Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All Hands On Deck!

I take Austin to swimming lessons every Sunday morning.  He is just learning how to swim and boy is he eager!  I mean he thinks he could conquer the English Channel ... no kidding!  Anyway, he is in a small group of beginners, the other children are girls.  There was another boy in the class but he was terrified of the water and after 5 weeks of trying, his Mother finally took him out of the class, thank goodness!  I felt so badly for that little guy.  I expected that behaviour from Austin, but no, I got the total opposite (I am not complaining, just to clarify).  He can't wait to swim across that pool (it is a shallow pool, Austin is tall enough that he can walk across it)!

Austin's instructor is a young (extremely patient) woman.  She has four children in the class to keep track of during this 1/2 hour lesson.  Austin is a handful, to say the least.  Sometimes he gets excited once in the water and just wants to swim or float on his back.  The poor instructor "Austin hang onto the wall."  "Austin stay here."  "Austin wait your turn."  "Austin stand still."  "Austin hang onto the wall!!!"  Now, Austin staying at the wall and waiting is usually the toughest part for him.  I am allowed on deck, so I walk along the side of the pool (if he seems to be more excited than usual) and count "1, 2 ..." (if I get to 3, Austin loses his computer time, that is precious to him, "currency" I call it) and he listens.  He listened to me so well the other day, he wouldn't let go of the wall when his instructor asked him to at the end of the lesson.  She wanted to let him play "rocket blast off" one more time because he did a good job hanging on and waiting.  I started to laugh and told him it was okay, he could go with her and I wouldn't count.  I told him I was proud of him and loved him very much.  He did a great job!

I have to say, there are mornings when I pace around that deck watching the clock, counting the minutes like a woman with a First Response test!  It is only 30 minutes and it goes fast but somedays (there have only been a couple) where Austin needs me to be on that deck to keep him focussed.  People all stare at me like I am some overbearing stage Mother!  I just let them stare through me.  After 6 weeks of swimming, I am alone on that deck ... all the other parents sit and read their books (there are about 40 of them by the way), joke, laugh, relax and enjoy watching their kids learn to swim ... wait, what is blocking their way?  That's right, "it's me baby!".  The only parent on deck, helping my son learn to focus, wait his turn and listen to his teacher.  When it comes to swimming, Austin is doing AWESOME!  He can do anything the teacher asks and his evaluation is Sunday.  Daddy and Austin are going swimming for that class.  We will find out if he moves up to the next level.  It doesn't really matter, right now he is having fun, he is happy and I am dedicated to helping him succeed ... at anything and everything he wishes to accomplish ... my sweet boy. :)


The Maven said...

Sounds like he's doing great! What a little fish! :)

For the record, I could never get Intrepid or Gutsy to listen in a pool or a gym when they were little. They couldn't hear in such a noisy, echo-filled environment so there's no way they could have followed instruction. And because they couldn't hear, they would go into sensory overload in every other way (for those who don't know us, they both have hearing loss and normally wear hearing aids, but obviously can't in a pool).

I used to actually feel a pang of sadness when people would tell me about their kids' swimming lessons. To me, it felt like one more hurdle for the boys that was so much harder to get over than it was for their peers. But we just kept taking them swimming one-on-one, teaching them ourselves, letting them learn at their own pace... and they're now both great swimmers. Kids will always do THEIR absolute best, right? :)

Mommie That Gets It said...

Hiya Maven!

Oh yes! He LOVES it! I am glad because I was so afraid he wouldn't like it at all but the noise and action doesn't seem to phase him.

Sorry Maven. *HUGS* I know the feeling. People talk about their kids playing baseball and soccer and Austin is not ready for that, it stings a bit but I know he will one day soon, sure of it.

I know your boys. There is ABSOLUTELY no hurdle they could not get over, guaranteed. They are a bunch of bright and sweet boys. Good for you for encouraging them and supporting them on their path to success! :)