Parenting Story

Parenting Story

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Swim lessons

I signed both Reese and Aidan up for swim lessons this fall. I was not sure which level to sign them up for since they had both advanced significantly in their abilities over the summer. Reese had completed the introductory level last year, so I signed them up for level 1. The first week, Aidan was totally soaking up all of the attention and allowed the instructors to help him float around the pool. Despite Randy and I trying to get him to show off his ability to hold his breath under water or swim, he refused. The second week he finally showed off some of his abilities and after the lesson, the head instructor approached me and asked if I would be willing to allow them to move up to level 2 since Reese seemed to show a higher ability and she thought Aidan would not want to be separated from his sister. We consented and began the following week. The kids enjoyed the new lessons and the instructor was suprised at their ability. At one point Aidan went underwater as he waited for the instructor who was working with another student. When she turned around, she grabbed out to pull him up as if he had been drowning, and just then he popped his head out of the water and grabbed onto the side of the pool. She breathed a sigh of relief and from then on trusted more in his abilities. They learned how to do several different strokes and swimming skills over the following weeks. During one of the last lessons, the instructor tested them on their ability to hold their breath underwater. Most of the older kids went, holding their breath to the count of 11 or 12. When it was Aidan's turn, she counted to 12 and looked impressed, she got to 15 and she looked kind of nervous, and when he finally came up at the count of 25 she was incredulous. Though they did not completely pass the level 2 requirements, I was very impressed with the skills they learned. We will continue to work on their swimming and I hope to get them both involved in a swim team next year.

Only Brother

Yesterday I took the day off work for Randy's surgery. Since Reese was not sick and did not have any reason to miss school, I took her to school while Aidan and Gretchen stayed home. I cleaned most of the morning while Aidan played and Gretchen cooed. They kept themselves entertained and I was not constantly breaking up fights! We headed into town about 10 and dropped Randy off and then ran a few errands while we waited. While at HyVee, our first stop, Aidan commented how it was nice without "Reesey" and I kind of had to agree. We got a kids shopping cart and Aidan was driving by himself and I did not have to yell at anyone to quit fighting or keep their hands to themselves. After getting a few supplies for cookie making, we decided to go get lunch. We went to the McDonalds play place and there happened to be another little boy about Aidan's age. They were playing very well together when I overheard Aidan tell the other little boy, "I wish that my sister was here." Again, I had to agree.
Recently, Reese began referring to Aidan as her "little bother", just like Nickelodeon's Olivia does to her little brother. As she has started school, their relationship seems to be even more difficult. Reese is growing and wants her privacy and time alone, while Aidan is so intrigued by all the things that she is learning and doing and wants to be involved in it. Although they fight the majority of the time that they spend together, I do believe that they really do love each other. It's things like their time apart yesterday that reveal their true feelings and the special bond they share.
As the only boy between 2 girls, I think that Aidan is going to have a lot of skills in dealing with women when he gets to the age to start dating. In another instance yesterday as we were walking through the mall, another shopper said, "Oh look, he is playing with her hair!" I had put Aidan in the back of the double stroller as he requested, so Gretchen was in front of him. He had leaned forward in his seat, with his arm resting on the seat back and rubbing his sister's head and playing with her hair. He has done this often since she was born and it always melts my heart because I know that he truly loves and cares for his little sister. I just feel sorry for any of her potential boyfriends, because I think that he is going to be pretty protective of his little sister.