Little One #2, who isn’t so little anymore at just more than a year old, latches on to Daytime Dad with a glue-like grip.
She studies the colorful fake fish attached to the ceiling and splashes her legs in the YMCA pool.
She giggles and smacks the water with an open palm.
The swimming lesson, something she’s done for the last six months, is nearing an end.
She gazes around the pool, and then lets out a little laugh when she spots her four-year-old brother, who is wrapping up his swim lesson as well.
Two kids. Two different lessons. One pool.
It is nothing short of remarkable when Daytime Dad can get both Little Ones in the pool at the same time twice a week.
It’s also nothing short of remarkable to see the progress that’s made with each passing week and month.
So here we are, all three of us, owning the pool for another half hour session.
Daytime Dad remembers when Little One #1, who’s been in a pool since he turned 10 months, dunked for the first time in this same pool. It came shortly after he eclipsed the one year birthday milestone.
Daytime Dad looks at Little One #2 and thinks, “it’s time.”
“Are you ready to dunk?” Daytime Dad asks excitedly.
Little One #2 stares at Daytime Dad, the smile that previously stretched across her face now vanished.
Daytime Dad incorrectly thought she wouldn’t understand the question.
Regardless, Little One #2 was going under for the first time.
Daytime Dad starts the process with a half dunk, submerging Little One #2 in water up to her nose.
She closes her eyes, providing another sign that she was ready to go the distance.
“OK, get ready!” Daytime Dad said enthusiastically.
Little One #2 looked less enthused.
Still, we had come this far …
Daytime Dad gently takes Little One #2 and lowers her into the water.
He brings her back up, shouts ‘hooray!’ (reinforcement is a positive tool after all) and plants a kiss on her head.
Little One #2 isn’t crying – a good sign – but she isn’t exactly craving another shot at submersion.
Still, she did it, and this was no small feat for someone whose age is often referred to in months.
Daytime Dad is proud. And he thinks somehow, someway, she is as well.