Thursday, July 17, 2008

maya vs the pool

I've come to the conclusion that Maya will likely never do anything the easy way. Or perhaps I actually mean that she will never take my advice easily. That should make those teenage years fun. I'm thinking. Our latest bone of contention has been the swimming pool. She hates it. And I am bound and determined that she will learn to love it. So if you've lived near us in the past month I'm sure you've heard her tortured screams as I subjected her toes again and again to the horrid beast that is our backyard swimming pool.

Now there were plenty of times that Mike requested that I stop scarring the poor child for life. And he probably had a valid point, but I truly believed she was afraid of the unknown more that she was afraid of the pool. As I've mentioned before it's not a huge pool, but definitely a lot more water that Maya is used to in our bath tub. I am certain she didn't realize that she would be able to stand up in the pool and not have the water be over her head.

In the beginning she would be in hysterics just from having to put her bathing suit on. So I abandoned that idea and instead left her in her clothes. I started by dipping her toes in. I would dip, she would shriek at me and clutch at my clothes, but eventually I got her to this stage....


I left her alone for a few days. Let her have some fun by splashing her arms around in the pool. I knew it was time to move on to the next stage when she started trying to scale the side of the pool. For a few days she enjoyed having me hold her on the top rail so she could dunk her feet in. Periodically I would lift her off and dunk her into her knees or waist with more shrieking and clutching from her.

Then a couple of days ago I got in the pool with her and sang endless rounds of froggy froggy dip dip. And we dipped in to our toes, knees and tummy. Which, surprisingly enough, she enjoyed. For her next torture session, it was into the baby boat. The baby boat is basically an inflatable ring with a seat attached to it and leg holes. It was a bit of a struggle, but once she was sitting in there she was okay. And before long she was begging Abby to go faster when we were pushing her around the pool in it.


After two days of hanging out in the baby boat she started leaning over the side to get her bangs wet. That, to me, was a sign we needed to move to the next and final level. I pulled her out of the baby boat and put in her in the pool. And.... you guessed it... she shrieked. And tried to scale the side of the pool. I enlisted Abby's help and between the two of us we managed to straightened out Maya's legs until the touched the bottom. Once her feet were on solid ground it was like someone had flipped a switch. The shrieking stopped. And she smiled. Abby, ever the encouraging big sister, let the neighbourhood know that Maya had DONE IT! And we cheered and celebrated and Maya smiled one heck of a big proud smile. She even let me put the water wings on and then we walked in endless laps around the pool. Me on the outside she on the inside, water wings in place and holding my hand.


After about an hour of alternately walking and standing still holding onto the rail the goose bumps started popping up. She was getting cold, so I hauled her out and..... you guessed it.... more shrieking. She wasn't ready to get out. And what's a girl to do when they're mad at their Mommy? Call Granny and complain of course....


And that's the story of how it took Maya a month to get in the pool.


Leah said...

I'm impressed! Now, if only I had a backyard pool for the daily attempts with my kids... (it doesn't get warm enough here to have a deeper unheated pool). Mine would happily be IN, but it's getting faces wet we need to work on.

Congrats to Maya on her new found love of the pool!

Norma-ann at The Mommy Project. said...

Ah, that's such a cute post. I love all the pics (especially the last one). Congratulations to Maya for conquering her fear of the swimming pool and to you for all your patience (and to Abby for being such a nice, supportive, big sis)!

p.s. We are still looking for a pool like yours. It's so perfect!

Suze's Sass said...

Look at Maya - she's a big girl now. In the pool and complaining about mom all in one month!

Julie said...

Yeah Maya! Way to persevere Shan. I'm sure Mike will thank you for being so stubborn. With all the heat we've been getting, she's going to thank you too for getting her in!

Anonymous said...

Good going shannon. Maya looks so cute when she is complaining to granny, and way to to Abby for helping Maya into the pool.
Life partner

Merry said...

Yea Maya!!!! I'm so glad that she finally did it! Such cute pictures. I think we're both in trouble when it comes to the teenage years (or maybe before). Evan tries something & if it doesn't work he just does it harder & yells at it. Great....he's like me!

Widney Woman said...

You are a great mommy. Patience abounds. Can I send our son to you for a month? He SAYS he can swim and wants to swim. However, when he gets within 2 feet of a body of water, he screams like a girl who has seen a bug.

Shan said...

Leah - Thanks. I really wanted her to be at least comfortable in the pool so we could start to think about swimming lessons.

Normie - Yeah it's a super cute one. She looked so funny on the phone with my Mom. Abby has always been endlessly proud of all Maya's little accomplishments. It's really adorable. Glad you finally found a pool.

Suze - No Kidding. Teenage Maya is going to be "fun" I'm thinking.

Julie - Thanks. Although wouldn't you know it... it's been raining ever since.

TLP - Who better to complain to, right? Now that she's swimming we'll have to plan that "camping" trip soon!

Merry - I guess being strong willed will serve them well when they're older, but boy it can be a struggle to keep my patience sometimes.

Widney - Absolutely! And tanks so much, that's sweet of you to say.

Angela said...

That was a good story. You coldn't get her in now you cant get her out.

Yes that water can be scary. I don't even have to hold Gregory in a pool he is so scared he holds on to me so tight

L Sass said...

For a shrieker, she looks pretty cute and at home in the water!