After a three week break, Reindeer and I were back at the local pool this morning. It was surprisingly quiet which was lovely as it meant fewer distractions for him.
It took Reindeer a little longer than usual to get used to the water, but once he did he had a great time. We had the usual dunking, which he was almost OK with, lots of splashing about and some time chasing toys around.
My favourite part was sitting Reindeer on the side of the pool and encouraging him to jump/fall into the water where I was waiting. Naturally, he began by thinking this was a stupid idea and voiced quite a grumpy protest. Within a minute though he decided to give it a try, probably to shut me up, and he actually smiled when he got in the water. We must have tried this twenty or thirty more times as he got happier and more enthusiastic each time – barely waiting to sit down before launching himself back in.
It was great to watch his confidence grow and I was very careful to let him decide whether he wanted to put his face in the water – sometimes he did, sometimes not.
Towards the end of our pool time quite a few other families arrived. There was one little girl of about two years there with her Mum. Reindeer was enchanted with her! He kept following what she was doing and smiling at her. For a while they kept smiling and staring at each other, prompting Reindeer to press his cheek into my neck as part of his shy response.
It was a really lovely morning to spend with him and I’m seriously considering whether we can fit another swim in this week to make the most of his growing confidence.