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Nashville Glewwe Kids » 2008 »

Archive for July, 2008


Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Sandra is cleaning the living room as Megan and Michael play. Megan and I are tossing a beach ball back and forth. Sandra is moving the clutter towards a central pile that will then be sorted. She tosses something past my head and yells “Incoming!” Megan leaps into the recliner with me and says “I want to be with you when more “ins” come.” Puzzled, Sandra and I look at each other for a moment until the light comes on: she thought Sandra was saying “[there is an] “in” coming” as she threw something past my head.

Swim Lessons, Day Six

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Ah, the last day of swim lessons. For this session.

Michael and I got to the pool early, so we got in and played some before anyone else arrived. When the teachers came and added toys, Michael was delighted. They have these little green rubber turtles that are so alike in size and shape that I kept calling them ducks; they became “turtle ducks” to my addled brain. In any case, Michael loves them. And what does he love to do with them? Why, stick them in that little pocket on the side of the pool that leads to a drain, of course! Michael would kick and reach to get the little guys, then kick and point and grab until he had made his destination, then act out a little play with the guys inside the whole. Once he would let one go (accidentally or not), I’d toss it out into the pool and make him start all over. A couple of fits were thrown over this, but he survived. He played like this most of the class, taking a few breaks to go under or practice being on his back. One cool thing about going under: when I count now, he clamps his mouth shut and closes his eyes. It’s great fun to watch! Michael’s class ended and he was rewarded his certificate and ribbon. Since I was the only mother who approved the idea of a popsicle for her participant, no popsicles were distributed. Poor Michael!

Megan approached her last class with a wonderful enthusiasm. I now have her hand over her shoes as we walk past the pool, and she joins her classmates as soon as possible. Her last class was another great success: she kicked and went under, and even worked with a teacher with whom she hadn’t worked previously. At the end of class, shortly before being given her own popsicle, she even worked with one of her teachers on using her arms to move in the water. My eyes tear up just writing about that; I am so very proud of her. She got her popsicle, certificate, and ribbon, and we went to find the guys (Grant was in the nursery with Michael) so we could go home.

Now, on to the next session!!!

Swim Lessons, Day Five

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Another great day, AND I had my swim suit!

Michael spent most of his class chasing rings. One of the teachers kept putting it on the stairs, a little lower when he’d let her, and asking him to retrieve it. It seemed to be all about having him get his face wet- for the adults, that is. For Michael, it seemed to be all about getting the ring by any means possible without getting his face into the water. But he stayed happy through it all. At one point, he spotted a small ball further out in the water and returned the ring to his teacher before kicking and reaching (with Mama’s support, of course) until he got to the ball. Overall, he had a good time.

Megan was, again, eager to get into the water. Several times, during class, the teachers had to ask her to get out of the water at the steps and come wait on the wall with her classmates. She did more kicking and was even able to use a board to practice. I have to keep reminding myself that she’s not going to come out of these few weeks neccessarily doing strokes and really knowing to swim. However, I am delighted that she has met the goal I had of being happy to be in the water. She’s found that joy and energy that the water offers and she’s allowing it to embrace her. Now that she enjoys the water, we’ll move toward her trusting us to help her move in the water, then eventually learning to trust herself to keep herself buoyant.

Day six, the final day of this two-week session, is today. Don’t worry, though. I’ve signed both kids up for the next session!

Swim Lessons, Day Four: Silly Mama!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Tuesday was our first day of swim lessons for the week. I worked all morning to get us ready and had already loaded all the various bags into the car before 1:00pm. I thought I was on a roll! Michael only slept for one of his three usual nap hours though, and Megan didn’t sleep at all (I think she woke him!!!), so I was haggard and stressed and got them to the car as soon as I could. We ran a book by the library, then went to the Y and parked in the back, under a tree. Whew! Running early AND a good, shady spot!

I dropped Megan in the nursery, went and changed Michael into his suit, and still had 15 minutes to spare. Michael and I headed toward the front desk to sign up for another session of swim lessons. And then I stopped dead in the hall. I looked to my right shoulder, slowly pulling my t-shirt aside. Yep: no swim suit. That makes the whole “mommy and me” class rather difficult, eh?

I panicked. I called Grant, who couldn’t come help. I was terribly rude to him in the midst of my panic, as if it were his fault that I didn’t get changed into my suit at the house, like I usually do. I walked and paced and tried not to cry and tried to think while Michael said “wa-wa, Mama. Wa-wa.” Augh! I couldn’t make him NOT go to swim lessons! That’s just cruel.

Well, I had overreacted, to say the least. I told the instructor my problem, and she took him to the pool herself. She and another instructor took turns with him. Michael didn’t mind my absence a bit, and they seemed to have fun with him. He did so well, I can’t wait to get in with him today!

Megan, oh, Megan! She did wonderfully. She had asked about swim lessons earlier in the day and, as usual, had asked who goes first. Last week, it seemed her great delight that Michael had to go first. Yesterday, she seemed a little sad. I escorted her to the water, gave her the fastest pep talk ever about fun in the pool, then watched as my big girl went eagerly to join her classmates at the steps of the pool. She was still only taken out each time to practice kicking and putting her face in the water, but she had a genuine smile on her face as she practiced, and my heart lifted. They didn’t have her jumping to them again, but there will be time…

Grant was coming to meet us for a family swim (in this case, a Daddy/ kids swim since I had no suit), so I worked hard to get Megan out of the water fast out of lessons. No doing. She played on the steps, practicing using her upper body to get out of the pool, for some time. I finally got her out, dried her off, and explained what was to happen next. As I turned to get her swimsuit cover, she went back into the water!! Ah, the irony.

I finally dragged the child out of the pool, toweled her off and headed toward the nursery for Michael. There we met Grant, who could cuddle his son but not take him (that’s not the Y’s fault; it’s the crazy world we live in!). I handed off the suited Megan to the suited Daddy, went and got Michael changed back into his suit, and the fun continued at the outside pool.

More will come. This entry is already too long! Just know that things are going well.

Swim Lessons, Day Three

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Today was the best day yet! It also had some crazy adventure to it, too.

Today was the first day that no one was claiming Michael after his lesson, so I was going to put him in the nursery during Megan’s lesson. He’s actually been very frustrated that he hasn’t gotten to play in the nursery, so I knew he’d enjoy the play. When I dropped Megan off at 2:20 though, I was informed that the nursery closes at 3:00 on Fridays. Ack! I looked at the messenger, and in the midst of my panicking thoughts I said “I’ll be late. Just a little late, but late.” I must’ve looked desperate; she didn’t argue, but nodded her head.

Michael and I headed into the pool for his lesson. He waited patiently while I got down to my swimsuit, and then held my hand while we walked to the pool. He held the railing and walked down the first few stairs into the water. He did a lot more of the same today, kicking some, refusing to blow bubbles, lying on his back in the water for only short periods of time, and playing with balls and bowls. In pursuit of the balls, which have a tendency to escape, he kicked some, but he would also paddle his arms a bit. I loved this! He also went into fits of giggles when I made the balls go down into the water and come back to the top. I think the balls breaking through the surface did it for him. We loved his giggles!

I got Megan out of the nursery and got the kids dressed in the locker room, Michael into dry clothes and Megan into her swimsuit. A quick potty trip and we were headed out to the pool. As we walked, I told Megan that she would have great fun today and there was no reason to cry at all. I also told her there was no returning to the locker room; she was to keep at least her feet in the water throughout the class. I didn’t tell Megan that Ben, the teacher who’d gotten her kicking yesterday, wasn’t there today. I’d started to consider him our good luck charm, and was concerned. Luckily, we still had Kristen, who’d made a concerted effort on Megan’s behalf. As I started to walk Megan to the pool, Kristen came and took her by the hand and escorted her to the water.

Megan did beautifully throughout class. Even the other parents were marvelling at her progress. Megan started to put up a little fuss when Kristen first pulled her into the water, but she ended up having a great time. Megan had several turns in the water at kicking and getting her face wet. At one point, she “swam” through a hoop with the assistance of two of the teachers. She took some turns at swimming on her back (fully supported, of course), and even jumped off the side into Kristen’s arms before class was over.

It doesn’t sound like much, but my eyes tear up just to remember how well she did today, how bravely she sat by the pool, how hard she tried in the water, and how hard the instructors worked to keep her happy and in the water. It was a wonderful day!

We’re going to try to get the kids into the water some this weekend; wish us luck!

Thankfully, the elder abuse distracted her.

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Here’s the short version of the story:

My dad and Tobi took Megan home for me the other night. On their way, Dad took a wrong turn. Upon realizing his mistake, he said “Damnit!” According to Tobi, Megan immediately repeated the word, with great enthusiasm. Tobi, apalled, smacked Dad. Megan spent the rest of the ride home being upset that Tobi hit her Papa, and forgot the word. Whew!

Swim Lessons, Day Two, Take Two

Friday, July 11th, 2008

The rain threatened swim lessons for a second day in a row, but the pool re-opened at 2:30, just in time to get Michael into the water. Swim lessons were on!

Michael did more of the same, kicking some and practicing being on his back some. He still refuses to blow bubbles in the water, but he did collect toys off of the pool steps (so under water, but not terribly deep) and hand them to his teacher. In general, he just had a good time and took it all as Michael does, with a calmness about him.

Megan did great in the dressing room, but started to be upset when we got to the water. The same two teachers, Kristen and Ben, dealt with her. I was feeling terribly discouraged for a bit and even went to get Megan out of the locker room (she’s fast!) and carry her back out to the water, but Ben made her work with him. He asked if I was okay with how he was treating her (I’d seen him put her under a couple times, with ample warning) and I gave him an emphatic, affirming “yes!” He took Megan out and told her if she screamed, he’d put her under. He made good a few times, then got her quiet and got her kicking her legs behind her. Each time she had to sit on the side, she panicked. But each time she got back in the water, she did fine.

I counted it a day of success. I’m looking forward to today!

Breaking News!

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Poop has been successfully deposited into the potty by direct means, just a few minutes ago. I’m a little concerned that more will sneak out when I’m less aware, but I’m hopeful this success will lead to others.

Swim lessons, Day Two, Take One

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Swim lessons were rained out today. Megan put on a brave face and did not show any disappointment in not getting back into the water. Such a good girl.

Swim Lessons, Day 1

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Both kids started swim lessons at the Y this afternoon. Michael’s lesson is the first one and is a “parent and tot” lesson. There are three students, three teachers. It’s a class for kids aged 6 months to 36 months, and Michael is in the middle at 19 months. There’s a babe in arms and an almost three-year-old, and they’re all boys.

Three goals were to be met today:practice kicking in the water, blow bubbles in the water, and go under at least one time. Michael kicked, with the assistance of Kristen, one of the teachers. He didn’t blow bubbles in the water, but he did blow some raspberries at us and laughed at it. As for going under water, that was no problem- I just dunked the little guy a few times. They also had us make the kids float on their backs for a while. None of the boys were thrilled at this one, but everyone stayed pretty calm through it all.

When Michael’s lesson was finished, I wrapped him in his towel and prepared to take him with me to the nursery to collect Megan for her lesson. I figured I’d change both kids at once. Luckily, Grant showed up at this point and took over Michael, saving me a difficult juggling job.

I went and gathered Megan from the nursery and took her to the locker room. She went to the restroom and then I got her into the swimsuit she’d chosen for today. I delivered her to the teachers, kissed her on her head and told her I’d go to the restroom, then come back to watch her swim. As I came out of the stall, there was Megan, my hesitant potty girl, telling me she needed to go to the restroom again. Hmmm. Okay. I tossed her into the stall, let her do what needed to be done, then threw her back into the swimsuit and escorted her to the pool. Then things got ugly.

My memory blurs at this point. I’m sure Megan’s does, too. I just remember my girl screaming, clinging to first one teacher, then another, for the entire class. She was terrified of going under, and they promised her she’d only have to put her nose in. At one point, I went into the water with her to try to help; it was actually me forcing her back into the pool. She screamed at the poor teacher for so long that I finally went, took the child, and dunked her myself. Then I kissed her and told her the worst was over and to listen to her teacher. She told me to leave the water at that point. Really. So I did. I watched from the edge, trying to look supportive and feeling bad for the sweet girl trying to comfort my baby.

At the end of the lesson, the two helpful teachers made Megan work to get out of the pool, then the main teacher gave all the students (about 14, ages 3 to 5) a pep talk. Megan high-fived her two new pals (bless them!), and we headed for the showers and ice cream. When Megan and I met up with Grant and Michael at the van, Megan greeted her dad with enthusiasm. When he asked about swim lessons, Megan said she’d had fun. Then she added “I cried a little, Daddy. Just a little though.” Grant reminded her she’d be back for more tomorrow, and I reminded her that she’d promised her teacher she’d work hard tomorrow and not cry, and we ate ice cream.

Ugh. If there is a patron saint of swim lessons, pray to him.