Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In Which I Torture Connor Horribly or We Go Swimming, Depending on Whose Perspective You Prefer

Yesterday's time at the pool was interesting.

Connor has a love/hate relationship with the indoor toddler pool down at our local YMCA.  He loves the feel of the water if there's absolutely no one moving it around except for him.  He hates being splashed, the noise, the parents and older kids in the pool, the water moving around him in unexpected ways, and touching the bottom of the pool with his feet.  So maybe actually it's a hate relationship, which a tiny bit of liking thrown in sometimes, but only under the right circumstances.

Also he believes that the giant mushroom fountain located in the toddler pool, which combines noise, splashing, and the water moving unexpectedly around him is in fact a diabolical torture device designed especially to inflict suffering upon his person. 

But I like to push the kid, so we go to the pool on a semi-regular basis, and if he spends the vast majority of the time making his angry face at me, the Fountain of Evil, the other parents, and all of the children speaking in tones above a whisper and moving faster than a slow crawl, well then at least he's getting some good communication practice in.

The big reason I continue to take Connor, other than the obvious sensory therapy and desensitization benefits, is that after we get out of the pool he seems to spend quite a bit of time exploring what his legs can do.  This child normally has two positions he puts his legs in while we're doing weight bearing exercises: knees locked, or spaghetti legs.  While he'll shift his weight from side to side and he can stand up (with help) from a sitting position, he doesn't seem to understand how to bounce on his legs like most kids do relatively naturally.  When he's in the water, though, I can get him after about half an hour or so to practice a little bit of kicking and even a smidgen of bouncing, and after we get out of the pool he continues to experiment with it for a little while.  I'm hoping that if I keep working with him eventually he'll be able to transfer it to dry land for more extensive periods of time.

Connor probably would rather we practiced in the bathtub.



Lin said...

I'm kinda with Conner on this one. I hate all those creepy kids who jump in right by you and splash your hair and face with water. I like to hang out in the shallow end so I can be cool, but not completely submerged and that just happens to be the "kiddie" section--complete with unexpected splashings and all sorts of yelling. Sigh. Conner and I need a shallow end to ourselves.

Niksmom said...

Good for you, Jess! I am certain that the aquatic therapy we did with our son when he was little is the reason he was finally able to walk by the time he was 4. He's 6 1/2 now and runs and climbs, too.

He also had a hate relationship with water back then. Today? He can swim (wearing a vest and arm floaties) by himself for periods of time in my sister's pool. He asks to go swimming multiple times a day.

Go, Connor, go!

Christy said...

Good mama pushing your kid past his comfort zone while being there to support him. Hopefully it will be less and less torturous over time.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Jess, I'm sitting here giggling at the Diabolical Mushroom of Torture... good for you, for acting in Connor's best interest, even when he doesn't appreciate it. And double plus good for you, for doing it with style and humor!


Anonymous said...

You are such a great writer. I feel like I was there, watching you torture, erm, work with Connor.
Emmett had a hard time bouncing, too. He can jump now, which was a tough one. We still go a little overboard with the praise whenever he does it. People must think we're nuts, freaking out because a three year old is jumping. Oh, if they only knew!
Thank you for making me laugh today!!!:)
-j o'c

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