Copyright Worakit SirijindaI love the water. I love to swim. I grew up swimming. We lived all over the place - usually somewhere warm - and always had a pool. My husband swam competitively in middle and high school. Our big plans when our son came along included moving to a house in a better school district, with a pool.
So you can imagine our surprise when our son hated the water.
And when I say "hate" what I really mean is that Junior saw water and resisted it in the way that only a toddler can. He kicked. He screamed. He acted like water burned him. Junior didn't even like baths. No amount of toys or Mr. Bubble could convince him that getting into a tub of water was a good thing.
And pools? Oh, heck no. They were just giant bathtubs. In fact, if we are honest here, the only tub of water he enjoyed was the toilet and that was only because he got a huge thrill out of defeating the kid lock on the lid and flushing anything he could find down it.
I quickly saw my dream of a backyard swimming pool, along with several pairs of Junior's tiny shoes, a bracelet and many hot wheels cars, flushed down the toilet.
The problem, of course, was that even if we didn't get a pool, we still wanted our son to swim. Neither hubby nor I actually cared if Junior made the Olympics - but we did want him to be safe around water.
So we took him to swim lessons. And yes, it was exactly the disaster we expected. And so much worse, actually.
Junior would not blow bubbles while floating. He would not wear a life vest thingy. He would not dip his toes into the water with the other 3 year olds. He screamed. He cried. He called me "mean mommy." He tried to hit the swim coach when she picked him up to put him in the water.
And that's when we found an occupational therapist. Turns out Junior actually hated the water because it hurt him. He has Sensory Integration Disorder. After many years of OT - and one incredible swim coach - he's now a teenage fish.
And the Monday after Junior "graduated" from swim class, the crew arrived to dig out our pool. And in case you were wondering? Yeah, he likes showers now. Thank goodness. Who wants a teenage boy around who won't bathe? That would be truly horrifying.
What about you? Does your child resist water? Or is your child a natural swimmer?
===============================================================================Laurie Sontag is a parenting guru who is navigating the wild waters of her son's teenage years by hiding in her closet waiting for puberty to be over. You can read more of her work at her blog, Manic Motherhood, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.