Sunday, August 14, 2011

Splish splash

There is something very exciting about watching your first child experience a myriad of firsts.  I remember Andrea's first bath and her first big poo, her first sounds, smiles, and Christmas.  Paul and I recorded these events in her baby book, and I took lots of pictures.  But this week as Paul finalized his preparations for his masters program starting on Monday and Andrea's first summer came to a close I realized we never took her swimming.  Friday we drenched her in sunscreen and ventured out of our dark basement apartment to bask in the summer heat and some chlorine.

It's taken us a very long time to help Andrea adjust to baths.  When I brought her home from the hospital I discovered her amazing talent of peeing during diaper changes.  She not only scored high points for quantity of urine, but aim as well.  Her little squirts somehow managed to seep their way up the changing mat into her mullet and I would call for Paul to rescue me with a baby tub of bath water.  Poor little Andrea's face would turn a sad shade of violet from the pressure of her screams, but I hoped as she got older her tears would turn to giggles as she splashed in the tub.  Seven months later my wait ended and my sensitive and cautious baby decided that bath time was no longer fatal (provide I ensure she not drown).  I took this as a sign that she was ready for the pool.

Perhaps it was a little too soon.  I hadn't even put her into the water when she began to whimper, so I started slow.  I dabbed her feet with the chilly water before carefully dipping them.  Inch by inch her fair skin entered the pool until she was sitting on the top step of the kiddy pool.  She continued to complain and scrunch her face from the bright sparkly water.

The combination of bright sun, chilly water, screaming children, and splashing fountains no longer seemed Andrea-compatible.  I gathered her up in my arms and walked around the lazy river as she clung to my swimsuit and buried her face into my neck.  My sister, who came along to support her little niece, commented on Andrea's strangely cuddly behavior.  I worried this was too much for her.

Paul and my little brother found us to take a turn holding Andrea so my sister and I could soak in the hot tub.  Because she seemed so uncomfortable in the bright sun Paul retrieved her over-sized hat and within minutes she was fast asleep against his chest.  Apparently, she was just tired.

After a little nap we were ready to put Andrea back into the water.  Armed with her hat and a toy, she was all smiles as she sat on her kiddy pool step and practiced some light splashing.

I was so impressed with her new attitude I let her play for a while and took her for a few more laps around the lazy river.  She seemed be enjoying everything now (with the exception of the waterfall).

We left the pool while she was still happy hoping she'll want to go back.  I know I do!

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