Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I can do it on my own!

Last week was Oliver's half-term from nursery, so I took the week off from work. We booked a very short stay at a nice hotel a few miles into the Peak District, chosen for its health and fitness suite and for its pool.

We took the kids into the pool. At the start Lucy was very much wanting to hold onto Hayley and Oliver would swim about with his arm bands, partially supported by me. But after a few minutes he saw a little boy the same age as him swimming with arm bands completely unaided. Suddenly this struck a chord with Oliver. Perhaps it was the freedom it offered. He suddenly told me "no Daddy I can do it by myself" and started to paddle about without my assistance. He needed some help getting anywhere. His kicking is not too effective yet. But it was a big step forward in building his confidence.

A few days later we went to the Sandcastles pool at Blackpool where there are all sorts of wave machines, fountains, a river, waterfalls... and it was packed with people! This put Oliver off at first but after a few minutes he was happily jumping in and swimming about.

Meanwhile, Lucy who had also increased in confidence a little in her time at the hotel - helped by an extra swimming session with Daddy when Oliver couldn't be persuaded to come along - was absolutely determined to wriggle free from us at every opportunity. She wasn't using armbands this time, but one of those life-jacket affairs. They aren't the most stabilising of devices and we couldn't really let go of her but she still tried to get away. At one point I let her climb out onto the side where there was a sheer (plastic) "rock" face. She only tried to climb it! That girl is a real daredevil. I feel sure that in years to come she will give me a heart attack by doing things like freeclimbing.

The other thing Lucy took to immediately but Oliver had to be persuaded to try was to float down a river of pumped water under buckets of tipping water. It was all a bit enclosed which seemed to put him off, but he loved it once he'd tried it.

Finally, I took Lucy down the smallest slide on my lap. She loved it and requested repeat performances several times.

So both kids are showing more confidence in the water, which is very reassuring. We now plan to build on it with some more regular trips to our local pool.