On our drive to North Dakota (a hair over 1,250 miles), one of the many movies the kids watched was Finding Nemo.
Although Henry loves cars and trains and planes (and Cars and Thomas and Planes), he can’t be distracted from Nemo. He watches it with his mouth open and often a can’t-help-it giant smile. He adores the characters and story, and it must somehow resonate with him. I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that some of this could be the colors, or the friendly shapes.
We are staying in campus housing; we were lucky to get a two-bedroom apartment that is fully-furnished (this actually blows my mind, and is pretty awesome). Our building has an indoor pool, and we’ve been taking the kids every day.
Both kids love to get their swim diapers and swimsuits on, and they were extra excited to get loaded up with the puddle jumpers we got for them. But while Eleanor was shrieking and splashing in the pool with Bob, Henry refused to get in. He would walk quickly around the pool (reciting “walking feet, walking feet”) or play on the indoor play equipment, but he would kick and fight against getting into the pool itself.
This was strange, as we would take the kids to lessons at the Y and go swimming with them twice a week in the winter, and he wouldn’t hesitate to jump in and wade, swim with me in the deeper water, and kick his little feet doggedly.
Finally, this evening, after he wanted to just sit in the hot tub (which was – in my opinion – just too hot) I carried him into the pool (kicking and fighting) and jumped up and down with him. He was delighted. I couldn’t pry him off of me for the first few minutes, and then he detached and started kicking his feet and paddling his hands. He would shoot me these really excited looks, and then he finally said, “You’re Marlin! I’m Nemo!” (later, he designated all of us Nemo). He swam and swam the pool this evening, bursting “I’m Nemo! Hi Nemo!” at intervals. I’d call “Hi Nemo!” and he’d proudly grin and paddle toward me. We practiced “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming” and, true to the line, he mostly didn’t want to talk – he wanted to swim.
So we all swam together.