So, I’m getting a little worried about something. Water. And Sadie. Not mixing so well anymore.
Apart from her first bath, Sadie has pretty well liked bath time, and I seem to remember her really digging the pool (and the lake) last summer. Now, not so much. I’ve tried to take her swimming twice, and neither time has gone well. And baths have become a struggle. One night this week, she refused to sit in the tub, so I just held her in my arms next to the tub and wiped her down with a washcloth.
Is this a phase? Gosh, I hope so. I was terriffically afraid of water for a really long time when I was a kid. My parents say it’s because my mom startled herself and me when giving me my first bath. My aunt says my dad tried to “cure” me of my fear by taking me in a boat and rocking it to show me it was no big deal. I have no memory of either. I do remember once, when I was little, taking my floaties off so I could get onto a foam surfboard in a swimming pool. I’d pulled the board over to the edge, because I couldn’t get on it from in the pool, as my floaties kept getting in the way. Of course, I fell straight in and couldn’t swim. I remember my little brother (a fish from the start) helped pull me out somehow, and my dad got me the rest of the way out. I didn’t need resuscitating or anything, but I think it definitely cemented my fear of the water. My aunt recalls, when I first came to stay with her and her family when I was 7, that I wouldn’t take a shower or a bath without screaming. I just stood in the tub while she bathed me. I kind of remember this, but I’m not sure if it was just that first night that I was like that, or if it continued.
I did eventually grow out of this fear, but it wasn’t until I was in the fifth grade that I learned to swim. My Girl Scout troop went to a dude ranch for a weekend, and my friend, Megan, got me to finally swim in the deep end. It took me another year before I’d jump off the diving board. To this day, I still can’t dive, and the best I can do is not drown.
I don’t want this for Sadie. I want this to be a phase. This is just a phase, right? What do I do? Can I do anything?