Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

First Ever Swimming Lessons for MacKay & Oscar

This last Monday the boys had their first ever swim lessons. It is through Safe Swim Minnesota and is done at local hotel pools in the Brainerd Lakes Area. I dropped Evie off with the Williams family just so we could both be there for their first lesson …. Mainly so I could take pictures and video. I got there just moments after Chris and the boys got there and they were excitedly watching the kids in the class before them…. Saying “I gonna do THAT?” every time the kids would swim around or jump off the sides etc. I had to explain that it would take a while before they were that good, that those kids were older and have been taking lessons for a LONG time …. But they generally seemed excited about doing all this. Then it came time for them to get in the pool….
The instructor, Megan, got them all seated on the steps into the pool – there were 4 kids total. She tried to see if she could get MacKay and Oscar to wear the goggles she had there. She actually got the goggles (surprisingly) on MacKay … but they quickly came off. Oscar was a trooper though and wore his the entire time. If anyone SHOULD have worn them it should have been MacKay, as every time we’re in the shower he’s constantly freaking out about water in his eyes, yelling to me “Wipe my eyes, Mommy…. Wipe my eyes!” In the weeks leading up to this I’ve been telling him I won’t wipe his eyes anymore, that he needs to learn to wipe them himself… which he does most of the time now, though it doesn’t stop him from demanding that I still do it and whining about it. So anyway….. they started out just playing with the water … pouring it over themselves with cups etc. Then the instructor told them about blowing on/in the water to make bubbles…. … instead, my kids just kept sucking it up and choking on it – NICE. I was just amazed that they were willing to put their faces close enough to the water to do that, so I wasn’t complaining. Then she told them about “Monkey Face” which is basically all about holding their breath. She tells them to puff out their cheeks (now this is where I would have referred to a puffer fish instead… but maybe it’s only my nerdy kids that know what those are) and hold their breath when they go under the water. And it was shortly after that that both the boys got their first round of dunking. She didn’t even give them much time to prepare or think about it. Just grabbed their hands, asked them what color frog they wanted to be (cuz that is apparently what they were pretending to be, jumping into the water) ….. told them to do Monkey Face and BAM…. Under the water they both went. In total, they did it 3 times during the 30 minute swim lesson… and EVERY time they came up with the most shocked look on their face, gasping for air and hacking and spitting up water everywhere.
Then they got to put on their “backpacks” which were just flotation things…. And got some foamy barbell things to hold onto and gave floating, paddling with their hands and kicking a try. MacKay went first and was having a ball until teacher let go of his upper body to put her attention to his legs, trying to show him the proper way to kick (keeping legs straight and long vs bent like he was doing) …. I think he didn’t feel secure floating like that. Oscar did pretty much the same thing and freaked when she put more attention to the lower half of his body …. So they weren’t too trusting this first go ‘round. In fact Oscar belted out a good ole’ ..”Somebody Help Me” like he was being tortured out there. Seconds later after returning to the comfort of the stairs he pulled his classic move that he does when he doesn’t want to do something anymore…. “Teacher, I gotta pee.” Which MacKay quickly learned was a way to get out of doing something he didn’t want to do and opted to do the same. Once back from the bathroom safety zone, they did some scaling of the walls. I think she called it the Monkey Walk or something… basically to get them over to another area of the pool to do some jumping. The two other kids in class have been through this program before so they got to jump in … but Megan (intelligently) decided to instead have MacKay and Oscar sit and do a rendition of “Humpty Dumpty” where they would get pulled into the water and dunked when Humpty Dumpty had his great fall. MacKay went first …. So when it came to Oscar’s turn he was quite adamant.. “Teacher, I don’t want to go under the water” but he obviously lost that battle as that is exactly where she put him.
I talked with Megan after the class to see what her impression was of how well it went …. And she did mention that she thinks they might do better starting out (since they have never had ANY lessons before) in a class where we are in the water with them. I told her I would think it over as that option is a little more challenging for us considering we have Evie to take care of in all of this too. I know the Williams Family would normally love to help out in this situation as we always do favors for each other like this … but considering Shawna is 35+ weeks pregnant and about to pop any day/week now… probably not gonna happen. So after a lot of mental deliberation, on my part, I think we’re going to forge ahead with the class they are in… and if we have to, we will start doing some practicing/lessons of our own to practice and supplement each week at the pool with the kiddos… or may even opt to do some 1:1 lessons if these don’t prove to be very effective after a couple more weeks. I wasn’t really expecting much… and thought they did MUCH better than I thought they would do. I really don’t know how having us in the water would help …. This is just something completely new to them that is going to take a while to sink in.
After we got home the boys were chatting it up about their lessons and what they did. Oscar was his usually chatty self, and MacKay kept ascertaining that he was going to wear those “Glasses” next time…. He doesn’t like them being called goggles and won’t wear goggles, but he is talking some big talk saying he will give the “Glasses” a try next time. And just recently as I was organizing the pictures I was going to put on this blog post, both the boys were watching and commenting on the photos and begging me to take them back there. So it must not have been a traumatic experience for them that they are begging me to go back… so I take that as a good sign.
On a side note… I have to share. Oscar and MacKay say the funniest things lately. For one, MacKay now agrees that his poop does NOT smell like strawberries like he was claiming for the past few weeks. He’s quite clear on that one… “Mommy, my poop does NOT smell like strawberries… does it?” And I always find MacKay and Oscar having some really funny conversations with each other. The other day, while I was fixing lunch, Oscar was playing with this little Cars flashlight that we have (it has little covers you can put over it to shine different Cars images on the wall etc)… and MacKay wanted it but was willing to wait patiently until Oscar was done: [MacKay]: “Oscar, I get it when you’re done?” [Oscar]: “Yup, when I done.” Well, moments later, Oscar put it down to play with something else and MacKay quickly snatched it up which threw Oscar into a complete tizzy. He came screaming to me about how MacKay took his flashlight and demanding I get it back for him. I simply told him that he put it down, so now MacKay get’s to play with it and that he could wait until MacKay was done. He wasn’t satisfied and kept demanding and crying.. so I told him I was busy making lunch and didn’t want to hear it, that he needed to go work it out with MacKay. Which I guess he really heard me on, cuz he walked over to the recliner where MacKay was sitting with the flashlight and just sat on the floor in front of it giving MacKay the ole sad face look. Eventually I heard this conversation:

Oscar: MacKay, can I please have my flashlight back? You’re not using it (which he wasn’t, just clutching onto it for dear life)
MacKay: You have it when I’m done
Oscar: I sad MacKay. Look at my face, MacKay. I REALLY sad.
MacKay: You sad, Oscar?
Oscar: Yes. Look at my face…. I really sad. Please… …
MacKay: You want to be happy?
Oscar: Yes, I want to be happy … with the flashlight
MacKay: Here Oscar (giving him the flashlight)… be you happy now?
Oscar: Yes. I happy. Thank you, MacKay
MacKay: …… Now I sad. Look at my face, Oscar

OMG, I WISH I would have gotten that on video… it was so sweet and completely hilarious. Another funny moment…. As I was getting the boys strapped into their car seats on our way into preschool Tuesday, the boys mentioned something about getting to see Miss Mary and Miss Michelle. I told them they might not see Miss Mary because she was hurt … that she broke her collar bone (which I showed them where it was on them). About 5 minutes later as we were driving down the road I heard MacKay frantically trying to get my attention. When I asked him what he wanted he replied, “We needa fix Mary’s bone, Mommy.” I love when they say stuff like that … means they actually listened and understood. MacKay still creeps up on me and whispers his favorite How to Kill Your Dragon line …. “Dragons ALWAYS go for the KILL!” which I find completely creepy… but he’s so proud of himself for remembering things like that.
Little Evie is just learning more and more words and mimicking everything we say lately. I’m always amazed how she can say some of the more difficult 2 syllable words, but still stumbles on some of the easier 1 syllable ones …. But she is enjoying learning new things, constantly pointing out things asking “Whas dat? Whas dis?” and then repeating whatever I answer with. She loves her little board books that deal with images of things in different colors, numbers etc… as she knows many of the objects and proudly points them out and names them for us. Our once good little eater has gone bye bye though…. She is SO picky now and would rather play (squish, pulverize, crumble, smear etc) with her food or just simply drop it over the edge of her high chair tray and feed Angus. Gma Chris will be coming up tomorrow and is bringing up one of her booster chairs she keeps at her house for when we visit … I’m hoping her eating habits will get better if I seat her with the brothers at the table. Will get back to on that one and how that works out.
And I should mention as well, the newest edition of the Lake Country Journal includes the article that was written about all the home renovations we’ve done on our house. It ended up being a very nice article … my only regret: giving them just a random sampling of old pictures of our house. I made sure to give them a few really good shots for the “before” pictures, and also included in some “not so nice” shots just to give them a good idea of where we started with the house. One of those pictures just happened to have a very sloppily dressed version of me in it looking through some paper work. I cannot believe they ACTUALLY used that picture. The only saving grace…. The picture was taken a long time ago when I still had a decent figure. HA. But if you can, check it out online: Note: you need to create an account to view contents of the online issues.
But anyway – the real reason for this post… sharing some fun pictures of the boys during their first swimming lesson. (will have to save the video for next time as I only got about 60 seconds of footage before my battery died on me).
Getting mentally ready for their first ever swimming lessons.

In the pool with goggles on ... though MacKay's came off about 5 seconds after I snapped this picture.

The boys laughing at silly Megan who would fall back into the water when they would give her High 5s

Some fun splashing around and dumping water over their heads

Getting ready for some underwater fun.... teaching them "Monkey Cheeks/Face" (holding breath) and blowing air out and making bubbles

Two VERY happy looking boys.... who have NO idea what is in store for them - some pictures of them about to be dragged under water.....

.... and both of them after being pulled back out - gasping for air and hacking up water

Some floating and kicking fun.... note the look on MacKay's face in the 2nd picture of him - not too happy with teacher showing him how to properly kick

Scaling the wall ....

Was able to catch a good picture of Oscar 1.) JUST going underwater (after saying that is exactly what he did NOT want to do just seconds before) and 2.) immediately after being pulled back up. Love the expression on his face - sheer shock.

Hope you enjoyed... come back again soon.

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