So, today Penny learned how to swim. I remembered when I taught Dominic how to swim that we didn't focus on swimming so much as we just focused on reaching down to the bottom of the pool to get something, usually a toy. This is a really fun game for kids and no matter how timid they are you just start at their level. In doing that, they learn how to navigate underwater and then swimming comes naturally, there is no talk about fundamentals (kick like this, do your hands like this, hold your breath, etc) With Dominic I had to start with putting his toy in a spot where he could reach it but didn't have to get his face wet. As he got comfortable with the game (he was 4) he got more comfortable with the water. It took weeks going a few times a week to get him to dive for something. With Penny she has been going underwater since day 1 in a pool so this wasn't as big a challenge. Today, I wanted to get her to swim. So, I put her toy in the bottom of the pool at a depth that was to her chest and she learned how to get her bum above her head and dive down to get it and then come back up. For someone who has never swam before this can be challenging but the process of figuring it out comes so naturally. Its much, much easier than learning how to swim a distance but has all the same skills. After she mastered that (in an amazing 10 minutes or so) I had her swim to get it from a distance but not at the bottom of the pool this time but rather I held it towards the surface. She was able to swim to her toy underwater for about 20 seconds at a time at a distance of about 10-15 feet or so. She hasn't figured out how to poke her head out of the water to get a breathe of air but that will be our next step. Sean and I were so proud of her and she did not want to stop!
On a less happy note, Michael spotted a boy at the pool today with a buzzed haircut and started crying for him while pointing. He thought it was Dominic. I was almost in tears over it. When it was obvious to me that that is what he wanted, I kindly asked the child's mother (he was about 6 or so) if Michael could say hello as he thought her son was his brother who has been gone for over a week. He was a good sport and Michael stopped crying. Michael wanted to swat at the kids face like he does with Dominic and didn't understand why I wasn't letting him. We packed up shortly thereafter and went home. Poor little baby doesn't know what in the world happened to his buddy. Its enough to break a mom's heart. When we got home Sean made sure to show Michael pictures of Dominic. He's been dealing with separation anxiety since the day that Dominic has been gone which may be coincidental but I seriously doubt it. He's one smart cookie and is such a lover, he's really in tune with people and their feelings. My poor baby who has gone to anyone anytime will now whimper if I place him in someone else's arms. We miss you Dominic.......more than you know. 7 more weeks and counting.
(these pictures were taken then night before he left for Alaska. He and I stayed up late playing Monopoly Deal after everyone had gone to sleep. He stole some kisses from his siblings)