My kids are fish. Strip had the advantage of spending a couple of years literally in the water year round because we lived in FL. Nugget was also a water baby, but because he was much smaller, he really didn't remember swimming. So the first time we hit the pool, he had a death grip on me. We played and splashed and sure enough, he was all about the water in no time. Still not as comfy in the water as Strip was at his age, but getting there. Here's Strip the fish at 15 months:
Whoa. And yeah, you can call me mother of the year. There she is, middle of the pool in nothing but a swim diaper. Klassy.
Anyway, earlier in the summer we met a buddy at her pool. As Strip is swimming laps (for real) across the pool, Nugget is happily playing on the steps. I knew if I could wrestle him into a manlier version of the float pictured above, he could kick it in the middle of the pool and I could help Strip if she needed it, seeing as the two lifeguards who were being PAID to watch the pool were too busy texting/flirting/checking out the other high school eye-candy. I managed to get him into the float and was trying to get him to see that if he stepped off the step, he would be fine. But he's strong willed. And because I'm his mother and know him, I looked at him and said, "You're fine. I'm right here, go!" and plopped him about 5 feet from the steps.
Cue the screaming child and death stares from other mothers. Nugget is screaming, "No, Momma! No, Momma!" AS he is kicking and float swimming to the steps. Meanwhile all the other mothers who were reading their magazines or chatting on their phones while their kids were wrapped in swimmies and life vests allowing them to be totally ignored by their parent, were now dialing DFACS as fast as their manicured fingers would let them. Nugget makes it to the step and says, "No, momma, no mom...I DID IT!" and jumps off the steps to kick in the pool some more.
Fast forward to yesterday. We head to the pool for one last swim before summer is officially over. We walk in the gate, and Nugget walks right up to the steps. A month ago, he just took off his float and has just been swimming with no assistance. He is 2 however, so he doesn't look like he can swim. I am putting our stuff down a step and a dive away from the pool and tell him to come over and take his shoes off. Strip has stripped and jumped in already. Nugget sheds his shoes and walks back over to the steps. He looks over at me and says, "Momma. I et eeeen?" [Nugget speak for, Mother would it be alright if I got in the pool now?] I reply, "Yes, just remember that you can't really swim."
My mistake. I watch as he takes two steps in and sits down to splash. I turn to face the chair and spread out the towel. I look back to see him stand up and walk to one end of the c curved steps. I spread out Strip's towel. I turn back and see him jump under water, swimming along the steps which he is fine to do on his own because he can always just stand up. Apparently, it was my bad for not informing the entire pool of his swimming abilities. As I am smiling at my little fish and thinking how far he's come, I see a flash of blue out of the corner of my eye and hear hysterical screaming. (Remember, I am standing RIGHT by the steps). I look up and there is a woman (another mom) SPRINTING toward me screaming, "He's under water! He's under water!!" and she is taking her swim cover up off. I get a little scared for her thinking her kid fell in or something, and since the lifeguard is at the other end of the pool, and I'm right there, I look to the pool ready to save her kid for her. But the only kid I see is mine, happily swimming on the steps. So I'm confused and look back at the Great Blue Blur who is still screaming hysterically, and has now gotten right up to me and is pointing to Nugget screaming, "He's under water!!!!" Nugget stands up with a big wet grin on his face, and I look back at BBB finally putting 2 and 2 together and say, "Ohhhhh! No, it's ok! He can swim!" BBB apologizes and walks back over to her seat (at the edge of the pool near the deep end) and I call back, "No, thank you for being concerned!"
She kind of continues to give me the stink eye like she really doesn't think Nugget can swim and I just got lucky that time. I glance over at her kids, the youngest I'm guessing is about 7, who are clad in so many flotation devices (all three of them) I'm surprised they weren't walking on water. I get in the water and Nemo Nugget counts down, jumps off the steps and swims halfway across the pool to me. BBB kinda shrugs like "Oh I guess he CAN swim," and goes back to watching her bubble kids.
Friend (who is now pregnant, YAY!) gets to the pool and comments on what a great swimmer Nugget has become since that first float incident at the pool. I fill her in on the BBB.
Me: So three months ago, I'm getting the stink eye because I'm making my kid swim, and now I'm getting the stink I because he CAN swim!
Pregnant friend: You can't win!
Me: Welcome to motherhood!