I ventured to the pool yesterday with my three kids, Ian (6), Emma (almost 3), and Zoe 17 months. I was never confident enough to try it alone with three kids before, but just needed to get out of the house and finally felt I could handle it. So, after dressing all three in their suits, then me in mine, lubing everyone up with a healthy dose of suntan lotion, and packing four towels, some spare diapers, drinks and snacks, we ventured out. It turned out to be great.
The temperature was in the 90's, so the public pool was pretty full. After staking out a chair with all of our stuff (the bag of towels, plus two swim rings and one noodle), we finally got into the pool. We were there for about two hours. Ian was underwater for the first hour. Honestly, five weeks ago if you asked him to put his head under water, he ducked his head down until the water made it up to his nose. Now, he can't stop sticking his head under the water. He said it was his favorite thing to do. My only concern was that while staying with the two little ones, I often had to figure out where Ian had disappeared to. He wanted to go over to the deeper end of the pool which was fine, but while I watched him repeatedly bob his head in and out of the water, I wasn't sure there was a whole lot of difference between the look of a six year old practicing holding his breath underwater and one that had been knocked out, wasn't breathing and had his face in the water. Despite that, I still let him go and do his thing. He even started jumping into the pool and going under the water, a big step for Ian.
Emma spent most of the time at the pool in her Sesame Street swim ring. She admired other more elaborate rings with turtle and dragon heads. I even saw one that looked like a Cozy coupe toy car. She mentioned several times that she wished she could have a swim ring like those. Unfortunately for her it will never happen unless I find it on clearance or at the dollar store. I just don't spend money on extra inflateable parts on my kids swim rings when I can get a perfectly good one for a dollar or less.
Zoe loved the water, too. She even went under a few times and didn't cry about it. She's a trooper.
After some snacks and a quick visit to the splash pad, Emma and Zoe and I went back to the main pool and Ian headed for the water slides. It was his first time going by himself on the slides and it was marvelous. He went probably six or seven times, and only once did he slip out of the inner tube and go under. He didn't freak out, though, he just grabbed ahold of the tube and made it to the edge of the pool. It was so fun to see how excited he got about doing something he was afraid to do by himself before.
It really was a great trip. I guess that means we'll be doing it more often. I hope so.