Underwater Swimming and Indoor Scooting

We spent this morning at the beach with a few of our dear friends. Asher played in the sand and at the water’s edge, while Isla preferred to be in the water floating around in a tube which she despised as an infant and now absolutely loves. After everybody was well adjusted to hanging out at the beach (snacked, watered, sun-screened, getting along with friends, etc), I ventured out in the water with Isla, confident Asher would be comfortable on the shore with my friend and her same-aged toddler whom Asher truly loves.

I put my feet up on Isla’s tube and she would hang on to them while I actually swam, legitimate freestyle swimming (minus the kicking, of course), around in the ocean. I believe it was my first time fully going for it in the East China Sea, and it was magical. I have always loved swimming in the ocean! Well Isla had some questions- did I close my eyes? Did I hold my nose? Was I swallowing the water? I did my best to answer, then I realized the source of her questions. She wanted to give it a try! She hasn’t really swam, head under the water, since last summer. So we went to shore, got her goggles, and went back in the water. She stood about 3 feet away from me (baby steps), took a deep breath, put her head in, and swam to me! No drama, no coaching, just bam! And then…. Then, I ruined it. I picked her up, so excited and said something like, “Isla, I’m going to throw you out a bit and you just swim right back to me!” And I just threw her. And it happened fast, and she was not happy. Why didn’t I just play it cool?! Grrrr. So I decided to just move on, apologize profusely, comfort her profusely, and do something else. I wonder how long it will take now for her to work up the courage to try again. Parenting fail!

But. When we got back on shore, I made a big deal about her swimming all on her own, and she seemed to perk up. She made sure everybody acknowledged her effort, and she happily posed with me and Asher for a victory picture.

Anyway, a few hours at the beach was a perfect plan, as this afternoon, the rain is back. I tried another suggestion from that article with kid ideas in it, the indoor tape track. Absolutely amazing. I’m sitting here writing, dinner’s in the oven, while these kids are going on hour 2 of playing HAPPILY together! They’ve driven to school, shopped at the commissary, gone on treasure hunts, raced their scooters, delivered treats to their friends, all their own ideas, all from this painter’s tape track! I witnessed a crash that resolved with the two of them hugging each other (I was not involved, except to hover in the vicinity to make sure stitches/bandaids/ice packs wouldn’t be necessary). Isla took a potty break with Asher as her buddy (I am *always* the designated buddy, and Asher is *always* strictly forbidden from the bathroom when she’s in there). After an afternoon of playing, Isla requested to sit by Asher at dinner and Asher proclaimed gleefully, “Iwa sitting by ME for dinner!” Yay for a fun, summer day.

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