I actually meant to post this a while ago, and I just realized that I didn't. I posted about Rylie's graduation from swimming lessons last month, and I told you all I would update you on Bryce's progress, so here it is. I have to start off by telling you about the kick-in-the-butt I got that made me finally enroll the kids in swimming lessons...
We have a safety gate around our pool. At the beginning of the summer, the rule was that no one was to open the gate until Bryce had his SwimWays Swim Vest on. He didn't know how to swim, but the kid was so fearless that he would just jump right in regardless. So one evening Brian and I came home from work and my mom and the kids were out by the pool. Rylie was swimming and Bryce was walking around the pool, without his vest on. I was standing there reminding my mom about the rule when all of the sudden I looked toward the jacuzzi and saw Bryce's head under the water. I was only a few feet away, so I started running towards the jacuzzi screaming "swim Bryce, swim!"
Bryce was kicking his feet, but wasn't really moving towards the side. I thought about giving him another second or two to see if he would make it, but I saw the fear in his eyes, so I jumped in and grabbed him. He was fine. He didn't even choke. The scariest part was that he seemed unaffected. He could have drowned and all he cared about was the fact that his toy had fallen in the pool. The next day, I enrolled the kids in swim lessons.
Bryce and Rylie both took private lessons at the instructor's house for several weeks. As you all know, Rylie became a little fish, and learned to swim in no time. While Bryce did not "graduate" from swimming lessons this year, his swimming skills improved greatly. He learned how to swim under the water, and most importantly, he learned how to get to the side.
His teacher also tried to teach him how to float, but that didn't go so well. He would kick the whole three or four seconds she tried to get him to float. By the end of the summer he was doing a little better, but when given the chance to float or swim, he would much rather swim.
Bryce learned a lot during his weeks of swimming lessons, and I became more comfortable with him around the water. We were told not to allow him to swim with floatation devices any longer because he needed to practice what he had learned, so we had to drop the rule of Bryce having his Swim Vest on before the gate was opened.
He was so crazy, though. Even though he really couldn't swim all that well, Bryce would run right down to the deep in and jump in. Brian was like Michael Phelps getting to the other end of the pool to grab the little daredevil. And as soon as Brian would get him out, the little stinker would do it again. We had to remind him several times not to jump in unless a grown up was close to him.
A few days after swimming lessons had ended, the kids wanted to go in the pool. Brian got his bathing suit on to swim with them, but after he felt how cold the water was, he really didn't want to go in. Rylie, on the other hand, jumped right in and didn't seem to mind the temperature of the water. We weren't sure if Bryce was going to get in or not, so he played with some toys around the pool while Brian brushed the pool.
I was sitting on the patio when it happened again. I looked up and once again saw Bryce's head under water in the jacuzzi. I yelled at Brian to grab him and started running over there, but to my surprise, I saw his face pop up over the side. He did it! He swam to the side and pulled himself up! Of course after that, he had to show us his new skills several times...
Like I said, I am more comfortable with Bryce around the water, but I still do not take my eyes off of him when he is in the pool. He will take swimming lessons again next summer, and I'm confident that after a few weeks, he will be as proficient as Rylie is. But even if they are both swimming around like Shamu, I will always be watching.