Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Swimtime and the Floating Enemy

Tuesday evening was Katy's first swim lesson. She has always loved swimming and been fearless when it comes to the water. For example, in Jamaica, when she would tumble off of the lounging mat and would be underwater for a second before I'd retrieve her, she be smiley and laughing when I brought her up. Well, being fearless is one thing, but we felt is was important that she be able to back up her fearlessness with some awesome swimming skills.

We arrived at swim much earlier than needed; I wasn't sure how long it would take to pick her up from school and get to the Y and change, so we ended up waiting around for about 25 minutes! It wasn't all bad; the wait helped build excitement for the swim class. And, I think it helped that I took her to the edge of the pool a couple of times to give her a quick dunk. :)

The first sign of trouble arose when the kids started lining up for the class; they were all grabbing a little flotation device that strapped to their backs. When Katy saw this, she immediately told me that she "didn't need one" and didn't want to wear one. I told her not to worry and that she wouldn't have to put one on unless/until a teacher told her that she needed one.

The instructors then split the kids into two groups: the experienced "Pikes" (the younger group) and the "Eels" were in one group and the new "Pikes" were in the other group. Katy and two other kids were in the new kid group. Inevitably, all the kids in both groups had to put on the floaties. Katy was screaming and crying and really carrying on about having to wear one, but I eventually just put it on her and then the instructor picked her up and comforted her in the water.

The instructors must experience bugged-out little kids fairly frequently, because "Miss Sue" was able to quickly calm Katy about the whole experience. After the kids got used to the floaties on their backs, they added two extra yellow arm floaties that they all wore, too. Then, they started swimming with the floats on. It was amazing to me to see how quickly and easily Katy took to swimming. Sure, she is being propped up by floats, but she was able to propel herself quite a distance fairly quickly.

Well, I was sure Katy was over the floatie issue when, from half a pool-length away, she called out to me, "Daddy, I like the floatie now. The floatie's OK now." After the class was done, she asked me, "Please, five more minues?" I told her that I was glad that she liked it and that we would do it next week, but that the teachers said it was done for today. She was cool with that.

I am glad that she still likes the water as much as she used to and that she is so ready to swim. I am relieved that she got over having to wear the floatie, too. I tried to use it as an example of how she should trust that Daddy is not going to suggest something that isn't good; we'll see if I can remind her of this the next time she is freaking out about something meaningless. :)

After swimming, of course, we still went swinging for a little bit before bed. The extra missing pieces arrived in the mail, so I was able to attach the rings and the hand-holds for climbing. I'll probably install the extra anchors in the next couple of days.

Tonight is Halloween, so there might not be much time for swinging, but we'll see. Katy is going as "Princess Dora." We bought her a princess outfit a while ago, but she recently has been saying she wanted to be "Dora." So, I suggested "Princess Dora": the "Dora" part will be that she will say "Gracias" for the candy instead of "thank you." ;)

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