William Swims At Mint Springs

Yesterday Terry insisted I get out of the house and take William for a walk since he (rightly) thought that I was spending too much time moping around playing videogames and needed some fresh air.

But it was too hot for a walk, so I decided to take William to Mint Springs for the afternoon. Terry emphatically did not want to join us, so I figured he needed some alone time. I picked up some lunch for myself on the way out there, and arrived around 12:30pm.

By the time I got our umbrella set up and William's swim trunks on, it was "break time", the fifteen minutes at the end of each hour when all the kids are supposed to get out of the pool. But I used the break times to go IN the water with William. The lifeguards didn't seem to mind (adults don't have to mind the breaks), and there wasn't anyone around to splash William, so that was beneficial.

The water is very shallow near the shore, it's probably about 18" for a while, then up to 2' after the first five yards or so from shore. Perfect for little kids. It also keeps the water pretty warm, which was also good.

William drank some water when he went under yesterday. He got the cuing half right-- like Tami taught us, I said, "ready. . . set. . . .GO" and on the "GO" I took a big exaggerated breath and held my breath as I pulled him under the water. And he recognized the cue, but only closed his eyes, he forgot to close his mouth. Some attempts he fared better than others, but I probably only did the underwater thing with him less than ten times all day. He's four months old, not training for the Olympics. Mostly when we were in the water I just played with him.

He spent some time floating on his back, and floating on his tummy with his head poking up. When he was on his tummy, he actually started kicking his legs on his own without prompting from me, so when he did that I pulled him forward through the water like he was really swimming so he'd associate that with the kicking. When he was on his back he didn't kick since he curled himself up like a potato bug with his little legs and feet all up in the air over his belly.

Since it was so shallow, I was also able to help him stand in the water. He liked the feel of the sand under his feet, but he didn't have the trauma of the waves crashing around him at the lake, so he seemed to enjoy it more. I tried to get him to look under the water, but I don't think he was really able to focus on that, he was just getting used to the sensation of standing in the water. And kicking, and jumping. He also sat on my leg sometimes. When my back got hot (I was sitting with my back to the sun so I could create some shade for William with my own body since I was wearing sunscreen but he wasn't), I lay back in the water and sat him on my belly. That was actually a pretty comfortable position since I was cool and since my head was slightly below his, I could see his expression under his sunhat very well. He seemed to like it, too.

After his first 15 minute swim, he napped. I woke him 15 minutes early so he could swim AGAIN before I fed him. At 3pm I fed him. It was surprisingly easy to arrange myself for breastfeeding with that particular one-piece suit I was wearing, so I'll stick with that in the future. We hung out together in the shade of our blanket until 3:45 rolled around, then we went in for one last swim during that break, then I gathered our things to go home. And I didn't bother Terry to help us until around 5pm, so he got a cool five hours of baby-free time. And my baby duty wasn't so bad since William was easy to entertain at the lake. He likes people-watching, so even during his awake time I don't have to do much. He only had one crying spell, and that was when he woke up from his nap after 45 minutes (typical) with a wet diaper, and had a hard time falling back asleep after I changed him. But to have him cry for only five minutes out of five hours, I really can't complain. He was even good at the Subway when I just plunked him in his carseat on top of a booth table when I went to order my sandwich. And he fell asleep on the 10-minute trip home.

This is the last week the county lakes will be open on weekdays. I have an appointment in Cville tomorrow morning, but I plan on going back to the lake with William on Tuesday. This time I'll bring a book to read while he naps, or only go for the late-afternoon. He's fussiest between 3:30 and 6:30pm, so I might try taking him swimming then, and it will hopefully tire him out enough he'll go right to sleep at 7:30pm.