Do you remember last summer when I mentioned Tornado A has no fear of drowning? He thought he could swim. This summer he still thinks he can swim, so my parents and I have been working with him every day.
“I a baby shark! You a mama shark!”
He and I blow bubbles together and go under the water together. He plays on the step and yells, “Mommy! Watch this!” He jumps and puts his face in the water, holding his breath. He jumps up and says, “Together, Mommy!”
“I a fish! You a mama shark!”
We do “Ring Around the Rosie” as I bob us up and down, just to dive under at the end.
“I a baby fish! You a mama fish!”
I put him on the kick board and help him move around, repeating “kick, kick, kick.” He kicks well. Lately he jumps in and grabs me and starts kicking with such force that I have to brace myself. I end up letting him kick his way around the pool.
“I no spiderman! I a spiderpig!”
Believe it or not, my father taught him that Simpson reference. Tornado A crawls along the walls of the pool with ease.
“I a baby whale! You a mama whale!”
Then there’s the tossing him in the air to a grandparent and back. There’s the pushing him through the water towards another adult, telling him to kick. He jumps from the step to kick in my direction.
“Mommy! Are you ready?!”
“Steps! Are you ready?!”
And I push him back to the steps.
Today was his first day of swim lessons.
Today I decided to up the ante. I put two pool noodles under him and worked with him to reach and kick. We moved around the pool. I placed him on the step to make him take a breather because he won’t if I leave it up to him. I turned to my mom to say something when I felt movement in the water. I turned to see Tornado A reaching and kicking his way towards me with noodles under him. (I wasn’t more than a foot away, I promise.) He reached for me, smiled, then turned back to the steps. He swam in a few circles. I looked over at my mom. She was staring at Tornado A. I looked back at Tornado A.
My mom: He’s just weeks behind Tornado S.
Me: Um, I think he’ll be swimming by the end of the summer.
My mom: Or in a few days.
Christ. Apparently determination is everything.
Granted Tornado S was on the cusp of swimming for nearly two years, so I can comfort myself with that.