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Friday, 5 April 2013

International Travelling, Barbados..... First dip

My children love to have baths, the 4 year old LOVES to play with water, at school he makes a mess of the bathroom, at home his sleeves are often wet after a pre-longed period of quiet.  I thought we had been swimming loads of times…..  Actually, the more I think about it, it’s actually only been twice since the baby was born, hmmmm, that explains a lot.  No matter how often we have previously talked about the sea and the beach, liking it to our trips to Bournemouth, showing pics of our South of France trips, nothing really prepared our 4 year old for the vast spread of salty waves in front of him.

 Do you remember your primary school?  Do you remember how big the hall was and how high the ceilings appeared?  Have you been back as an adult to realise how small it really is?

Now picture this, as a child looking at the sea, it has no end, as an adult looking at the sea…. nothing is different except your understanding.  My poor babies were terrified.  The smallest clung on for dear life and the 4 year old refused point blank to go anywhere near the sea.

How do I approach this, I thought.  There is the ‘throw in the deep end’ school of thought, or the, ‘leave him to it, it doesn’t matter if he never goes in’.

I’m a middle kind of a parent.  I believe strongly in the children being free spirited, allowing them to grow themselves, explore and express their creativity but with guidance, boundaries and intervention, it’s the Gemini in me that causes such a contradiction.

I scooped up the protesting four year old and walked into the sea, reassuring him as we went along.  Once in the sea I asked him to let go of my neck, he was strangling me, and just hold my hands, he did this with a little reluctance as I repeated over and over.  “You are Ok, I am right here until you feel stronger”
I worked out that one of his main issues was the temperature of the water, once he had adapted a bit you could see the calm ease across his face.  Now we got out.  The game of chase the wave began and I told him to let the waves catch his feet.  Pretty soon he was doing this by himself and collecting water in a bucket.  Day 1 results achieved, tomorrow to get him to sit and allow the waves to go over him!!

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