Remember ISR? I told you all about ISR back when we were in our fourth week of lessons, but I never followed up and finished the story! (I mean, you saw how long it took me to write the birth story, so I guess you're probably not that surprised. Would you be more surprised if I told you the birth story is not actually over yet? Yup, there is a Part 5...and I'm sure in 6 months I will finally get around to posting it.) But more importantly, I never showed you any photos of BB in ISR. So let's have a little "splashback" to the end of summer, shall we?
Between missing lessons for traveling and teething and high temperatures, our lessons ended up stretching into mid-September, when BB finally "graduated" from ISR. Because his lessons had been so disjointed, he ended up only learning to swim and then float, rather than the entire swim-float-swim sequence, but his instructor Traci deemed him safe in the water which was the goal of the lessons, and we called it a summer.
*Sidenote: It is not ideal for BB's hands to be up to his head while floating, but while BB was teething he developed this habit, and Traci said that habits in the water are quickly developed and hard to break.
In the last few lessons, BB was fully dressed in both summer and winter outfits and Traci did some problem-solving exercises with him to determine if he was able to perform the techniques in circumstances he might face in the event of a water emergency, like wearing a heavy winter coat or with a water-logged diaper. The exercises included disorienting BB in the water by tipping him backwards with his legs over his head, and pulling his sweater up over his face. BB was able to determine which way was up, swim to the surface, and get into his float, and could pull away items away from his face. It was amazing to watch him apply all of these skills and think back to when he was first learning to hold his breath underwater at his initial lesson - J and I were just impressed that he could even learn a skill in a lesson at such a young age. Next summer we will attend a two-week refresher course to review and reinforce these skills.
With our ISR instructor Traci, who is so great.
You can really see the swim and float sequence in these next photos:
First, BB swims (away from me)
Here you can see him flipping over into his float position when he is tired
(about 2-3 seconds underwater is appropriate for his age)
And here you can see him in his float
(which he could maintain until help arrives in a water emergency)
A great swimming shot:
And here you can really see him mid-rolling over into his float:
And floating again:
J and I were both able to attend BB's very last lesson. On Fridays each week, Traci would invite me to join them in the water so that she could teach me how I could practice the techniques with BB over the weekend or during a vacation break, and at his very last lesson we did this again. We practiced his skills, and then we finished the lesson by just letting him swim back and forth between us, since he always seemed to really like the swimming. After a few rounds, BB figured out it was playtime and by the end of his "graduation" lesson, he was coming out of the water laughing and wearing a huge smile. I'll take that over a cap and gown any day.
So that's our Summer Splashback! Wait - did I ever tell you that during one of his baths right after we started ISR BB was sitting cross-legged in the tub and then he leaned forward and stuck his whole face in the water? He kept doing it and I think he wanted to practice holding his breath - it was hilarious. Okay, ISR is over, and it's time to Fall-lashback to November...I can't believe it's NOVEMBER! Probably because it's 76 degrees outside right now. I love you Tucson.