I should start this post off by mentioning that our YMCA pool has a slide at the deep end, a big red twisty, curvy slide that's LOTS of fun to go down. Even for 39 year old women who teach swimming. I reward my swim students at the end of each lesson by allowing them to go down The Slide, they always look forward to it and it motivates them to do a good job in swimming.
It's a big thing when a child goes down The Slide for the first time.
So, we had another "incident" at the YMCA pool last night although this one was much more pleasant than last week's "incident". The Son had his swim lesson and did a fantastic job... of course, I read him the riot act before he had it and told him that if things didn't go better, he wouldn't be swimming any more for a long time. He knows I mean business because I remind him of the one or two times that I actually had to follow through with a "terrible" punishment (Like never visiting the Please Touch Museum again... and we haven't) and it jars his memory. Works like a charm. After his lesson he played for a while, never venturing in to the teacher room again either, I also think he learned his lesson with that. After all the lessons were over, the other swim instructors and I got into the hot tub to warm up. Staying in a pool for 2.5 hours tends to make you cold, even if it is a heated pool. The Son was swimming with his friends, doing cannonballs in the deeper end and having a great time. I took my eyes off of him for maybe two minutes to answer a question my boss asked me. (Let me remind you that there are lifeguards and lots of adults around at all times...he wasn't unsupervised.) Next thing I know, he comes walking over to me and we had the following conversation:
The Son: Momma! I went down the slide!
Me: Oh Wow! That's gre..., huh? The Slide? You can't go down The Slide you have to pass The Test!
The Son: Well, I did and it was really fun. I'm going to go do it again. (and he starts to walk back toward The Slide.)
Me: Wait a minute! You have to take The Test... do you want to take The Test now?
The Son: Sure! Let's do it. What do I have to do?
Me: Well, you have to swim the entire length of the pool and then tread water for two minutes.
The Son: Ok! What's treading water?
Me: (silence, staring at him)... Let me show you.
So, I got out of the hot tub (yes that whole conversation took place with me in the hot tub) we proceeded to walk over to the deep end where a lane line was set up. I got in the pool and showed him how to tread water. He got in and tried it too, not quite getting the concept that you couldn't grab onto Momma when you started getting tired. I asked him again if he wanted to take The Test and he said he did so I asked one of the lifeguards if he could do it for her. My little five-year-old who last week refused to swim for his swim teacher, swam the entire length of the pool and treaded (tread?) water for two minutes! He had to do some floating on his back in between but he did it and I was so proud of him! He passed THE TEST! He celebrated by going down The Slide a couple more times and I even joined him... it was fun!
My boss mentioned that he should probably only go down a few times a night especially after having a swim lesson and spending all that time playing in the pool because he'd be getting more and more tired as the night went on, but he was totally OK with that and is very proud of himself that he can now go down the slide with some of his "older" friends. He's definitely the kind of kid who will work hard for something when he wants it. I haven't quite figured out if that's always a good thing though considering he doesn't really work hard if he doesn't want something... the jury's still out on that one...
Have a great day everyone! Take time to enjoy "The Slides" in life.
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