and he runs away the second you set him down, leaving you with this terrible choice of running after him while you’re half-naked or…well, there really isn’t another choice. So the whole family goes.

Aaron usually gets in the pool. I have gotten in the pool before when Aaron absolutely cannot make it (he needs to be out of town or on his death bed), but I generally prefer sitting on the sidelines. I tell myself that it’s because Aaron used to be a lifeguard so he’s really better suited (ha! get it?) for being in the pool, but really I just don’t like getting wet.

Eamon, on the other hand, thinks the pool is the greatest thing ever. As we walk into the locker room, he usually starts cheering and clapping. He beams smiles at everyone at the gym. When he gets into the water, he happily splashes and screams in absolute joy. This might be his favorite part of each week.

And in the past couple of weeks, you can tell that it’s really paying off. Eamon is only 17 months old, but already can blow bubbles in the water, and doesn’t mind going under the water at all. He hates being on his back (even on dry land), but will do it, even putting his ears in the water (which most kids protest violently at this age). He kicks with his legs, and he reaches and pulls with his arms. He does not, however, have any buoyancy, so if you let him go he just sort of sinks despite his best efforts.

Two weeks ago, however, we discovered a way around this: the pool noodle. Eamon held on to the noodle, and suddenly—life was great. It gave him enough buoyancy that Aaron was even able to let go briefly. Eamon would kick his legs, and move forward—he was actually swimming! I don’t know who was more excited, us or Eamon.

Whew. And, I'm spent.

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