Today at swim class, I got Julian some goggles (conveniently, I can buy them at the swim school). His eyes were so irritated and red last time, it was essential. He took very well to them and didn't protest at all -- I was prepared for a battle remembering Gabriel's reaction to goggles, but I keep forgetting who I'm dealing with.
They worked great. After swim class and playtime, Julian's eyes were just fine, though Gabriel was very puzzled by the rings around Julian's eyes. He was even more surprised to hear that he had them too!
I'm going to repeat myself here, but both boys are doing so well in swim class. Gabriel doesn't stop smiling or laughing, and he pays attention to the teacher and makes a real effort at doing everything right, mostly obeys the teacher and really puts himself into it. The teacher has him hold a ring out on front of him, and stroke one arm at a time, grabbing the ring after each stroke. He uses his arms in a passable crawl stroke in playtime now too. But mostly, he has SO much fun. Yay Gabriel!
And Julian...this little boy has a drowning wish. I just can't keep his head above water. He takes his own breaths in class now, inconsistently, but still sort of can. Still, he comes up coughing sometimes, having tried to get a breath underwater -- but even before he's caught his breath or finished coughing, he goes right back under. If I sit him on the side, he slides into the water immediately, without making any attempt at a jump. He refuses to dive in from a stand (which Gabriel did with great enthusiasm at this age), but I think if we worked on him, he'd get over that. And, today in class, we started him on his arms, telling him to splash them, and to watch Gabriel. Though Julian isn't as natural at Gabriel at doing the motion, he listens and imitates and tries -- and he did! It was great to see him attempting to use his arms while swimming too.
But in playtime, Julian is impossible, jumping into the water nonstop, whether or not he can rescue himself. By this age, Gabriel was pretty good at jumping in from the steps and swimming back around to the steps. Not Julian, he just just jumps in, again and again and again, sometimes with a goal (like swimming to me or to the side), but rarely an attainable one. It is constant work keeping track of him and pulling him out of the water, only for him to grab a quick breath and go right back under. It is not relaxing at all! But I'm so delighted that he loves the water so much that he is in it -- well, under it -- constantly. The goggles only encourage him to go under.
Tonight I went to an outing with my Mom friends, to a place called Dream Dinners. There, we each prepared 6 meals each to bring home and freeze, made at prep stations completely outfitted with ingredients and measuring tools. And it was fun! Meantime, while I was preparing gourmet meals, the boys were at home eating mac'n'cheese, talking about Julian's new goggles.
Dave reports that after the boys' dinner, he took them both down the block, Gabriel riding his bicycle and Julian riding a tricycle. This gives me grand visions of the whole family riding together soon! Both boys have a long way to go...or do they? It can't be that far off! I'm starting to see that one thing I was really dreading about baby#3 was putting the rest of our lives on hold for a while, being back in baby mode. But the 3rd baby doesn't dominate the family dynamic, he/she can't put us into baby mode single-handedly as the 1st baby did. Gabriel and Julian are active little boys who want to do things, and I want to do things with them -- that's not going to stop because of a baby. It can't. So maybe my grand visions of snorkeling and camping and cycling aren't going to be put off for 3 years as we'd thought. Asking Gabriel and Julian to wait is too much. And yay for that!