Weeks ago: My 7 year old eldest son Jack still gets upset when you wash his hair during tubby time, especially if water gets in his eyes. He enjoys swimming pools if he can wear a flotation device and have us nearby whenever possible. He can close his eyes and plug his nose and put his face in the water but it makes him splutter and gag immediately afterwards as he complains about the chlorine.
One week ago: We arrive for vacation at my parents’ condo. Among other things, it features a swimming pool that’s 3 to 5 feet deep. My wife brings $4 super hero goggles for each child.
Five days ago: My sons go swimming with their mother for hours. While younger Peter wants nothing to do with the goggles, Jack loves them. He gets better at putting his head under water and opening his eyes, thanks to the goggles. He can touch the bottom in the 3ft and 4ft parts of the pool and finds this very exciting.
Four days ago: I go swimming with the kids after dinner. They have learned to play Marco Polo and I teach them the “fish-out-of-water” variant that my grade school friends used. Peter is not very fast on his floating noodle even though he can still touch the bottom in the shallow end, but we have fun. I tow Peter all over the place, but Jack is now imitating my “torpedoes” by pushing off of the sides of the pool with his goggles on.
Three days ago: I go swimming with the kids. Peter is cranky and leaves early, so it’s just me and Jack. Jack introduces himself to some other kids, including one boy who has diving toys. Soon they’re all over the pool together, with Jack learning to reach down and get the toys from the bottom of the pool. The other boy is more comfortable in the water, though, so Jack starts pushing himself to get to the toys on the bottom of the pool faster.
Two days ago: My wife swims with the kids for another two hours despite a record fourth day of 100+ degree weather. Jack is jumping into the pool, chasing friends, launching himself from the sides of the pool, swimming up to Peter from underwater, and generally having a blast.
Yesterday: The morning before we leave, my wife and the kids go swimming one more time for another 2 hours. At this point Jack decides the goggles are getting in his way, and ditches them. “Besides,” he reasons, “I can still see underwater without them, it’s just a little blurry.” He continues gallavanting. We shoot this video as proof of his transformation.
Today: Back home again. For the first time ever, my son takes a shower instead of a bath at bedtime.
Yup… kids are weird.