Just so you know, Tiara has not been swimming in a pool in 3 years. She absolutely loves to swim, but if you bring her around a pool she will just jump in whether she has a suit on or not and despite the fact that she doesn’t know how to swim. After years and years of lessons she still can’t swim which isn’t the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that she thinks she can. Years ago she was so obsessed with swimming we joined a community pool near her elementary school in West Costa Mesa, so we could take her all the time. Of course we would have loved to join the Bay Club, but after seeing the article in the paper wherein members are fined for potty accidents” we knew that wasn’t the place for us, even if we had the money, we would always be getting fined..
Every time we took her swimming it went something like this. She would scream with excitement as entered the pool deck area, wherein everyone would turn and stare. I would then quickly throw off my clothes as she freed herself from me and ran towards the pool. I would chase her into the pool, which I hate, because I can’t stand chlorine swimming pools and I would play with her in the shallow end. She would splash around screaming and laughing and then would invariably start her descent towards the deep end. I would tell her “no”, try to turn her around but as I tried to stop her, she would kick me and hit me. Finally I would let her go, she would walk the last few steps to the deep end, sink to the bottom and then look up at me from the bottom, with this look like,
“hey, lady you better save me !”
So I would save her, drag her back to the side and she would start the whole process over again. After she was done swimming she would usually throw up from taking in so much water or develop a pneumonia within a few days because she aspirated water into her lungs. After the pneumonia happened several times immediately following swimming incidents we put two and two together and cancelled our membership and cut her off from the pool. That was over 3 years ago.
We then decided to try the beach. In the past she has never wanted to go into the ocean because the sound of the waves crashing really scared her, so she would just sit on the shore. Perfect. As of last summer I started taking her to the beach all the time and let her play sand toys and she was really happy. At the end of last summer she decided she wasn’t afraid anymore and started running out into the surf. Huge recipe for disaster. So that ended our beach trips until this past weekend.
On Friday, I was feeling really brave, the sun was shining and TT was in a better mood than usual so I decided last minute to take Trinity and Tiara to the beach by myself. I threw some towels in a bag, a few snacks, sprayed on the sunscreen, grabbed the sand toys and left before I could change my mind. It was about 3:00pm so people were clearing out for the day and we were lucky enough to get the handicap spot right next to Orange Street. Once I dragged her out of the car she started running for the water. Oh Shoot. Trinity followed behind dragging her boogie board across the sand as I ran after Tiara with all the other gear.
I caught up with her just as we hit the wet sand and begged her to take off her shoes before going in. I didn’t even bother with the shorts or tank top because I knew it would be more work than I could manage. She then started running straight into the ocean. OMG, I kept grabbing her hand and pulling her back but she was fighting me. I finally convinced her to sit on the sand in the shallow end and the waves would come to her. She loved it. The waves were crashing her and pushing her over so I stood behind her with my hands under her arm pits bracing her for each impact. She was having the time of her life, but let me tell you, after 20 minutes of that, I was so sore the next day.. The beach trip lasted 1 hour total, which is a long time for her but was a huge success and everyone was happy.
On Sunday, I told Lou, “Hey, lets take TT back to the beach and I can show you how much she loves it.” So off we went again, but his time he was in charge of snapping the pictures so I could share with all of you. Of course she refused to sit this time and just ran in and out of the surf with me chasing behind. Don’t laugh too hard, and if only I knew how to use Photoshop I would make myself look so much better in the pics. Such a bummer I still haven’t figured it out…
Have a great Tuesday…..