We've had it about three weeks now, and I can see now that Bill was right. The kids have been in the water nearly every evening, and we've had lots of friends and family over to help us enjoy it. It really has brought us all together, and it's even enticed Ethan and his friends away from the video games and out into the sunshine.
We actually had to wait a full week after they filled it in order for the chemicals to be adjusted, and that was torture as we were having a major heat wave. On Friday, September 3--a much cooler day, ironically--we finally took the plunge. Ethan's friend Tin captured it on video:
The next day, we had a Labor Day party with my family, and then another party with friends on the actual holiday. My sister Amy had brought a "pool warming" gift: a giant beach towel, some diving toys, kids' goggles (including a pink pair for Allyson!), and a yellow and purple dinosaur. Allyson had been begging for goggles and pool toys, but the budget was decimated after all the pool expenses, so Amy's thoughtfulness was such a blessing.
Much to Allyson's dismay, the dinosaur has been a favorite with both children and adults. On Labor Day, Bill and his friend Troy even had a jousting match on the dinosaur and a walrus toy that Troy had brought over. It was hilarious! The toys were so tippy that the guys could scarcely stay on even when they weren't bludgeoning each other with the foam noodles.
|Bill and the Dinosaur Prevail|
Watching Bill pitch in head first over and over, I laughed until I couldn't breathe. But then I gave it a try myself, and I hurtled over the dinosaur's head just as quickly. I was determined to ride that toy, and I finally did manage to stay on for 30 seconds or so. Allyson is the only one who can ride it with ease, probably because it was designed for a kid her size.
Now For the Big News
As you could see on the video, Allyson has learned to swim! She started out with her floaties, then swam holding onto Daddy's fingers. By last week, she was able to swim a couple of feet on her own. She did it over and over, gasping and flailing and scaring us to death. It reminded me of her determination to ride her bike a few months ago, the way she'd ride two feet and put her feet down.
She stayed at it, practicing every afternoon, and on Sunday she finally did it! She still scares me to death, but she's getting more and more proficient with each day of practice. Tonight she learned to touch the bottom (about a foot over her head) and kick herself back up. That's a skill we definitely want her to have.
I can't believe she's also diving already. That's our girl!
Allyson isn't the only one who scares me. Ethan's favorite pastime is strapping diving weights to his waist and crawling across the bottom of the pool. He's only 5-1/2 feet down, but it still makes me nervous!
I'm so glad I let Bill convince me to buy the pool. I know we'll be enjoying it for years to come.
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