Every week we walk down the street to the pool. The boys are so excited they talk a mile a minute, right over top of each other. I actually have to tell them to stop, and give each boy three sentences to speak, before cutting him off to give time to his brother. Back and forth for the ten minute walk/run. Because walking is too slow. When we turn the last corner and can see the pool, they take off at speeds previously unattained by children under the age of 8.
Because I already have them in their swimsuits before we leave, all they have to do is take off their crocs and shower before entering the pool. Now, these are two boys who cry if we try and get them to shower instead of bathe at home. They cry that the water will get in their eyes, or it's too hot, or the water will hurt their backs. Not so, at the pool. The first week they turned on all three showerheads and ran back and forth under the streams. When I ended that for safety's sake, they chose instead to both stand under one showerhead. They stand as still as statues, head's bowed, Caleb holding his arms slightly out to the side. And they just stand there and let the water pour over them. They have to stand very close to each other to get under the stream, and it is just too cute to see two little brothers in that close proximity without wrestling and tears resulting.
Once the shower turns off, they dart into the pool, where we always have five minutes to wait (because I don't like to be late, I'm usually a little bit early.) They hop from foot to foot, darting toward the pool's edge to look over and then darting back at my firm voice of warning. They can't resist picking up flutter boards or diving rings or exclaiming loudly at the other kids already swimming.
When their class begins (there is one other girl in the class with them) I ascend to the balcony, where I can watch them from behind a glass window. And I laugh and laugh and laugh. And other people laugh and comment about them. Their excitement is infectious.
Because there are three kids and only two teachers, one is always left waiting for 15 or 20 seconds, standing on the submerged platform, while the other two students practice a technique. Whenever Colin or Caleb are on that platform, they are jumping and bouncing and spinning and twirling and laughing and making goofy faces at me and dancing and playing on the rails. They literally can't contain themselves. Yesterday, though I couldn't hear what was happening, I could swear that Caleb was singing the little "Huh-banana-squash-banana" that Rafiki sing in the "The Lion King", while Caleb paced back and forth on the platform "walking like an Egyptian."
While doing the actual swimming, Colin and Caleb are as different as night and day. All of Colin's perseverance comes to the forefront. If the teacher tells him to lie on his back and kick, he will do it for as long and as far as he possibly can, even when he is 6 inches under the water and can no longer breathe! His little face is grinning ear to ear and his legs are kicking ferociously, while he slowly sinks beneath the surface. And he wants no help at all. If the teacher stands 10 feet off and tells Colin to swim to her (usually kids need this to be encouraged to swim on their own), Colin swims toward her and then veers off on an angle to try and swim as far as he can. Every instruction she gives he immediately takes and applies, with absolutely no fear. He will do that front stroke as far as his lungs will take him (he can't turn his head to breathe yet). There were a couple times when he was almost choking on swallowed water, but no way was that going to stop him!
Caleb, on the other hand, swims vertically. Seriously. It's hilarious. He does everything Colin does (he wouldn't do it because the teacher asks, but he will do it because he sees Colin doing it!), but he does it with his body straight up and down in the water, rather than horizontal. So imagine these big arm front strokes, his legs kicking hard, but he's moving as though he was walking rather than swimming! He can't reach the bottom, so I know he's not really walking. The teacher holds onto him so he doesn't sink. Then he tries to do a back float, and his head is back, and his legs are dangling straight down. Then he tries a front kick, while holding onto the teacher's arms, and his legs are going back and forth 2 1/2 feet under. I also laugh each time he has to jump into the pool. I know he can do it, because he was jumping non stop this summer on our camping trips. I think he's a little nervous because the teachers are new, and he doesn't trust them completely yet. So the teacher will stand a couple feet out and reach out to him, and Caleb wants to jump - he really does - I see him bend his legs as if to jump, but then he just bounces up and squats down in position again, and reaches a little further, and then touches the teacher's hand and pulls her closer, all the while he's bouncing as if he was going to jump. Finally the other teacher comes from the side and lightly touches one finger to his back just to give him an added push. It's not even a push at all, more like a little pressure to get him going.
Once the boys finish, you'd think they would have expended all their energy, but nope. They are still wired. They take another shower, standing perfectly still, Caleb in front, Colin just behind. Then comes the business of getting dressed. Colin absolutely can't stand getting dressed when his skin is 100% dry, so it's a chore to try and get him ready. He also will not tolerate a single drop of water on his clothes; try putting on a pair of pants in a pool dressing room without letting the legs touch the floor!
And then the walk/run home. They talk a mile a minute. They run ahead and then run back to talk more, and then jump and dance and run again. It's past bedtime when we get home, but it takes forever to wind them down from it all! Next time I will have to try and book an earlier class, that's for sure.
I'm so disappointed that I can't get it on video. Even this long description can't capture it all, but I'm hoping it will be enough to trigger my memory of it. I'm so tempted to secretly film it all on a camera phone or something like that. It's just too funny!