Just before our second was born, I can remember smugly thinking that we were old hands at this parenting lark, and that nothing the new baby could do would come as much of a surprise to us. As luck would have it, Boy-Boy was a very easy baby, much, much easier than Fraboo; you can even ask Mrs L. about that, as my memory isn’t terribly reliable in such matters. As regular readers will recall, I had much the same feelings as the arrival of Jojo loomed upon us.
I am quite certain that God has a sense of humour though as Jojo is now approaching 10 months and has yet to sleep through the night, a trick that the other two had performed by three months. I’m not complaining, if he makes it to his tenth birthday without having slept right through then I may have some cause for complaint, but really if this is the worst we are going to endure from him it isn’t much to worry about is it?
I am rather clumsily trying to make the point that each of my kids are different, and this was beautifully demonstrated when we took them all swimming last week. I am not someone who brags a lot (if you’re telling the truth it isn’t boasting), in fact I’m probably the most humble person you are ever likely to meet. I don’t profess to be much good at many things, but the one thing I know that I do really well is swim. As the child of a dynasty of exceptional swimmers, it was a given that I too would be immersed (if you’ll excuse the pun), in this activity. Perhaps, unsurprisingly I turned out to be a natural, even teaching myself how to swim butterfly at the age of 8, in the sea one summer. I was and am keen to keep water running in the veins of my family, but for a couple of reasons (mostly work, and my sloth like tendencies), I have neglected to take the kids to the pool.
The lack of familiarity with the water is apparent with Fraboo, who is by nature, the most nervous of our children. She hates to get her face wet and won’t stray far from either myself or Mrs L. This is a good thing! She is unlikely to get into too much trouble in the water when she is so nervous around it.
Conversely Boy-Boy clearly has absolutely no regard for his own well being. It isn’t that he’s brave, as I think that bravery is loosely defined as confronting your fear, something which he seems to be totally lacking. He squeals with delight jumping into the pool, and momentarily disappears under the water only to surface giggling harder than ever. He will leap from the side of the baths, and clamber up onto higher and higher platforms from which to plummet. I am convinced that he will be going off of the 10m diving board inside of a year, and he has since earnt the nickname of Diver Dan.
It is such a joy to see and be a part of, however when I do take him to the pool, I have to keep my wits about me and my eyes wide open, a very difficult task for someone as myopic as I am. I constantly have to point to the NO RUNNING! signs (thank goodness it isn’t the NO HEAVY PETTING sign, although I’m sure that will come), as he has a tendency to tear away from me at great speed, and head toward the deepest and least attended area of the pool. I have always been able to catch him, but I am now very reluctant to take him to the beach or a lake, or even near a largish looking puddle.
Jojo, for his part was totally relaxed, floating around in his little rubber ring, looking a lot like one of those very contented little Buddha statues you see occasionally. He, like his Dad seemed totally at home in the water. I took him out of his inflatable, and bounced him up and down in the water, and played speedboats with him; whizzing him through the water as fast as I could. He loved both of these, and it was so nice that we were able to do an activity where he is really able to join in! What was particularly special about this, is that it was Jojo’s first time swimming.
In the wise words of Meatloaf, two out of three ain’t bad, and I think that the two boys at least are certifiable water babies.
As the old proverb says; the road to hell is paved with good intentions but I will be taking the kids swimming again, very soon!