by Doris (aka Grandma Yoder)
Ryan is a tough little kid. Over the last week and a half he has emphatically told me numerous times:
“I NEVER, NEVER get hurt.”
…and the other sentence I hear all the time from him is,
“I can do it MYSELF” (with great emphasis on myself)
I have decided, those are among his favorite lines. And, a lot of times he is very independent, but when he gets tired, well, it seems he can’t do anything by himself. Silly boy! And about “I never get hurt,” well, I do have to say quite often he does recover quickly from a tumble or a bump with very little distress.
Before lunch yesterday, Jason and Luke and Ryan were down at the dock playing and swimming and cleaning up weeds. Ryan was happily bouncing back and forth, scooping up weeds with the net and tossing them off to the back side into the bog area adjacent to land side of the dock. When Jason turned around he could see no Ryan! Oh boy, where did he go? (When in the dock area, we do make the boys wear their life jackets, even if they are not in the water.) In less than five seconds, Jason found him. He was sitting on the landside of the dock, sitting in the marsh weeds. Jason said Ryan wasn’t saying anything nor calling for help, but he just looked a bit startled or puzzled, like as if he couldn’t quite figure out what to do from this point on. Apparently he slipped off the dock when trying to toss some weeds back there and in the tumble had just plopped down into a sitting position surrounded by the tall marsh grasses.
A week ago he was very scared and timid in the water. He couldn’t even float by himself in a lifejacket without being totally helpless….and even then, he kept insisting, “let go, I can do it myself!” We had to be pretty sneaky on how we hung on to him, but hang on we did! Now, well, it is quite a different story. Just an absolute little fish, he is. I like to call him our Lil Tadpole.
Thursday, afternoon after naptime, Ryan and I went down to the dock to join Jason and Luke and Jerry and Trenda and their kids. The kids were all swimming and playing. It was a busy place and having just wakened from his nap, Ryan was content to just watch a bit. But then he got in the water too, and as is his usual, the first thing he wants to do is swim to the deep end of the dock so he can climb up the ladder. For the life of me (and Jason) we can’t make Ryan stay in the wading area (we do have a wading area now, though it is not pristine sand, by any means. With use, we hope it will improve.) But he refuses to use that part of the dock area and will NOT, and I mean, absolutely REFUSES to let his feet touch the bottom anywhere. The water may only be 18 inches deep but he pulls up his feet and floats and BEGS to be lifted out of the water! But figure this out please: he has no fear of the deep end; no sirree…he insists he can swim there and back, “all by himself” and he does!
Most often he likes to jump off from the step all by himself, but sometimes he forgets himself and jumps straight off the dock into the water like the big kids do. He usually comes up looking a little startled, but he doesn’t swallow any water. After one or two of those kinds of jumps, he refuses to do any more like that, and goes back to the step.
One time as he came up the ladder at the deep end his life jacket strap caught on one of the ladder attachments and it made him lose his balance and he fell and bumped his face against the top of the ladder. He cried and needed some kisses; I could see he got bruised and had very good reason to cry. But after a kiss from me, he dried up his tears and insisted, “I’m alright, it doesn’t hurt” and off he went to swim again, but this is how his face looks after that nasty bump. Today, a day later, it is a little bit purple, but he is not complaining about it.