Friday, August 22, 2014

Swimming lessons

When Jackson was a baby we did mommy & me swimming classes, we did three sessions. In the last one he got an ear infection, and after that I was reluctant to put him in any lessons. When kids turn 3 they can go into lessons without mommy. I waited until he turned 4, and then spring, to sign him up. He had 4 private lessons, to help get used to the water, and he really liked it and wanted to do more. It is really hard to get into classes here, you have to be online when registration opens in order to get the convenient times. I managed to get him in two 5 day sessions for the first level, one in July and one in August, I assumed he wouldn't pass since he is quite nervous and tries to pull his head out of the water when he's supposed to be floating. The classes were Monday to Friday at 5:30, so evenings were very rushed! He managed to pass the Sea Otter level, I was told because it is assisted floats. I think perhaps everyone passes unless they refuse to get in the water or something. It was nice to have all 5 classes in a row though, I think he learned well.

Of course it meant I had to change his second set of lessons to the Salamander level. Which moved it to 4:45!!  Crazy evenings, by the time we got home for dinner we were both starving and I still had to cook, so we got some fast food this week. And of course he had a few melt downs at the end of the classes.  Sadly he did not pass, so will be repeating in the fall. I have him signed up for the regular class, which is 9 weeks, one hour, again at 4:45, and 6 kids instead of 3. I hope he manages to pass! If not there is a 5 week session right after that he can do. I am hoping he passes and will be a Sun Fish for that session though. It will be tough with school but I think we can do it.

All this mad rush for swimming lessons is in part due to our big travel plans for my big 40th. I think with the Disney stay and the cruise, we will be swimming a lot! At least I hope so. At least he is a lot more comfortable in the water, and willing to jump in, with puddle jumper. We had a day at the beach and two chances to swim at the hotel pool in Toronto, he loved it. Once he got into letting go he was a champ, jumping in, trying to doggy paddle, and just move around. It was great, and I think it will mean a good vacation. Give him another year and we'll be snorkeling I'm sure!

One thing that would be nice, would be having a man to help him get changed and all of that. They do have family change rooms but they are super busy. He has to come into the ladies room with me, which he doesn't like. Someday he'll be old enough to handle it on his own, someday!

With his crazy antics after the lessons I've tried everything, threats, rewards, and then today on Facebook I saw an article linked from the Aha parenting ladies page. It talked about 4 ways to help kids with this type of thing, well other things too but this was one that I found helpful. So we now have a squeeze move.  When he's mad at me and wants to hit he now squeezes my arm instead, it doesn't hurt me but lets him get his aggression out. It worked well tonight, along with flipping him upside down, which sounds silly but was helpful, it just changed his perspective a bit, and made him want me to do that over and over again, so it was "after we get you to the change room, after you get dried off, after we get outside".  It helped. Making sure he has enough to eat as well, though I think a bigger snack is needed, just don't want him too full before we go.

He has been enjoying the swimming so much he wants to have a swimming party for his birthday. They have a package where the kids get to swim for an hour, 8 kids with 4 life guards, parents do not have to go swimming! Then an hour in a party room for the cake etc. My only concern is getting 8 kids changed after swimming, and getting my kid to leave the pool!  It sounds like fun any way. I'm just not sure if I want to do it, or stick with a Gym Tale like last year, that was a really good party and went well. And is about $30 cheaper.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ah vacation

We are enjoying the last day at my parent's place today. We'll head home shortly after lunch, it's about a 3 hour drive and I just want to go home. It's been nice. We have done a few exciting things. We went to the beach one day and Jackson actually tried swimming, with his puddle jumper on, he did the doggy paddle and had a lot of fun. It started to rain so we didn't get much time to play in the sand, though he did roll down the dunes into the water, and generally have a lot of fun. The water got cold for him though and he was shivering by the end.

This trip has been a lot better in terms of his temper. He hasn't had as many blow ups, though yesterday was a little trying. He was very tired after our big city adventure. On Wednesday we took the train from Belleville into Toronto. Jackson was very excited to ride the train and watch out the window. Though he got a little bored by the end of the trip. Once in Toronto we walked to our hotel and were able to check in early. Jackson was pretty excited by the pretty hotel room and the comfy beds with so many pillows! We had views of the CN Tower, the lake and could watch the trains go by. He loved to watch the Go Trains.

After checking in we went off to Ripley's Aquarium. It was crazy busy, I had bought tickets so we were able to go in the shorter line but it was still very busy. Especially at the beginning where it was almost impossible to see the fish. I don't think either of us was all that impressed. We did enjoy the moving sidewalk through the shark exhibit, though Jackson didn't want to do it and was quite mad I made him. Not that there was much choice, it was kind of a one way trip around. I think we spent maybe an hour and a half there, got a stuffie shark, and then left to find some lunch. We ate in a little pub place. Then back to the hotel and to wander around the harbour front for awhile. It was really nice weather, we watched some boats and walked around a bit. I found a Timmies across from the hotel too.

Jackson was most excited to swim, so we went to the hotel pool. He had a lot of fun, jumping in, splashing around and doing the doggy paddle. Of course he didn't want to leave when it was time to go, but I took his puddle jumper off him. He didn't believe it would matter and jumped in. I went in after him but did let him have a moment of trying to get himself out of the water and actually swim. He wasn't in danger of course, just had a little scare, which didn't really scare him since we also went swimming the next morning before checking out and he was jumping in a lot.

It was our first trip together, with an overnight stay. He was a little homesick at bedtime, even though I was right there. I think it was good practice for our trip to Florida in January though. I know we will need to take a few toys for him to play with, as well as some kind of bath toy or he won't take a bath. I think we both enjoyed the change and it was fun.

Today we get to go back home, phew. It is nice to visit but I like to get home to the kitties and just be home in my own bed and everything. We'll leave after lunch I think, should be home before dinner. I will need to get some groceries at some point this evening, for dinner and the weekend and everything else. Back to it Monday, just two more days to relax.