Swim Night

My shark boy LOVES his class swimming time.  LOVES it.

And because I’ve been volunteering all this time for swimming, the kids have begun to associate me with going to swim.  This is both good and bad – one little girl, Sabrina, begins jumping up and down and flapping her hands in sheer excitement, saying “Swimming!  Swimming!  Swimming!”  Another little girl, Dana, takes one look at me and starts to cry.  My ego is well in check, just so you know.

Tad loves the play time at the end of each swimming session, but finds it really hard to wait his turn while Drew (the swimming instructor) works one-on-one with the other kids.  It’s a good thing for Tad to learn to wait, but he has a hard time focusing on getting the lesson part down.  The kids are working on very basic things like backfloats, kicking their feet, and putting their faces in the water – this is all about getting them comfortable in the water and wearing them out with a little physical therapy.

Tad’s teacher, Mrs. W, suggested that I start bringing Tad to the pool’s special needs family swim night – otherwise known as the Goldfish swim, for those who run the program.  The Goldfish swim is only for special needs kids and their families – which keeps attendance low – and as a bonus, Drew is the lifeguard for the swim.

Last week was our first time – I took Ane and Tad.  Tad was thrilled, and Ane LOVED it.  So I purchased a family pass (good for 10 visits) and I’m committing to getting there as many weeks as I can.  It’s an hour’s worth of physical playtime for both kids, and I get quite the workout chasing them around the pool.  It’s good for Ane to see other kids who have special needs – and their “typical” siblings – and it burns off some of Tad’s excess energy.  Plus, his class has missed so many lessons this month – out of 5 Mondays in January, they were only in school for 2, and they have this coming Monday off for a teacher inservice day – that it gives him a chance to have the playtime he so desperately wants.

Mrs. W was of the opinion that if Tad had this extra pool time to play, he’d be more willing to wait his turn during lessons and not feel like he was trying to cram in as much playtime as possible at the end of the session.  So far, so good.  His class had a lesson this last Monday, and Tad was definitely calmer than I would have expected – and much more reasonable about waiting for Drew to work with him.  And let me tell you, going to the pool motivates that kid like little else does.  It’s nice to have a carrot to dangle in front of him, even if I can’t dangle it in front of him for an extended period of time.  We can’t go to the pool every day.  And Ane really enjoys the water, and I’m trying to find more physical activities for her to do.  She needs to burn off energy, too, and when it’s pouring rain outside and getting dark around 5 pm, I can’t really kick them into the backyard after school.

So, we’re spending time at the pool.  And I’m hoping to get the Webmaster and Rerun there eventually, too – Drew let me know that the baby was welcome to come (with a swim diaper) – but I have to have another adult there.  There’s just no way that I can handle all three by myself, especially with a baby who can’t swim, and a shark boy who continually wants to play with someone.

Last night, Tad asked me to push him around on a large floating board – it’s about 2.5 feet by 4 feet, and Tad’s so skinny and light that he can either sit on it or lie on it, pretending that it’s a surfboard.  As I pushed him around (great aerobic workout for me), I could hear him reciting the lines from one of his favorite shark documentaries, “Jake has no idea that under the water lurks a great white shark…”

It’s the story of a guy in Australia who got bitten by a shark while surfing, and his surfboard was chomped in half.  Tad loves reciting the lines while he’s “surfing” in the pool.

I grinned at him.  “Are you happy, Tad?”  I asked.

He looked me straight in the eyes.  “Yes, Mama, I happy,” he said.

That’s all I need to know.

5 Responses to “Swim Night”

  1. Ressis
    January 28th, 2011 04:59

    I don’t think anyone will be surprised to see his love of sharks to extend into adulthood. Little Cousin’s “carrot” is Cubbies, but alas, it’s only once a week, too. As for Ane, I think indoor soccer would be great for her, just remember to video it for me!

  2. Captain
    January 28th, 2011 06:17

    You NEED to take a trip to Disneyworld and take in the water parks!

  3. Doc
    January 28th, 2011 09:50

    When is he going to be old enough to see Jaws? Can’t wait to hear him say “We’re gonna need a bigger boat … ” Now, most kids might be SCARED by the prospect, but to him, it might be a comedy!

  4. Oddball
    January 28th, 2011 12:40

    You do know that we have a pool the kids are welcome to come use anytime.

  5. Deanna's Corner » Blog Archive » Six Years Old
    August 12th, 2011 02:19

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