He loves his bath and he’s quite fond of puddles. I found that out the hard way when we went for a walk which was cut short because Mommy didn’t realize that puddles were like the Muses to the ancient sailors — toddlers are unable to resist their calls. Walker was no match for the fantastic muddy puddles which called to him after a big winter rain and he jumped right in without hesitation. (Unfortunately I also hadn’t learned to keep an extra set of pants, socks and shirt in the diaper bag either.) Puddles will stop Walker in his tracks and it takes lots of persuasion to divert him.
Walker now goes to the beach on a regular basis — we went three times this past weekend — and he likes to play with his bucket and shovel, filling it with sand. He then orders one of his parents to retrieve buckets of water so he can then immediately pour it out on the sand (brine shrimp and all) and order us back for more. He’s still afraid of the waves so we don’t have to worry about him surfing anytime soon but he does love to jump in the small puddles and rivers left behind from the receding tide. The video is from our trip on Saturday but our Sunday excursion will remain in my memory as one of the best times I’ve had with Walker. The tide was extremely low and there were lots of little rivers with little “lakes” of water that went up to Walker’s mid-thigh. We rolled up his pants as high as they’d go and Walker ran between each river and waded into each and every lake multiple times. He had so much fun going from dry land to deep water and back. He balanced on the side of the lakes and he thought it was fantastic when his feet sank into the wet sand. After about twenty minutes he was drenched from the waist down and up to each elbow. Not thinking he would be swimming at the beach, we were unprepared with no towels or extra clothing. But, we did have our own duds so we stripped him down to his diaper and bundled him up in Daddy’s big gray hooded sweatshirt. Walker couldn’t have been happier and Mommy felt like she had just witnessed happiness personified.
On the topic of water, today was Walker’s first swim class. He was very excited when I told him he was going swimming with Grammy J this morning. He immediately got down on his tummy on the floor and moved his arms as if he was doing the breast stroke (his form is better than mine already!). He then said “water?” which, as I’ve already said, is his favorite element. Here’s how it went in Grammy’s own words:
We had our first swimming lesson today and it was a great success. Only three kids in the class—Walker’s the oldest, an 18 mo. old and a year old. First we got changed. Walker is very good at taking off his shoes and socks and putting them in the locker (we’re going to work on having him put the socks into the shoes…but that’s for next time) and then putting my shoes into the locker. I unbuttoned his shirt and he did his best to take it off but the arm thing is sort of tough. Anyway, we both got into our respective suits and headed out to the pool. Of course first we had to take a shower; it was sort of a token shower on his part.
Then we got right in. The teacher is a nice young man whose name I think is Doug. The first 20 minutes was teaching the adults what to do to get the kids used to being in certain positions. For instance, lying on the back was practiced by singing twinkle, twinkle and looking up at the ceiling. Then we played with a rubber octopus and Walker would throw it out in front of him and kick his legs and reach for it. He sat on the side of the pool and sort of lunged out to me. He’d hold onto the side of the pool with his legs up and push out backwards. He was great about trying everything. We also worked on blowing bubbles; homework is to practice this in the bath tub starting with humming. Then the last ten minutes we played in the shallow end (where he could stand) with various toys.
The teacher was very complimentary about his water skills. I think next week we may advance to jumping from the side of the pool to me. Then back to the showers. We used the handicapped stall which had the shower handle you could detach, which he really liked. Then we put our suits in the machine that spins around to get all the water out of them. Then to the most exhausting part….getting us both dry and dressed. I decided to go first so I bundled Walker up in about three towels and sat him on the bench while I quickly got dressed. Then it was his turn. He’s not as good at putting things on as he is at taking things off though he did retrieve our various shoes from the locker.
He was hungry and polished off a bar in about five minutes and then fell asleep (really asleep, not dozing) on the way to Sophia’s. A good time was had by all.
And now on to some other items.
There were two things I left off the last post in the “overheard” section.
“Vroom. Vroom. Beach”: When we leave in the morning, Walker thinks we’re somehow going to decide that rather than going to school we should drive to the beach.
“Go Mamma. Go. Go. Go Mamma. Go!”: Walker yells this when we “jump in pants” as Daddy holds him aloft and Mommy slips his pants on over his legs and his tush. “Mamma” is replaced by “Daddy” when Larry is in charge of slipping on the pants.
The other thing to mention is Walker’s new found love for his Toddler bed. You see, he’s going to be two in ten days and I figured it was time for him to start spending time in his own bed. I wanted to make a big deal out of the fact that we were going to get rid of the crib and he’d now have his own big boy bed to sleep in. Taking a page from the successful parenting book, I thought about ways to turn the transition into some sort of celebration (similar to the ceremonies where kids give their pacifiers/bottles to little kids who need them). I thought about doing it on his birthday or putting a big bow on the bed. But then I had an epiphany. Walker loves Elmo and we got him a training potty with Elmo that he loved so much he carried it around the house as if it was a regular chair to sit in at any ol’ time. Why couldn’t Elmo help with the bed? I found some Elmo bedding that was perfect for his new Toddler Bed and when it arrived in the mail, Larry and I couldn’t contain ourselves. Rather than make it a surprise, we ripped open the box and the moment Walker saw the Elmo sheets he demanded we put them on the floor so he could try them out. The next day, Larry converted the crib to the Elmo decorated toddler bed. When Walker saw it, he immediately jumped in the bed and crawled under the covers. He continues to play in the bed and pretend to sleep so we know he is thinking about what it’s meant for — not just jumping on the bouncy mattress or launching him off the bed and on to the floor. At first, he would play in the bed until it was bedtime and then he’d demand stories and sleeping on the big mattress. But after he fell asleep Larry would put him in his new bed until he’d awake and then he’d crawl in bed with me. After a few days, he started snuggling up to me in his bed and we read stories. He still won’t fall asleep in his bed either as he goes to sleep or after he awakes in the middle of the night. But he adores his bed and we know it’s just a matter of time before he’ll demand to sleep alone in his big boy bed with Elmo.
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