Friday, July 24, 2009

Water (What a) Week!!!

So this summer, I decided to enroll Shiv in swim lessons. I have to confess that I haven't exposed him to the joys of a swimming pool as often as I should. Yes, yes, my children are deprived and all that!!! But Shiv is unpredictable, which makes it tricky trying to figure out whether he will enjoy something or not. He's all tiger on the outside, growling at other kids with a mean look on the playground, but deep down, he's a little mouse; scared of the dark, loud noises and....water.

Not the water in the bath tub, which is all warm and soapy, but the kind that sends a shiver down your spine and gives you goosebumps on your skin, when it splashes all over you. I'm talking about when the kids in the neighbourhood decide to have a pool party and run around the yard with their water pistols, screaming at the top of their voices. Or when the family across the road, turn their front yard into a soak zone with an inflatable water slide. It's amazing how children appear out of nowhere in seconds, as soon as Mr. J starts setting up the apparatus. And all appropriately dressed in their bathing suits, ...with matching towels!! And so, Shiv runs around the house like a crazed kid, yelling for his swim shorts and towel. I try to change him while trying to calm him down, assuring him that the slide will not be torn down in the next 5 seconds, only to have him stand at the side for the next half hour just watching the other kids dunking in the delicious coolness.

So I thought that maybe a couple of swim lessons would encourage him to get more comfortable. We talked about the swim lessons, and everyday till they began, Shiv would whine about wanting to go into the pool "right now". I was secretly glad that he seemed to be showing so much enthusiasm but alas, little did I know that this was all just bravado. Oh, he went into the water on the first day, all right, only to come out in 2 minutes, and insisting that he wanted to just watch. So for the next 4 days, we would get dressed for the much awaited swim lessons, drive to the pool, only to have him sit on the side of the pool, yelling out instructions to the other kids.

The instructors tried everything. They would coax and cajole him. I would promise him treats. The other kids would try to hold his hand. But no, the child declared the water too cold and just sat on his butt. I have to give him points for being attentive though, because when we got back home, he would lie down on the carpet, and demonstrate the kicks and paddles!!! He would jump up and down on the concrete, while the others did it in the water. He always had a long explanation about why he couldn't possibly get into the water. It was either " too crowded", "too cold" or he wanted a better view of the action!! He would engage in lengthy conversations with the instructors, looking very serious as his hands moved in the air animatedly. He would make them laugh, give them high fives, tell the other kids that they were doing a good job....but never get in the water. Every morning on the way to the pool, I would try and negotiate with him; today he had to sit on the second step and put his feet in the water or today he had to let the instructor hold him in the water. We never got past the first step, and although he did get his feet wet, he had them out in the blink of an eye. Sigh!!!!!!!

We haven't gone back to the pool for the second week of lessons. Maybe gymnastics would be a better bet. There's no water involved, and he's on the ground (for the most part!!). Maybe art lessons. Maybe we'll just hang out at the park and the library for the rest of the summer. Maybe we'll revisit the pool next year and see what happens. For now, I'm going to be content with him splashing in his bath tub with his rubber ducky and frogs....all by himself!!!

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