Thursday, May 3, 2012

Water Babies

My boys love the water. Well, let me rephrase that. The kid loves all kinds of water. Baby E loves just the bathtub. Apparently.

For Spring Break, we went away for a night to a local state park (seriously, our state has the best parks!). We took the boys to the indoor pool. The kid stripped off his shirt and shoes before I could even get inside the gate. Some teenage boys thought he was about to drown and offered to save him. But that's a different story. Anyway, I got baby E all ready for the pool (FYI - we just use some of his diaper covers instead of those disposable swim diapers - work great!). Hubby jumped in with the kid and I passed E to him.

And then all hell broke loose. E started screaming. And I mean screaming, y'all. As in, someone is about to kill me kind of screaming. I took him from hubby and he clung to me like a little, terrified, sopping wet monkey.

I sat with him in a chair until he finally stopped trembling. Then hubby got out and came over to him. And it started all over again (the screaming, shaking, terrified bit). This happened a couple of times.

Finally, I was like, "kid, you gotta get over this. We are a water-lovin' kind of family". So I walked with him (attached to me like a koala bear) over to the hot tub. Finally the shaking stopped enough that I stepped on to the top step. Shaking resumed, though calmed after a few minutes. Then I sat down. And he tried to climb up my front (i.e. my neck and head) like a bear. Eventually he calmed down. So I started dipping his toes in and out and in and out. This only caused mild protestations, probably helped by the little girl who had now joined us. He was flirting too much to get too terribly upset. Then I stood him up in it. And - finally!! - I got him to sit. Though only on the very top step.

I was so confused by all this, because that baby loves, loves his bath. And then I started thinking about last summer. Last summer he loved the pool and the lake. Or did he? I mean, he'd go to sleep every time we put him in. I thought it was just because he was so relaxed in the water. But maybe it was his defense mechanism. Maybe he was freaked out by it then but didn't have any other way to let us know than to go to sleep.

Cue theme music for EPIC PARENTING FAIL. Or at least that's what it felt like.

At any rate, that baby's gonna have to get used to the water, because, really, we are a water lovin' family. I was on the swim team. Hubby was a life guard. The kid's been going off diving boards since he was barely older than E. I'm not saying that he has to love it just because we do. What I'm saying is we do lots of things in the water, so it'll be a lot easier on all of us if he can at least not have a major meltdown every time he smells chlorine.

Today's lesson: My kids know what to do when there's a camera around. For real.


M said...

Cute picture! I hope he gets over his fear so you can have lots of pool days this summer.

Kristin said...

That picture is adorable! I bet he will grow out fo this phase!

Jessica said...

I'm sure it's just the age. Our little guy did that same thing the summer he was just over one year old. The next year and from then on, he became a FISH!

Alex said...

Poor little E! I'm sure it's a phase, but I had to laugh when you described him climbing up you like a bear.

Elizabeth said...

Aw- poor thing! I'm hoping along with everyone else- just a phase :)

callmemama said...

Love that pic! I'm hoping Isaac loves the water too - I'll be taking him to the pool (I found a chlorine-free one nearby, yay!) for the first time in the next couple of weeks. He absolutely loves the bath and his water table, and getting sprayed by the hose...and puddles, so yeah, I'm hoping he likes swimming :).

Emms said...

Adorable picture! Maybe its just a phase?

AS said...

Oh no! The idea of him clinging to you like a koala bear is really adorable though.

Astrid said...

I was scared of diving into water when I was little, actually I still am. Have you discovered LUSH and the awesome bath products they have? They have really fun ones for kids. It might be a way to have them associate water with fun.