Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The New Phelps

DISCLAIMER:  This was written September 2013, update provided below.

Conversation between Shari (the saint of a woman who runs the home daycare Teddy goes to) and myself while dropping Teddy off:

Shari:  How was the weekend?
Me:     Pretty good.  We went swimming with the Berre's and had a blast.  Teddy kept trying to squirm out of our arms in the pool so he got one timeout for not listening.
Shari:  (laughing) He's trying to get out of your arms because he can swim.  He doesn't need you to hold him.
Me:     I'm sorry, what?  Wait...what?

Keep in mind at this point it's August.  She has a pool and on the first day she explained that she taught all of the kids to swim, and that during the summer they would swim every day.  I've gotten lots of fun pics of splashing, kicking legs, and jumping in.  She said he was swimming and getting so much better each day.  In my mind - this obviously just meant that he was comfortable in the water and having fun.

Shari:  (Still laughing uncontrollably) I told you he could swim.  He can go about 5 feet by himself. They jump in from the steps and swim to me, and then back.
Me:  Are you telling me that my 1.5 year old can swim?  
Shari: (Tears in her eyes now) Yes, Ellen.  He can swim.  He really loves holding his breath and swimming at the bottom.  That's his favorite.  Next time you are swimming with him, tell him to hold his breath and pull him to the bottom.  You can place your foot on his back so he can stay at the bottom for a few seconds.  He loves it.
Me:  Shari.  Did you just tell me that you step on my child, while he's under water?
Shari: (Doubled over in laughter now)
Me:  I need to sit down.  (I walk into the house and sit down in the front room).  Are you serious right now? 
Shari: Come over tomorrow afternoon and you can swim with us and I can show you.
Me:  No no.  If I see you step on him underwater, I will have a heart attack, scar the kid for life and he will never want to swim again.  He's still alive - so it must work.  I just don't want to see it.

I'll spare you the word for word 30 minute conversation where I grilled her.  I needed step by step instructions of what she does.  All of it makes perfect sense and is VERY safe, but this anxious momma could have NEVER pulled it off.  NEVER.

Well, turns out that she was right.  He can swim.  He absolutely loves the water.  I can GUARANTEE that I had zero part in teaching him how to swim.  Just a happy by-product of having a very experienced day care provider.  Readers:  Obviously - do not step on any children while they're under the water.  Leave that to the professionals.  If it were up to me he would still be wearing floaties and barely getting his hair wet.

Some of our summer fun (praise Jesus that he loves the water as much as we do):

We specifically went to Rough Creek Lodge a few weeks later just to have access to a pool and see this "swimming" for ourselves:

Fast forward a summer and here's a video from June 2014: 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Toddlers, Tantrums, and Time outs

That's what I should rename this blog: Toddlers, Tantrums, and Time Outs.  That's what my life consists of at the moment.  A cute little rambunctious toddler.  He runs everywhere.  He loves the sound his shoes make on the hard wood floors so he really stomp runs, and then runs in place once he's gotten to his destination.  A toddler who thinks he's invincible and has no fear.  He wants to climb.  He wants to jump.  He wants to climb up and then jump.  He's covered head to toes in bruises.

The cute little toddler mentioned above disappears in an instant when he's not getting his way.  Just try to remove him from the park before he is ready to leave.  Gaaah.  It's like he's tapped into every fear I have: being stared at, judged, and loud noises.  First, the 100th percentile head is thrown back with such force it's a blessing he hasn't knocked him self out.  Then, here come the jello legs and arms.  There's no way to pick him up without some sort of awkward chase. Wait for it...what's next... a cry, right?  It's not a cry with tears.  It's not a stomp of the foot.  It's a piercing shriek.  I don't know another way to describe it.  He inhales and shrieks at the top of his lungs until his lips turn blue, and then he repeats.  Meanwhile, every eye is on me.  How will I react?  Am I responding appropriately?  Am I torturing my son?  Should they call police?  

Time Outs.  Wow.  Who would have ever thought that a time out could be so painful?  Again - our kiddo plays us like a fiddle.  We started time outs around his first birthday when you could see him making willful choices not to listen.  He sits in the kitchen and the microwave timer counts down his 60 seconds of torture.  He has several different techniques to combat the time out.  Sometimes he just cries (not the shriek mentioned above - that's only saved for company or public outings when we are at our weakest).  The guilt trip (he's half Georgian after all)...he will yell "why" or my heart wrenching favorite "love you" the full 60 seconds.  The cute diversion.  He'll sit there happily and try to sneak into the living room.  Once eye contact is made, he will give you the best smile ever and wave and say, "hi."  

Apparently he's advanced for his age - he started the terrible two's around 1.5 years.  Maybe they should add that to the chart they give you at the pediatricians office?

What's this magical ice with bright colors and a spoon all of my own?

Might need two hands to tackle this miracle from above.

It's all gone?!?!  Why?!?!  Why?!?!?!