Friday, August 26, 2005

Like A Fish

Well, my eye is essentially the same, although I have started to use the antibiotic drops again - just in case. I must be getting used to it as I'm rather enjoying the revolving selection of pillow cases upon which I sleep each night. Last night was a rather faded Snoopy pillowcase, circa 1975. Very soft and comfortable.

I'm venturing out, refusing to let my disfigurement prevent me from enjoying the last days of August. The big, outdoor pool will be closing after Labor Day, and Mr. Chick didn't work today, so we decided to take the kids for a morning swim (plus, I can keep my sunglasses on and no one needs to actually see my hideousness). Mr. Chick worked with Nicholas on some swimming lesson stuff, and Nicholas was actually accepting instruction from a parent (gasp!). So we both went with it and were happy with the stuff he was willing to do. And did! We had him diving for rings in the 3 foot water, which is sort of deep for him. Just his head is above the surface at that depth. We started in the "shallow" 2 foot depth, which was easy for him, and gradually threw the rings into deeper water, until he was diving completely under the water for the rings. It was awesome! He wouldn't wear the goggles or mask we brought, preferring to just open his eyes under water unprotected. Must be a macho guy thing...

After lunch Mr. Chick took Lauren and I worked some more with Nicholas in the "fun" pool. He can touch the bottom, but I had him push off the wall and try to swim to me, a short distance away. He struggled and struggled with this, getting very frustrated. In a flash of inspiration, I told him that I wanted him to put his face in the water like he did when he dove for the rings, and just pretend that *I* was a ring. For some reason, that imagery worked. He swam!! And swam and swam and swam. I kept standing further and further away from the wall, and he would swim to me. Really swim. With his face in the water and his arms and legs moving with a coordination only a 4-yr old can manage. I was a beautiful thing to watch. I would just hold my hands out, just under the water, and he'd swim to me. I told him that if he felt like he needed to take a breath to just lift his face out of the water, take a breath, and keep going. And bless his trusting heart, he did it! He swam a short way, lifted his head and took a breath, and then put his face back in the water and kept on going. Without putting his feet down to touch. What a breakthrough!! He was swimming maybe 10-12 feet all by himself. To me, it was better than any Olympic swimming event because MY SON was swimming! I was totally geeking out. I'm sure the other parents there were like, "what's the big deal? My 2 year old can do that." but to me, it was amazing. Stupid swimming lessons didn't hardly teach him a damn thing - what a waste - but Mr. Chick and I, in the span of 1 hour of concentrated focus, got him swimming on his own. Granted, it's not like he's able to swim across the pool or anything, but he was dinged on his swimming report card for not being able to hold his breath under water for 5 seconds or swim 5 feet unassisted. Hello??!! They never even TRIED to get him to swim! And he's been able to put his head under water in our hottub to the count of 20 for months now. Stupid group lessons with teenagers teaching them - sheesh! So much for repeating the baby "Tots" session again, as advised. We're sooooo signing up for "Advanced Tots", thankyouverymuch.

Of course, we pushed our luck and he tried to take a breath and instead of air got water, which resulted in a coughing fit and a small upchuck on the side of the pool. No biggie - it got handled and nothing got in the pool itself. The poor lifeguards - teenaged boys - who had to do the cleanup came out dressed like they were going to be handling nuclear waste or something. Nothing like drawing attention to it.... At that point we called it and packed up our gear, praising our new swimmer to the high heavens. Mr. Chick is out with him right this very minute buying him a Slurpee for being able to swim like a fish. I'm so proud!

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