Thursday, July 10, 2008

Swimming breakthrough

Thursday's is Mom and little sister's Fitmom and Baby day. Rebecca and I have started going down to the Plant Bath pool as their free swim in the shallow pool is at the same time.

Up until now, Rebecca enjoyed being in the pool greatly, as long as I was holding her. While capable of floating stably in her PFD, plaintive requests of "Up please" were issued almost constantly. So long as I had a hand on her, preventing the bobbing she associated with being adrift at sea, she was happy.

Today we went to the pool, to be met by Sarah and Rowan. We got there a little early and I was playing with Rebecca in the pool. She was enjoying floating around on a hippo-shaped foam mat until at one point she slipped off. I was about three or four feet away, out of arms reached. She wiggled around trying to get into her stiff-as-a-board, floating-on-her-back position, and all of a sudden she realized she was making forward progress towards me.

In the span of about five seconds, several emotions flashed across her face: Concern, consternation, puzzlement, curiosity, surprise, joy and then excitement. She figured out how to get places, and how to steer.

I repeated the exercise, and made her travel about six feet. Then I did it again, with her in the middle of the pool (it's circular) and backed away slowly, staying a few feet away all the way to the edge of the pool.

Sarah and Rowan showed up, and after greeting them poolside, Rebecca happily slid into the pool into my arms from the edge without a lot of coaxing, instead of the typical walk down the gentle ramp at the side.

She then happily played in the pool, doing short bouts of swimming, with lots of cruising around on the big foam animal cutouts with Rowan.

At one point Rebecca saw a foam block that piqued her interest, and she dismounted of her own volition, and swam over to grab it. She moves so slowly and inefficiently that the waves from her wiggling pushed the foam block away until it travelled all the way to the edge of the pool where she finally caught up with it. She lost interest in about five seconds, after spending a good 30 seconds chasing it down.

At the end of the session I got her out of the PFD to see how she would react to being in the water with no extra floatation.

"Up please."

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