an excellent thing

A few weeks ago when we were in the pool, Abigail did something that was a new achievement in her water/swimming learning process and we told her that it was excellent. Excited by her own greatness that day, when we announced that it was time to get out, she demurred, saying she just wanted to “do one more excellent thing.” Since then, “excellent thing” is kind of the ‘official’ terminology for any new milestone.

Kristian was doing excellent things today. We have two pools that we go in often – my mum’s, and the one here in the complex we live in. My mum’s is small and not too deep – Abigail can stand up by herself in it but for Kristian it’s still a bit of a stretch. In the one here there is a shallow end and a deep end, and there are several steps and a ledge that you can sit on. I’ve noticed he seems to be much more at ease and confident in our pool, particular with the steps that he can stand on himself and hold onto the edge of the pool for security.

One of the things Abigail learned when she had swimming lessons was how to jump out to us from a step or the edge, as a prelude to us getting further and further away and her actually having to swim rather than just jumping and being caught. Kristian’s seen us doing that with her and has decided he should have a turn a few times, but with him it’s more of a lunge than a jump and he’s pretty much touching you the whole time. Today, though, he was fearless! He was actually jumping to me from the step and one time, he was in such a hurry to do it “agin! again! shjump agin!” that i wasn’t fully ready for him and he went fully under the water before I caught him. Standard operating procedure in unexpected events such as this is to immediately launch into gushy, over the top praise about how clever that was and how great they did and all that. Usually you can distract them from getting upset and then they forget that they didn’t quite like it since they didn’t expect it and they want to do it again because you thought it was so cool. So I did that. It worked. So then I purposely started letting him go into the water and getting his face and head wet before I lifted him up. He was fine – so long as he could hold a ball that we brought to the pool with us while he jumped. He wasn’t into it if I suggested it might be easier if he put the ball down. Ok, weird, whatever.

A bit after that is when I noticed: each time he came up out of the water, he carefully held the ball in both his hands and wiped his face with it. It’s a plastic ball, so it’s pretty much useless as a tool with which to wipe the water off one’s face, but that’s what he was doing. I laughed out loud and caused Daniel to ask what was so funny, so I explained and Kristian was kind enough to demonstrate again, which kept cracking me right up. What a dork.

As if that wasn’t enough excellent stuff for one day, though, he then moved on to “sitting jumps” to me from the edge of the pool, again going right under the water. I was amazed! Half the time you take him in the pool he just about tries to climb up your body, as if the water is too cold for his delicate little boy bits. (He’ll tolerate just his feet dangling in.)

Stephanie will be doing an excellent thing tomorrow: it is the first day of school for the year and she will be starting grade three. I have consented to accompany her to the classroom, since she asked, even though I don’t really want to because a classroom filled with kids and their parents who don’t know where they should be sitting or putting their stuff and they are all making chit chat about what they have been up to is really not at my list of ideal places to be at 8.30 in the morning. And also, since next year I won’t be able to accompany her to the classroom to do all that stuff – I’ll be busy accompanying Abigail to her first day of Prep.

(A couple of weeks ago we were in a fabric shop and a woman who worked there was straightening all the shelves of fabric, and talking to Stephanie and Abigail while she did. She was asking Stephanie about school and Abigail decided to interject that soon she would be going to school with Stephanie too. The woman chuckled and shook her head and said that she didn’t think Abigail was big enough for school yet. Stephanie explained that “soon” is “a year away” and she’s in kinder at the moment. My mum and I were talking about this later. She said the lady was right, Abigail isn’t “big” enough for school, but she is nearly “old” enough. (And then I again started worrying about how I will ever manage to get a school uniform to fit her.) … (Any one know where to get growth enhancing drugs..?))

I thought I might also mention that it has been abysmally humid the last few days, making the temperature seem much hotter than it actually is. And I am so over it.

an excellent thing