Monday, December 21, 2009

In Which Connor Goes For A Swim

Today I sent off another round of Christmas presents (Procrastinate? Me? Never!) and then we headed down to the YMCA for our first Family Work Out time. Well, Jer and Connor Work Out Time, anyway-- I didn't do a whole lot unless you count crab-walking around in three feet of water for 45 minutes with a toddler in my arms as exercise.

There were a number of other children in the toddler pool, and Connor was a little unsure of himself. He didn't care for the noise or the splashing, and about thirty seconds after we got into the pool he was declaring himself "all done" and demanding to get out. I told him we weren't finished yet and drifted over to a slightly quieter corner of the pool so that he could get his bearings. We watched the other children play for a while as he got used to the feel of the water. After a few minutes a little boy around Connor's age came over to us with a ball. With a big smile on his face, he very gently pushed it towards Connor.

"No no no! Away away!" Connor signed at the boy. Oh well-- so much for playing with his peers.

Once the little boy ran off, slightly confused, to play with somebody else, Connor calmed down a little. I eventually got him to stand up in the pool, and after a little while he even started trying to move his feet around himself! We also did some gentle bouncing, some largely unsuccessful kicking, and some movement around the pool. After about twenty minutes Connor became pretty comfortable in the pool (I was even getting some giggles and big smiles) and I decided to up the ante. The toddler pool has a large fountain in one corner that you can stand (or in my case, squat) underneath. Connor and I practiced touching the fountain, meaning that I forced him to put his hand in it repeatedly, and then we slid underneath. "No no no no no!" Connor said, squinting his eyes shut as he felt the spray. We slid back out after a minute or so. I asked him if he wanted to try again. "Don't like don't like all done no away," he announced.

I think he had a definite opinion on the fountain!

While we'll probably be heading to the YMCA five days out of the week to exercise, Connor's skin wouldn't tolerate being in the pool that often. I think we're going to try leaving him to play in the nursery tomorrow. We talked with them today and they seemed pretty confident they could handle an emergency with him; and it's not as if we'll be leaving the building. That way he'll get the chance to do some playing with his peers and I'll get the chance to do some real exercising! Our plan is to have him in the pool about once a week-- any more than that and we'll probably turn his white hair green. I'd also like to spend one day a week in the toddler gym with him. Once he's at school again we'll probably cut some of that out, but since he's not getting most of his therapy during the break the activity will be good for him.

I think it's good to continue to push Connor's boundaries as far as his sensory issues go. That's probably what was really bothering him today. I'm amazed to see how far he's come; he didn't even cry in the pool, and three months ago he would have been bawling and burying his head in my shoulder after fifteen minutes. We'll continue to challenge him and hopefully over time he'll continue to improve!



xraevision said...

Way to go, Connor! Pretty soon, he'll be the one splashing other kids. And yes, I would say that 45 minutes of crab-walking with a child in your arms counts as exercise!

J. said...

way to go Conner! He'll be swimming before you know it!

Team Carter Jay said...

Go Connor!

beauty obscure said...

With Connor's seizures that effect his breathing a nursery in a building full of lifeguards seems like a good bet!

Anonymous said...

Water play is fabulous for promoting development! So rare that I get to say that mid-December!

Way to go, crab-walking-Mom!

So remind me what the problem is with green hair...

Considering everything, sending a second round of gifts this week is beyond outstanding.

Blessed Merry Christmas to you, Jer and Connor!


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