"Swimming" without holding on

Our little boy loves being in the water, so thank you thank you thank you for water resistant band-aids!

But while he loves the water, he's also my son: he's very cautious and not a very big daredevil. While another boy a few months younger of age was recklessly jumping from walls into the deep pool, ours simply enjoyed himself at the edge filling pots or riding his truck in the water. While my mother's heart is thankful for his cautiousness, I also hope he doesn't inherit my ease for fear.  

Now and then he wanted to come with us in the deep to "trample" his feet while we were holding him. It was all big fun with a lot of giggles and splashes.  After a few days however something must have happened that made him uneasy and that he linked to being in the pool.  "No I don't want to go swimming, noooo."  "I am cold".   "No, I just want to sit on the sunbed".  "I am a bit tired, I want to nap in my buggy."  We had no clue what was really going on in his mind, but it seemed a pity that he'd not go in the pool anymore. Uncertain whether it'd just pass or not, whether he simply was tired or not, I pleaded a long time to go in the pool with me again and I overruled his loud protests to put on his swim vest. Then I had the brilliant idea to take along the inflated ball. Very quickly the whining toddler was totally engaged in the game of catching and throwing the ball in the water over and over again.  After I had switched places with Jan after a while and was resting with Beertje on a sunbed, I heard Jan call me to come and watch Kabouter 'swim'.  Apparently our little water Kabouter had become so absorbed in the ball play that he forgot to keep hold of us and had made the click to water trample all alone (before you alert for child abuse: we stay within grabbing rescue distance!).  He was so proud of his discovered autonomy and as of that moment his dreaded little swim vest became his best buddy.    Yeaaaaaaay, I was so happy for him and so proud.


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