Going for a Swim

I don’t know about you, but I get excited to do something new with Audrey. Especially something that brings back my own child hood memories.

I loved going swimming with my Mom as a kid. LOVED it. I loved to splash and play and swim. I love the fun I had with my Mom and my brothers. I can remember the smell of the pool and the feel of the waves and the water that I felt when I feel asleep that night.

So I was excited to take Audrey to the pool the other day. The weekends are busy, but I had the Friday before our trip off. We did errands and had coffee with a friend in the morning. But I wanted to do something in the afternoon that would be fun and different. Something we don’t normal have time for. Swimming fit the bill.

And I have to admit of having this idea in my head of how much Audrey would LOVE it and how much fun we would have.

But I forget sometimes how young she is. My husband reminded me the other day when I heard the ice cream truck coming down our street, that our 16 month old does not need an ice cream 10 minutes before bed, even if I did equate that sounds with child hood fun and memories. Fun that I want to have with my daughter. There is lots of time in the future though for ice cream trucks.

We have just reached the really fun stage. Where we can play together. She talks now. She plays now. We can build a tower together and then knock it down. We can run in a field, chase each other, giggle and fall down together. We can go down a slide together. We can sing and dance together. It’s fun.

So I get all excited about doing all these things. Which is awesome. Because I am not typically a ‘go out and do stuff’ kind of person. I like to be at home and I don’t like crowds. But Audrey brings out the inner ‘let go and have fun’ in me.

So we went to the pool. And we got in. And Audrey was terrified. She clung to me. CLUNG. She cried if I tried to let her stand in the teach pool. But we had just got there. So I held her on my knee and we talked and splashed and poured water out of cups. And slowly, Audrey relaxed. Then, she gained confidence. Then she was ready to explore. Pretty soon she was toddling through the water and putting her face in to try and blow bubbles.

I didn’t push it. I waited. I held her. And I let her take the lead.

It was her trip to the pool, not mine.

Audrey teaches me something new everyday. Teaches me to be more patient, more calm, more understanding, more aware of who she is and what she needs. This kid is doing a great job of showing me what life is all about.

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8 responses to “Going for a Swim

  1. Jen August 5, 2010 at 8:19 am

    If you get the opportunity to sign up for waterbabies or parent and tot or whatever type of swimming lessons, I highly highly recommend it. Kale has been in lessons a few times now, the first at 6 months old. Ross takes him and it’s a special thing they do together. He loves swimming now – sometimes almost too much – and begs to go pretty much everyday. Our new place is across the road from a park – and two of the features of that park are an outdoor pool and a spray park.

    • amoment2think August 7, 2010 at 8:16 am

      Yeah, I would LOVE to take (or get DH to take) Audrey to lessons, but unless we can get a weekend spot, there just isn’t enough time during the week. Also, expensive. But I really should check it out for the fall.

  2. Cheryl August 5, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I love hearing you say she releases the inner “let go and have fun” side of you! I endeavour to do that more!
    If we let them, they remind us of how fun simple things are. Who knew knocking down towers was so funny? Who knew bubbles were so hilarious? Us boring grown ups forget these things.
    Good for you for letting her go at her own pace in the water (and for staying while she did so). We’ve done lessons and enjoyed them but whenever there is a gap, we have to get used to the water all over again.

    Thanks for a reminder to look for the fun moments of toddler-dom, rather than the crazy ones!

  3. Partial August 5, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I’ve been taking Squirrel to swimming lessons since she was 4 mos. old, and she LOVES it. Keep taking her, from what I’ve seen at the swim school, the kids who start out early are able to develop water safety skills without fear much better than kids who start later.

    I know what you mean about getting excited to do all kinds of things. I drove by a carnival yesterday with a bunch of kid rides and for a split second I got so excited about taking my kid there until I realized that she is only 8 1/2 mos. old and we are a ways off from that. We do so much hard stuff as parents, it’s fun to get excited about doing those idyllic things that everyone imagines when they consider parenthood.

  4. janetlansbury August 5, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Kathleen, I love this post and also what Cheryl said. Those gifts Audrey brings: like helping you get reacquainted with your inner child, will hopefully make up for the more difficult toddler experiences you are encountering!

    It’s always tough to hold off and wait to share the childhood activities we loved. We want to show our babies everything…NOW. But if we are patient, and allow our babies to really participate, allow the experience to be THEIRS as you did, the payoff is huge…and even magical.

  5. Amber August 5, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    I found that my daughter just got more fun as she got older. And my son, now, at 2 years old is starting to get to be more fun, too.

    It’s great that you’re following Audrey’s lead. She will show you what she’s ready for, and when. And I think it avoids a lot of problems. I’ve taken my daughter to classes where some of the kids clearly weren’t happy, and that’s no fun for anyone. If you can trust your child, it’s really just much smoother for all concerned.

  6. amoment2think August 7, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Janet and Amber,

    I totally agree. I think that is one of the big lessons of parenthood- let the kid lead. It can be a hard one to learn, but the pay offs are great!

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