This morning I took my two youngest to the YMCA pool, along with two of their friends. It was fun for the girls. Allison is a little fish in the water. Nothing frightens her and she goes underwater with great ease.
Ashley is another story. While my littlest angel loves the water, she really hasn't gotten the hang of swimming yet. I'm not sure that she ever will be a great swimmer, but I'd certainly like it if she could be taught to keep herself above water for a period of time. Right now it's a bit dangerous for her if she can't touch bottom with her feet.
The Y has two water slides, one small and one very tall. They opened the small red one for a bit and I caught Ashley each time she came down. Then they opened the blue one. This one required climbing a lot of stairs. Ashley climbed up, so excited to be going down the big slide.
The lifeguard at the top sent her back down, telling her she had to pass the swimming test before she could go on the blue slide. I took another lifeguard aside and explained Ashley's condition to her. Then Ashley 'took' the test. She had to swim across the width of the pool by herself. I kept a hand under her tummy as she splashed her way across and passed the test. She was SOOOO thrilled to have passed the test. You'd have thought the lottery had been bestowed upon her.
She then proceeded to climb the stairs back up to the top of the big blue slide. I anxiously waited for her to come sliding out through the bottom opening. She never arrived. I finally saw her dejectedly coming back down. At first I'd thought the lifeguard up there had turned her away again. I'm not saying my hackles rose...but I was not feeling too pleased.
I yelled up to ask what had happened and the guard yelled back down that Ashley had gotten scared and changed her mind.
Poor thing came over to me, dropped into the pool and buried her face in my neck crying. I hugged and hugged and kissed and kissed her. I told her about the time I'd climbed a high dive ladder only to get an attack of nerves at the very top, and making everyone on the ladder behind me climb back down so I could get off the thing. I told her it was a good thing it was just stairs to come back down and that everyone gets scared sometimes.
I think on Monday I'm going to call the Children's Therapy Unit and see about getting her into some swim lessons for special needs children. We were going to do that before we moved, but I think now is a good a time as any to see if we can't get her swimming ability up a bit higher.