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Saturday, July 31, 2010

At the Neighborhood Pool

Teddy will usually swim to a parent, but the steps are lots of fun to play on.

So sometimes we have to go and get him! (And eat him up.)

Mama likes Teddy to try different water toys to see what he does with them. In this circle, he can spin around and around!

Dada tells Teddy how long he'll stay on his back (count of five or count of eight, usually), and also tells him not to kick.

Then Dada lets go!

The tricky part with teaching Teddy to float is that he can already swim.

Our little fishy loves swimming with Dada!
(These pictures pre-date the two previous posts.)

Friday, July 30, 2010


With a whole lot more confidence, Teddy kept jumping in the pool, swimming around, until he decided he was going to try and get to me even though I was a long way away. He made it about half-way and decided to go back. As he was turning, he ran out of air, came up, took a breath and kept going. Half-way back, he ran out of air again, took a second breath and made it back to the steps from where he had left. Needless to say that put a smile on my face. He's not completely water-safe yet, but he sure is getting there.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Little swimmer boy

As quite a number of pictures can attest, spending time at the pool with Teddy is one of our favorite activities. It is fun watching Teddy grow more comfortable in the water and develop his own little games. Recently he started "freezing" as he swims. He just stops moving and drifts along for a couple of seconds. Occasionally he does that when he is close enough to me to look me in the eyes (from below the water) and there seems to be a glint in there as he begins to move again and grabs on to my neck.

Today, though, took the cake. We played around a bit, and he swam more than I expected him to. He was a sport and even when he got a bit caught up in the ladder going down to the pool, it didn't phase him much. Eventually, I decided it was time to leave. He was already out of the pool, playing with an inflatable toy. When I said we were leaving, I started heading for the corner of the pool with the steps. Teddy was on the other side (width-wise) of the pool and at that point decided he hadn't quite had enough. He came, sat down on the edge of the pool and plopped himself down into the pool.

At this time, the following should be mentioned:

1. The pool is over three feet deep. Teddy isn't.

2. By just jumping into the water, he had no horizontal momentum.

3. The distance from him to me was a bit more than 5 meters (approx. 17 feet) by my estimation.

That being said, Teddy has made it about twenty feet in the water when pushing off or getting a good horizontal momentum going. Still, he had none of that going for him. Also, because he jumped in the water after I'd said we were going home, I decided I was not going to help him get to me until he'd gotten to the limit of where he could go.

It took him a while to get going forward, so by the time he got to within about a meter of me, he ran out of air. The expected turn of events here is that he tries in a panicky manner to take a breath, goes under the water and I pick a somewhat distressed boy up. The actual turn of events is that he rather calmly got his nose above the water surface, took a quick breath, finished coming to me, and, when picked up, proclaimed in a slightly winded but triumphant voice: "Swimming!"

Good job, little boy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Give the boy what he wants.

My husband just reported to me:

"Ce vrei, Teddy?" (What do you want?)
"More 'kokos! Kiss!" (More Theotokos! Kiss!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Try Again

Today, Teddy was trying to get his new Sesame Street chair (and fold-out bed) onto the sofa without much success.

He begged me, "Help youuu," as usual, but, worried that I was "helping" a little more often than necessary, declined. (Okay, and went back to my book.) So I half-watched him struggle to make a fort (as I made for him yesterday) or just put the chair onto the sofa to play with. And I heard him muttering. Along with "Help youuu" ... there was a "Try again." (All this, of course, interspersed with a lying on the floor and writhing and moaning bit which was almost a tantrum, as he realized I wouldn't help.)

What a lovely thing my son has learned: things can be frustrating, but, even if you give up, you try again. As Teddy says so cutely: "Awesome!"

Friday, April 9, 2010

Altar and Aquatic Adventures

Today, it was just Teddy and me for the Liturgy. This meant that I took him in the altar as I was helping Fr. James with the service (on weekday Liturgies one of us serves and the other helps in the altar). I was surprised. Granted, Teddy has grown up in church, but he is only eighteen months old and he occasionally will get a bit restless or talkative. Not so much today.

As we were getting ready for the service I took him around, told him about the candles and the censer, lit the charcoal in front of him and explained that it was "hot, hot." Then we put incense in and I had him smell as the smoke began to rise. We went to get cut-up bread to be blessed and, as I was putting that in a bowl, Teddy went and looked at some of the flowers that decorate the church in this Paschal season. I went to get him just as he was getting to the chanters and smiling at them.

The Liturgy started and I realized that I had forgotten to check on the water in the kettle. We went and checked that, then returned to the altar, where I sang softly along with the chanters to keep Teddy interested. As the small entrance came, we added a little more incense to the censer. Then, I turned on one of the electric candles and, with it in one hand and Teddy in the other, went out to accompany the Gospel book. We came back in, handed the censer to Fr. James, then took it back when he was done censing. Teddy took this in quite attentively.

I continued to point out what Fr. James was doing and shortly it was time for the Gospel reading. I had Teddy help me turn on the candle and we went out together to stand by the side as the gospel for the day was read. I turned the candle off (again with Teddy's help) and then it was time to prepare the censer again, so I put Teddy down again, took a couple of pellets of incense and put them on the charcoal. A parishioner came in to help with the great entrance and, as Teddy was beginning to get a little vocal, we went to look at a couple of icons, crosses, and flowers.

Very shortly thereafter, we came back in and, with me pointing out what was going on, we got through to the consecration. We prepared the censer again and went to get the water ready. I asked Teddy to help me turn the kettle on, which he did. As the water was getting warm, I pointed out the steam to Teddy and reminded him: "hot." I asked him to wait for me in the vestry, where the kettle was, while I took the hot water container to Fr. James. He did and I was quickly back with the empty container. As it was getting close to communion, we went back in the altar, took the cut bread out, and waited until Fr. James had received communion. Then we went up together and he received as he usually does - quietly and attentively.

At that point I gave him a couple of pieces of bread (which he very much appreciated) and the service was soon over. There were a couple of requests for "down" after which he climbed to sit or stand on a bench on the side of the altar and a couple of attempts to say 'hi' to Fr. James, but in an hour that is all there was. I cannot complain about that and I enjoyed spending that time with Teddy in the altar. Yes, I know he's a little young for an altar boy, but he was less distracting than some of them :)

In other news, today he decided that he will dive into the pool. Caught me by surprise. He'd only recently started lunging in from a seated position. I guess he needed extra excitement, because after the first dive, from the side of the pool, he did it again, from the first step as you walk into the pool. He was also quite amusing as he imitated a lady who would put her head under water for a few seconds, then come up for air. He was standing on my knees and holding on to my hands when he started putting his head under water, then coming up for air every five seconds or so. Finally, his complaints at being put on his back and dragged along (while, occasionally, being left to float for short periods of time) were minimal.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. God bless and thank God for this little boy.