Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Pool

I started to blog about this on May 5th.  We were in the hospital with Harlie's infection and I must have been in a BAD mood.  Seriously bad.  So, I had to delete it and start over.

Here's the gist of what I was trying to say...

Summer is a hard time of year for us.  It's the time of the year when a lot of kids get decannulated (get the trach out) on the trach board.  People go on vacation.  People other than us, I mean.  Tom has to use his vacation for Harlie's surgeries (just another perk of having a medically complex child). And we haven't been in a position to take a vacation anyway.  Heck, she's had heart surgeries the past few summers!

I've always wanted to join a pool.  But I thought we would wait until Harlie was no longer trached.  I never realized that she would be almost five years old and would still be trached.  So, we just couldn't wait for that any longer.  We have to go on about our life and live it to the fullest when we can - despite the trach.  So, we joined the pool.  Hopefully, it will make us feel less awful about not taking a vacation.

And we signed Murphy up for the swim team.

Hello swim practice every day!  Okay, four days a week.  Until next week when it increases to five days per week.  Good-bye any hope of getting caught up on my duties at home.

I tried to keep Harlie away from the pool.  Let's face it, the pool is not the safest place when you have an open passageway to your lungs.  But she saw me taking Murphy every day.  She could see he was wearing a swimsuit.  And carrying a towel and goggles.  She's no dummy.

So she started to sign that she wanted to go swimming.  Tom tried to make her happy with a baby pool on the deck.  No luck.  She signed "go, car, swimming".  Huh.  I suppose that meant that she wanted to get in the car and go somewhere else to swim.

Well, I'm sorry.  She has to live her life, too!  And she needs to enjoy it when she can.  So I took her.

And she's a TON of work!!!  She wants to jump in and swim just like everyone else.  But, she can't.  It's that simple.  So, you have to be super careful with her.  No turning your back for a sec.  And then add Cooper to the mix and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster.  Thankfully two of my nieces go to the same pool - so they've been able to help me with the kids when I'm there.

This is what she wants to do...

But she wants her whole body in the water.  She's 35 pounds now - so keeping her head safely out of the water takes some work!

I've tried to streamline going to the pool every day with a bag that's always packed and ready to go, a bin for pool stuff - like towels and toys an empty bag, etc.  But it is still SO much work!  Both Harlie and Cooper need my full attention and help to be in the water.  And practice is in the afternoons until school is out so we get home right at dinnertime, which makes things a little hard to get everyone ready to eat dinner.

This past week was worse than usual because Brandy was out - she got married!  Congratulations to her and Joe!

So back to swim team... Murphy's first meet was Sunday.

A parent has to volunteer during the meet.  So Tom had to time the second half swimmers.  Which meant he was there till it ended (near 11pm!).  Luckily, our friend Donna's son is on the same team as Murphy - so Tom took Zach and Murphy and then Donna picked them up when they were done swimming.  Which was still late - 8pm.  And there was a rain delay, so that made it later than usual.

The boys playing games while waiting to swim.
Murphy's on the far left.  

Murphy's worried look.

Tom's dinner.  Not cooked by Tom, of course.  
Murphy is so non-competitive in nature.  He pretty much moves in slow motion.  So, when he heard the word "race" at the pool that day, he kind of panicked.  And when he was swimming he grabbed the lane divider, which disqualified him.  He still has a hard time making it the whole length of the pool without some assistance.  I know he CAN do it, he just lacks the confidence.  Hopefully that will develop over time.

Plus, next week when there isn't anymore school, practice is offered at two different times - one session in the morning and one in the afternoon.  So, hopefully there will be less kids at each session, meaning that they will get more time in the pool and more time with the coaches.

Luckily, (and I seriously mean that) he seems to really like it.  I am so surprised he doesn't think it's a lot of work.  Maybe he does.  But so far he seems to like the positives more than he dislikes the negatives.  Thank goodness!  I think they have fun cheering each other on and hanging out on the side of the pool waiting for their turn to swim.  Whatever works.  I just want him to be active in something and be happy about it.  And so far, that appears to be the case.  If he overcomes his fears and builds his confidence then we will be thrilled!

That's all I have time for now.  It only took me six weeks to write this.



Susan said...

Christy that is tough when they want to join in the fun but can't. If Harlie can get the okay to wear a cap that would help. You know Ainsley weighs 42 pounds now?! I don't feel safe just holding her so we put her in a floaty in the pool (with the cap on). That makes it easier, though you still have to be super careful. And Ainsley is a fish. She loves the water so it's worth it. I'm glad Murphy's liking the swim team and that you decided to join. I hope you have a great summer at the pool. If it makes you feel any better we don't go on vacations either. Last year we painted our kitchen floor. LOL.

Donna said...

I LOVE seeing her at the pool and how happy it makes her!! :)