Sunday, June 22, 2008

Night Swimming

Not only do I like the song, I like to do it too. Which makes it a great posting title, but I digress ...

It's been unusually hot around here all week. Roast, roast, crisp, and schizzle! James does not do well in heat. He melts and gets cranky. The school buses and summer school do not have a/c. Thank goodness he's back home before 12:30pm!

So on Friday, I took he and his sister to the gym's pool after dinner, right about sundown. It was still like 90° and nice without the sun beating down on us. Big sister has been having swimming lessons, so she put on her inflatable ring/tube and hopped right in.

James was not so sure. He wanted his legs in the water and he wanted to keep his shirt on. After a bit, I coaxed him into going shirtless (this is tough for James). We went slowly down the steps, with James grabbing me as much as I was holding him. He got to watch the kids playing and his sister having fun. The gym is right by the airport, so he got to see a low-flying plane coming in for a landing -- he lit up as he waved to it and yelled "Hi, plane"

After a while, I started getting him a little more wet. James got nervous, and started to talk in babble-speak -- but he liked it too. Then I started singing and moving him. His sister's teacher from last year taught us to slowly tip them side to side, singing "Tick-tock, tick-tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock," so I did that too. He loved that. He even tried leaning over further to drink the water.

We went all around the pool. After about 45 minutes, I got James to float on his tummy, with me just holding him under his arms, and kick with his feet -- yay!!! He even let me float him on his back for a little bit. We all had to leave when they closed the pool.

We all really enjoyed doing this, especially at the end of a long, hot day! It was so hot getting back into the car (in the 80° range) that we stopped off for ice cream on the way home. We were going to get snow cones, but the gym's snack bar had closed.

I am so proud of how much more comfortable James is in the water. I never thought he'd let me float him and start kicking his legs on his own. This is partly because he's been uneasy even in the tub -- he has trouble balancing in the water and doesn't like it splashing on his face. The other part is that I know James has trouble "knowing" where his body is in space, and floating in water would seem to make that worse. Activities that involve the vestibular areas of his brain have been a real challenge for him.

I guess you can never underestimate the power of doing something for fun, and being surrounded by other kids doing the same thing and enjoying themselves.

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