& he’s all wet

If you know me—and probably for the first time ever, most of you don’t, actually—I make no secret about being afraid of water*. I can’t swim, or even float, and I’m terrified of being around large quantities of water. Panic. Inducing.

*And needles. And heights. And snakes. And small spaces. And clowns. And Julia Roberts’s mouth. And spiders. And about a million other damn things. But we’ll just focus on water for now.

Both Karli and I would rather that Squatch isn’t crippled by my fears. We’d much rather he came up with his own. As a preventative measure against my own hydrophobia (ooh, big word!) getting passed down, we’ve enrolled him in swim lessons, appropriately titled “Water Babies*.”

*I often find myself inserting this into the Muppet Babies theme song and singing it frequently. And now you do, too. You’re welcome.

Squatch in the pool

He’s totally not panicking. Not yet, anyway.

This means that, every Saturday morning, we take Squatch down to one of the local high schools and get him into his swimsuit. Since he’s still not potty-trained (we didn’t spring for the deluxe model—just settled for the standard baby), this involves the use of a swim diaper, as well.

Now, if you’ve never used one of these, I feel I should give you a heads-up. The main purpose of the swim diaper is to keep poop from ending up in the pool. That’s really all they do. If you took the baby in with a regular diaper, it would absorb a bunch of the water and be really uncomfortable on the baby. Swim diapers don’t do that.

In fact, they don’t absorb much of anything. Including pee. Which we found out the hard way when I was trying to be proactive and dress him for swim class before leaving the house one Saturday and he proceeded to hose down Karli’s lap. PROTIP: Don’t put the swim diaper on till you’re actually ready to put the kid in the pool. Trust me.

After he’s dressed, we take him out and toss him in the pool.

TOTALLY KIDDING! This isn’t the 1950s and I’m not your jobless uncle who still lives in his childhood room at your grandparents’ house. There’s actually some organization to this class.

When he gets in (with Karli, of course—because crippling panic plus baby equals TV movie of the week) the parents and the babies start off with a rousing game of Hokey Pokey that it seems is meant to acclimate the babies to the water and encourage them to splash around a bit. It also appears that its secondary purpose is to allow the screamers to tune up and harmonize.

Because, yes, there are screamers. These are the children I identify with.

After Hokey Pokey time, the parents hold the babies on their stomachs and let them float around a bit. Parents will blow bubbles in the kids’ faces (because who doesn’t like that?) and let them kick around some. Then they float some on their backs and hang around on noodles before the kids do some jumping into the pool. All-in-all, it’s a pretty fun time. Despite him being surrounded by thousands of gallons of liquid death, that is. But I digress.

He's ready for his GQ cover shoot. Just tell him where to stand.

He’s ready for his GQ cover shoot. Just tell him where to stand.

Outside of the fact that he’s conquering my fears, there are some other benefits of his swim lessons, too. For instance, Squatch has picked himself up a girlfriend. Usually, there is one lady—Morgan—who leads the Water Babies class, but since there are so many people signed up this month, there is a second one in the pool with them—Sarah. This past week, Squatch has taken quite a liking to Sarah, throwing some smiles and flirty eyes her way. This has made Morgan, as the French say, totes jealous. Nine months old and already leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake. What a guy.

He’s also made a little friend. That is to say, Karli has made friends with one of the other moms whose kid is a couple months younger than Squatch. It’s nice to socialize, even if he has to conquer perilous circumstances to do it.

All this being said, Squatch’s favorite part of the whole thing is getting out and sitting around in his towel. It’s completely unsurprising since that’s his favorite part of bath time, as well. Once we get him out and wrap him up, he’s just a smiling, cooing, giggling ball of cute that turns everyone within 10 meters to a quivering mass of simpering goo. And this paragraph exists solely as an excuse to include the picture.

It would appear that our plan to keep Squatch from being terrified of the water like his dear old dad is working marvelously. Too bad the same can’t be said for other things. He still screams anytime the needles get broken out at the doctor’s office. The apple didn’t fall too far on that one.

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24 thoughts on “& he’s all wet

  1. I think we might be secretly related. I hate water. And clowns. And Julia Roberts’ mouth.

    Here’s the true test: what are your thoughts on Tom Cruise? And raisins? (That was oddly phrased. Separately, not together. Like, Tom Cruise is ONE thing, and raisins a whole OTHER thing.)

    I approve of your kiddo liking the water. My nephew started swimming early, too, and he thinks it’s hysterical now that I hate water and he loves it and is a better swimmer than I am. He is three and a half. I like that he already knows Aunt Amy is a laugh riot of weirdnesses.

    Reply
    • Tom Cruise is a cyborg, and raisins are okay in cereal or trail mix. Craisins on the other hand…

      With any luck, I remain the weirdo in my family and Squatch gets to go on to a semi-normal life.

      Reply
      • Tom Cruise’s teeth give me nightmares. He’s a midget with too many teeth. And the only raisins I am not disgusted by are the sugar-covered ones in Raisin Bran. In other news: I have issues.

        Strangely, I like Craisins. Especially the orange-flavored ones.

        I don’t think you’re a weirdo. I think you have very normal responses to scary and off-putting things. (Says the person who has the same responses.)

  2. Just don’t throw him in a bin of snakes like River Phoenix/Indiana Jones was… that didn’t work out too well for his affinity for snakes.

    Reply
  3. Hooray for swimming lessons! I wish we had done that for Doodle – while he adores bath time, swimming is almost always out of the question. If the water is even a little bit cold or if it splashes in his face, it’s ALL OVER for my little guy. He wouldn’t even play on his slip&slide at his birthday party!
    Oh! And I finished Squatch’s sasquatch! E-mail me at my27stars(at)gmail(dot)com! 🙂 I almost don’t even want to send it because it’s SO FREAKING ADORABLE and I love it to pieces! But, alas, Squatch is really darn adorable too, so they’ll make a super cute pair!

    Reply
    • I think the swimming lessons might be one of our better decisions. He started out kinda not liking it, but he’s getting into it now.

      Reply
  4. You know those photos made me squeal with delight. I share your fear of water AND I had an aunt who did believe the way to teach a child to swim was to toss them in a pool. She was allowed to breed. I’m shocked, too. Her kids swam out of fear. I sank to the bottom and lay there until the lifeguard pulled me out.

    Reply
    • That was my response, too. I can’t float. Water is the debbul.

      I figured you’d like them. Every time I go to find pictures for a post, I think, “Let’s find one to make Addie squee.”

      Reply
  5. As a fellow hydrophobe I can relate to this post. Until the age of 27 I was as effective at swimming as a stone. I have had lessons since and am now a little better (although not much, going out of my depth is out of the question which kind of is the point of being able to swim!). Like you I am keen for my little one not to pick up on this fear and to become a true water baby, Daddy will be taking him to lessons when he is old enough (and Mummy may occasionally just to create the illusion that it really is fun!). The spiders fear may be a little more difficult to deal with though!

    Reply
    • I’m hoping he just loves spiders off the bat and deals with all of them so he never has to see his dad squeal in terror. I’ve taken Squatch to swimming a couple times and managed to quell my panic while I was in the water, but I don’t have the strength to do that all the time.

      Reply
  6. My husband too is afraid of large bodies of water, and thinks he can’t swim. He is going to start swimming classes with the kids this summer. They can all learn together.

    Reply
  7. Aw. Atticus loves his Saturday morning swim class, and everyone coos over him, until he gets out and wrapped in a towel and then ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE, WOMAN, WHERE IS MY FOOD. So I end up awkwardly nursing him on the bench in the YMCA locker room. Your “standard baby” does have some perks.

    Reply

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