Posted by: heartfull | June 11, 2008

Hanging at the pool

Last night at the pool was everything it should be. After I swam with Chip for a half hour or so, I got out and sat at a table with some other people, enjoying a beer and talking while we watched the kids swim. Bird had brought a friend, but Mare played with some other kids who happened to be there. An older girl befriended Chip and kept him entertained. And I sat and talked and laughed. Summer just doesn’t get better than that.

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Chip is a maniac in the pool. He tells me “You take off that hat – now!” as soon as we arrive. This is his way of letting me know I must get in the pool with him because he wants to play. He loves to jump in to me and directs how far back I have to stand to ensure that he becomes fully submerged before I pull him out of the water. We are practicing holding his breath and closing his eyes and he is getting better at it. He wants to jump in over and over and over. And over.

Yesterday I finally got him to like hanging on a noodle as I figure this is the only way he’ll learn to kick. After he jumped in, I yelled “Noodle Time!” and I pulled him in a circle around the area we were playing in. He loved that and I’m glad – up until now he had resisted any form of flotation device.

After he has had his fill of jumping in, he likes to go to the wading pool, which is about two feet deep, and throw himself around, getting his face wet in the process. He is in heaven if big kids are in the little pool as well because then he can “play” with them. Even better if they are playing with squirt guns or balls. Yesterday he took the kickboard that I tried to get him to use in the big pool and used it to “body surf” around the baby pool.

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Mare is a little fish in the pool this year. She swims around amazing well, reminding me of an eel as she wriggles around under water.

She had her first swim meet Saturday. The first race went well but she decided, for some reason, that she only wanted to swim one race, even though her coach had clearly written four races on her arm in dark black Sharpie marker. I bribed her with the promise of some “mommy time” if she would do the relay so that her team mates wouldn’t be let down. She finally agreed but refused to do any others. We had a long talk after the meet and I don’t think that will happen again.

After her races, she and her best swim-team-friend decided they should have a playdate. Mare came up and asked if she could go home with Julia and I said sure. A little later on, Julia’s dad came up and I realized I had never seen him before and when I said “I’m sorry, I know my kid is about to ride home with you, but what is your name?”, we both laughed that I was willing to let my 6 year old go home with any old Tom, Dick or Harry. Which isn’t exactly true – I had met Julia’s mom once and, well, they belong to the pool, and um. Yeah. Maybe I need to be a little more careful.

In any event, she had a fabulous time at Julia’s that day. We didn’t pick her up until 5:30 and it was like pulling teeth to separate her from Julia even then.

They are assigning Buddies at Swim Team this morning. Ellen and Amy, the swim team coordinators, told me that all the big girls want to be Mare’s buddy.

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Bird one first place in the 8 and under freestyle race. First! I was so excited for her. Additionally, she swam breast, butterfly, free relay and medley relay (swimming butterfly). She was disqualified in butterfly and breast (as were all racers in that age group for those events – it is too technical a stroke for this age group.) Her medley relay team was DQ’d as well for the same reasons. No matter the DQ’s, though – it was awesome watching her do butterfly for 50 meters in two races.

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