With the mercury climbing well past 90 (does anyone actually use a mercury thermometer anymore?), we decided to spend the majority of the weekend at the pool.
Not that the Monster minded this one iota – while he has, in the past week, expressed once that he wasn’t in a mood to go swimming (on a day where he’d already gone in the pool before we’d asked), telling him that we’re going to the pool is a quick way to get compliance from him to get him changed, sunblocked, and loaded into the car. And while all of us went to the pool together on Saturday, I managed him at the pool by myself on Sunday.As I expressed in an earlier post, he loves the water. He’s quite content to spend hours in the water if permitted. And since both days involved being overly hot, we were quite content to allow him to spend a good deal of time in the pool to cool him down.
I’m discovering a few things as I try to resurrect my long-since-lapsed WSI skills:
- Much of what I’d be teaching him as to water safety – floating, basic stroke readiness – I can’t at the moment, due to the delay in his receptive and expressive speech. I haven’t found a good way to convey to him that he has to hold his breath to go underwater, or to remind him that he shouldn’t let go of my arms when he’s in well over his head.
- He is picking up some basics. He blows bubbles, understands about kicking and keeps his hands on the wall when asked. He’d rather climb up and down the ladder without getting off it, though, and he’s not quite grasping that other people need to use the ladder to get out.
- He does seem to have some concept of safety – he’ll happily walk out to where he can’t stand, but I’ve yet to see him try to climb in where he can’t stand when there’s no adult present. And yes, I’ve seen him slide into the pool from the side.
My biggest issue is still wrapped up in the communication problems – there’s times where (like all kids), he just doesn’t listen. Blowing a whistle at him doesn’t work, because it doesn’t fire the same reaction in his head to look around and see who is whistling and why. All I really have is the ability to keep a firm hand on him to make sure he stays out of harm’s way.
Not that you need more advice, but kids (with the notable exception of my girls) seem to really like http://amzn.com/B00364E0LW/ – and even though they feel like water wings (so kids actually can play in them) they’re real class III PFDs. Might let you guys get a break some times at the pool when you aren’t trying to teach him how to swim.
We’ve seen a few kids at the J using them – are they really that unrestrictive, though? (Not that we’re sure that he’d even wear it, but anything’s worth a try.)
About as unrestrictive as water wings – the kids don’t seem to mind them.