There are many things in our family that are not options. Most of those things are medically related items. Even Charles, who does not have the necessity for a medically induced regimen is effected by these things that are mandatory items of our day. The day comes to a halt for everyone to get medicine done frequently, really it happens all day and it can be very frustrating, especially for the kids.
Orson and Charles are best friends (just ask them) but if Orson needs to get his medicine inhaled/swallowed/injected then playtime grinds to a halt (and is often annoyingly interrupted) until the task is completed. So when it comes to other optional choices in life we (“we” as in me and my husband, I don’t have a mouse in my pocket) try to see them as such instead of forcing things that really won’t affect the moral character and happiness of our child.
One thing we have decided to not force on our kids (the parental crowd is going to go wild on this with disagreement I know and I have heard it before believe me) is swimming. Maelee picked it up quickly and eagerly very young. Charles did not (until this summer, hold on and keep reading). Orson has not yet.
The boys love to play in the water but the action of swimming without being able to touch the bottom of the pool is not of any interest to them. Frank and I never having been Olympic quality swimmers ourselves and feeling like it hasn’t stopped us from anything we wanted to do in life, focus on safety and fun in the pool with the kids. Charles was ecstatic when he grew tall enough to walk the majority of our community pool with his head above water. At the beginning of the summer I tried to teach him to swim and lost that battle very quickly. The battle being him insanely angry and upset and me stopping trying came and ended fast with Charles the victor. Then he got a coast guard approved life vest and was worried still about it not functioning properly in the deep (six feet folks) water. So one morning I dragged him into the deep end with him screaming enough to bring out neighbors living around the pool to check on us and he saw that indeed his snuggly fitting life vest worked great. He got the feel of things and the motion of his movement in the water and before we knew it he was taking off the vest and swimming all around the pool all on his own self instruction. Still in the shallow end yes, but hey that’s where I do all my swimming too. So we figure it’s a 2 thumbs up experience (both my thumb and Charles thumbs are the two thumbs in case you were wondering).
So yes there is Charles’ very exciting success story from our pool time this summer, but then there is the reality also that in my eyes especially towards the end of the summer, swimming is more trouble than its worth. With the piles of wet swimsuits, puddles all over the house, any space being used to change clothes is completely trashed, working around the baby’s naps, etc., etc., etc.
Of course I love my 13 month old with all my stinking heart but holding her in the pool is only fun for about 20 minutes. Make that 15 and set the timer please. She proved the need for me to wear a swim shirt this summer when she roughly and insistently pulled down my swim top (and although that’s a great way to make strangers feel awkward and leave you alone at the public pool it is very terrible when it happens around all your neighbors many of whom your attend church with). So with that in mind my desire and tolerance for taking my kids swimming this summer has fizzled out to taking them out of guilt for the sake of their summer enjoyment or doing anything else I can think of to avoid it. So if there are any other moms out there who feel the same way I do in regards to swimming loosing its charm when you have a whole flock of ducklings this comic is for you. For you other moms who remain beautiful mermaids all summer and swim your tails off, my hands are clapping a big round of applause for you right now.