Kade has been in swimming lessons for a long time. Almost a year, I think. While he loves them, he was always stuck in the first level, because he HATED going under water and jumping in. He got water in his eyes once and screamed so hard that the life guard came running over, sure that he had broken a leg or something.
Last week, Kade's cousin invited us to go swimming on a very hot day. I took the opportunity, while I was actually IN the water with Kade, to try and get him to go under water. I couldn't convince him though. I was about to get out of the water when, out of the blue, Kade dunked his head, all on his own! To his suprise, he discovered that he LOVED it! I couldn't get him to stop! The trick, for him, was wearing goggles and pinching his nose. The next day (4th of July) he was at another cousins house, and was in the pool for hours, happy as a clam! He was so cold and his lips were turning blue, but he didn't want to get out.
I now call him my little fishie. He has been in swimming lessons every day this past week, and has shown so much improvement! He jumps off the edge all by himself now. He does sitting dives. He back floats on his own. He goes under the water so much that he gets in trouble for it! Only a week ago, he was the boy clinging to the edge of the pool, afraid to let go, determined to keep his face dry. Just look at this picture and you can see how excited he is now:
He is most excited about getting closer to being able to swim with his cousins, all on his own. Every time during lessons when he does something he is proud of, he gives me his little version of "thumbs up":
(I've tried to teach him to use his thumb, but the finger just wants the job so bad, and besides, it's cute!) He has gone from, "I can't do it," to, "I did it!" It makes me so happy to see him gain that self confidence. Go, little fishie, go!