Returning to the subject at hand, my Little Red is also a fan of summertime fun. To be completely honest, she's also a fan of rain, snow, hail, fog, overcast days, La Nina....you get the point, but I think she would agree with me when I say that in her extensive experience, summertime is for her. While being a redhead in the sunshine isn't exactly a match made in heaven (I have literally used three full tubes of sunscreen so far this summer), Claire's true summer love is our neighborhood wading pool. I don't blame her. It's awesome.
The set up is your basic baby pool. Shallow, warm, and a ton of kids. This summer, Claire is just on the cusp of being able to navigate the pool sans "shadow mom" but since her arms are just a little bit too short to touch the bottom and keep her head out of the water simultaneously (long limbs aren't our thing), I get to take a front row seat in all the action.
While other walking babies generally take a more reserved approach to their pool play time, it should come as no surprise that my child is the baby with zero boundaries/fears. Her lack of any sense of danger actually deserves it's own blog post, so for now, let's just say that without near constant supervision, this kid would end up on the roof of my house or swinging from the branches of our tree. She's fearless...to a fault. So while the other cute little babies sit in the shallowest parts of the pool and practice their splashes, Claire is generally walking around the pool at her top cruising speed and playing "how quick can mom fish me of the pool when I go under"...hence "shadow mom". I have to admit that the first few times she went under, I panicked. And since she did it on Kyle's watch, I had to give him the standard "if she has a bad experience with water now, she'll be afraid of it later" talk. Poor Kyle. He's patient with my mom neurosis.
Unfortunately a good self-dunking didn't instill a healthy fear of the water in my little guppy and lately she's added a few more tricks to her pool repertoire. Yesterday evening (our second trip to the pool that day), Claire decided that she should practice her lifeguard skills and see how quickly she could run down the inclined entrance of the pool and dive/belly flop into the deeper portion. She decided that although dangerous, this was exceptionally fun. Run, flop, squeal, check to see if mom watched/got scared, laugh, repeat. She made a grandma who was sitting nearby literally gasp a few times. "Yep, that's my kid. Don't worry ma'am, she's 15 months old so she's been doing this for at least a few weeks now. Tons of practice. She'll be just fine."...is what her dad's proud grin said. My face probably matched the grandmas.
Water acrobatics aside, we love the pool. And although my semi-urban living days are a thing of the past, I love that we can just pack up and walk to it. Seeing kids walking to the pool with goggles on their heads and towels slung over their shoulders makes me feel like we live in a neighborhood from a different time. Until my 15 month old looks up at someones iPhone and says "carcoon? video?"...then I'm back in reality.
Here are some pictures of Claire and her love-of-her-life-cousin, Vera (whose name Claire literally chants, while she pumps her arm up and down).