Thursday, May 09, 2024

Swimming stories and Phoebe tales

This morning we went to the pool to do some practicing before swim tryouts. We'd gone to the pool on Monday afternoon for several hours, but it just so happened that a couple of our co-op families joined our pool so they showed up and then all my kids wanted to do was swim. Naturally, that is something that should happen at a pool (and I understand that) but I did want to make sure my kids would be able to pass the swim test to get on the swim team that I already paid know? 

The test isn't hard—they just have to swim one length of the pool without stopping—but it's early in the swim season and my kids...haven't ever done competitive swimming...or formal swimming I just wanted to give them a few more "mom" lessons so they could feel...readier. 

Yesterday we didn't make it to the pool because we had trouble getting anything done and so simply couldn't make it out the door. And by the time we were ready to make it out the door I was not in any shape to take them out. So I took a nap instead.

So this morning we went to the pool and we did quite a bit of playing, but we also worked on our strokes a little. Zoë needed to be reminded to keep her ears in line with her shoulders, and just doing that improved her stroke (and endurance) significantly. If she can just remember that one thing, she'll have no trouble making it across the pool. 

Phoebe loves going to the pool (so it was a little soul crushing to her when we didn't go to the pool yesterday) and very sweetly asks for me to teach her, too. "Mommy teach me swimming! Teach me again!"

We mostly just practice back floats and kicking and things. She also loves to jump into the water (kind of—she kind of squats and falls into my arms).

And after she jumps in the pool she comes back up out of the water and splutters, "Do it 'gain!"


This afternoon the kids and I spent some time in the garden this afternoon while Daddy took Miriam and Zoë to their piano auditions (which they passed with flying colours). Benjamin and I were doing some actual work—weeding and tending and planting—Alexander and Phoebe were collecting worms and making habitats for them. Admittedly, keeping Phoebe occupied and out of trouble is actual work, so Alexander was working, too. And Phoebe was engaged in play, in the hard work of exploring her world.

And I was grateful those two were so passionately engaged in their labours while Benjamin and I were engaged in ours.

I was also grateful that the only shirt Phoebe wanted to put on after coming home from the pool was her painting "smock" from co-op. It's just a plain white t-shirt that the kids wore when they did messy things like painting and stuff. Phoebe was so excited when she got to take it home. 

And today she felt license to get really messy in that shirt. 

I've already washed it once and it doesn't look much better, but I don't even really care because it's just a painting smock. 

Phoebe has gotten messy before but never quite this messy. I wonder if she mentally classifies this shirt as a "bib" (since she likes to pull out bibs whenever she wants to do something she's not technically allowed to use "otherwise" like felt pens or dominoes or other small game pieces or whatever). That is to say, I wonder if she calculatedly got extra messy because she was wearing her "get messy" shirt.

It was a decent calculation on her part, honestly.


Here's Phoebe—nice and clean—and smiling her same "is this a smile" smile she put on for me when she was a big mess. This time she's in a "pib" (or "crib") that she made out of a laundry basket and pillows. She's been big into "P" lately. 

When she reads books to herself (or to her toys or to any one of the more active listeners in the household (the cat or her siblings or her parents)) she always begins with, "Punce a pime..." before launching into her story (which is usually a description of the picture, coupled with whatever she remembers from previous readings). 


Phoebe's first person pronoun has been "me" for the longest time:

"Me want snack."

"Me need t'go potty."

"Me not happy."

And she used to think that "love you, too" was the only way to say "I love you." Like, she would initiate an exchange that way. 

"Love you, too, Mom!" 

"Thanks, baby. And you, too."

It always felt a little presumptive of her to start with "I love you, too." She was right, but it just have to answer that with, "And I love you...too." 

Recently she figured out that the first person simply says, "I love you," and the second person is the one who tacks on the "too."

So we progressed to an "I love you" from me and an answer of "Love you, too!" from her. 

But tonight? Tonight I said, "I love you!"

And Phoebe said, "I love you, too!"

With an "I." 

Ushering in the end of an era.

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