This summer we continued in the family tradition of visiting Lake Martin in July. It involves time with grandparents (Damon’s parents), cousins, boat rides, dinner at Kowliga, and lots of swimming in the lake.
As Fuller has gone from a plump blob of a baby to our tall, lanky five year old, his relationship with the lake has been kind of fickle. He enjoyed it when he was held, but then developed a fear of splashing/ swimming/ sprinkles that seemed a bit on the oversensitive side. The screaming and tears were real and our adult frustration that it is just water fergoodnesssake grew each summer.
The situation started calming down a couple of years ago and finally we have a child who will willingly get into the water and kick around, provided the proper flotation devices are being worn.
While I would never, ever call Fuller a swimmer, I would guess that we are a few years away from that designation. But I know that even “protected” by the various swimming assistant devices available, he should be able to enjoy more than kicking, splashing, and being told to stop running on the dock. He should be able to enjoy things like the slide…
Until this past weekend, Fuller has gone down the slide exactly twice and both times were under duress and possibly he was pushed by a parent. Possibly he was pushed by his own parent. But I find the idea of having a kid scared of going down a water slide to be ridiculous and squashing our dreams of taking a family vacation to Whitewater one day.
So, this summer I made Fuller a deal. I told him if he would go down the slide once and jump off the dock without crying, then we would go to Chuck E. Cheese. I told him it was a deal he would have to think long and hard about because once he made the deal, he had to do it or we would never go to Chuck E. Cheese.
(Sidenote: Fuller’s cousin Vivian actually had very similar fears and once her parents learned of my deal with Fuller, they made the same deal with Vivian except instead of Chuck E. Cheese, she got money. Vivian is 9 and she knows the value of a dollar. My smart niece raked in the dough and got over her fears.)
The deal was made in July.
This past weekend, on September 5th, Fuller interrupted my nap to make his run down the slide. It took several minutes for him to let go from the top, but he did it. Turns out jumping from the side of the dock was no real big deal (as long as Daddy is there to “catch”).
And now… we have to figure out exactly when we are heading to mouse of cheese.