Friday, July 29, 2011

slip sliding away

We belong to a super fun health club that has an awesome aquatic center.  I kid you not, they call it an aquatic center.  There is a huge indoor pool for all year swimming, an indoor lap pool, a therapy pool, a huge hot tub and a 50 meter outdoor pool.  All the indoor pools are enclosed in glass, it reminds me of pools in Florida, and it has huge garage type doors that slide open in the summer for easy access to the outdoor pool.  We love to go swimming in the indoor pool when it is snowing outside, it is so pretty. 

It has been really hot and humid here so we have been spending a lot of time at the pool.  Once aspect of the pools that we have not taken advantage of is the huge indoor water slide.

John is a cautious child.  He is the type that will assess every situation before entering, he likes to know what the risk is going to be and if it is worth it.  Due to his personality, John was not interested in going down the slide last year and was hesitant this summer.  In an effort to talk John into going down it, we talked about the safety aspects.  There is a life guard at the top telling you when to go and at the bottom in case you need help.  The water is not going to be over his head and he is a really good swimmer.  In the end, all it took was some cold hard cash!

Yup!  That's right.  I told him I'd pay him 5 bucks if he went down the slide.  I knew that if he did it once he would love it and that due to his personality it was going to be really hard for him to go down the slide the first time without some incentive.  I knew that that if he didn't at least try it once, he would be sorry.  So after all the rational arguments, friends trying to talk him into going down, and dad offering to go down it too.  It ended up being a bribe that worked.

And look at that face.  He loves it!  The only way to get him to stop going down the slide at this point is when they close it for the day.  I consider that money well spent.

In order to go down the slide you have to be 42 inches tall.  Which meant that Luke did not qualify until this summer. 

In a strange twist of fate, Luke was scared to go down the slide even though he was tall enough this summer and has been talking about the slide for about 18 months.  He said, 'dad, I'm not scared I'm just cautious'.  Which is a hoot!  Because unlike his brother, cautious in not a word that anyone would ever associate with Luke.  I mean never.  So we talked again about the safety and the fact that mom could be in the pool waiting to catch him if he wanted me too.  But still he hesitated.  So, I did what I knew would motivate him.  I went down the slide.  It was really fun and so much faster than I realized.  That was all it took.  After seeing me go down and love it, he decided to go down it himself.

 Now all he wants to do is go down the slide!  The pool that you land in has a almost tide effect under water and Luke loves to come down the slide and then go into a dead man float, letting the water push him to the side.  I had to tell one of the life guards that he was okay and didn't need rescuing because he never came up for air. 

I'm so happy that both boys conquered their fear of the big slide this summer.  It makes going to the pool much more fun because they have more to do.  It has also been great to watch them both step outside of their comfort zones and 'go for it'.  In their own way, they are learning confidence from this slide and independence. 

I look forward to milking using the experience of the slide and spreading their wings for a long time to come.  I picture myself handing out sage advice in their tweens and teen years and being able to dole out wise parental advice based on the lessons we learned this summer of conquering fear.  After all, it did cost me 5 bucks.  I need to get my money's worth of experiences out of this.


The Raudenbush Family said...

Our Y has a nearly identical set up. But, kids under 5 can't use the slides at all. And, kids between 5 and 12 have to pass a pretty hard swim test before they can use the slides or even swim without a parent. This is the first year my older two passed the test. And, now it's all about the slides for us too!

Hannah said...

That is a heck of a pool! I wish our Y had something like that...very very cool :)

Donna said...

You PAID him!?! OH - that's horrible! Something I would never, ever, ever do! ;-) hahaha

Awesome! But I seemed to have missed the picture where YOU came down the slide?

noreen said...

I'm catching up on your blog today Anne! How fun for your family to have an indoor pool when the weather is too hot to be outside. I love the smiles on your boys!