(Who is now Foursquare mayor of both the JCC and the Family Park? Yup, me. We are using that scholarship they gave us to its fullest extent...)
When you enter the park, you go through the locker rooms. No problem; Younger Bro goes with Mommy, The Boy goes with me. Yesterday, we go inside. I change him into his bathing suit and put his clothes into the duffel bag. Look up... he's gone. Like, vapor.
After 10 minutes (literally) of running around, we finally find him outside of the family park, slowly picking his way up the fence towards the little person play area outside of the pool area. One of the workers was following him discreetly, making sure he didn't make a mad dash towards the parking lot and roads (which were, thankfully, a quarter mile away). So, after that wonderful first impression, and trying to scold a laughing toddler, we made our way inside.
He's still scared of the sprinklers (although today he ran through them twice) and the raining-water-mushroom (although he'll walk out from underneath, if dragged inside), but he has a great time walking around through the water and playing with toys. He won't really sit in the water or do the "swimming on the hands" thing common in the baby pool, but give it time. He enjoyed seeing all of the other boys and girls swimming and having fun, which made the adjustment a heck of a lot easier.
Younger Bro splashed around a bit and was unimpressed by the mushroom and the sprinklers. He likes crawling on the VERY shallow (inches) area, because it's easy on his hands and his knees. Today, we had a picnic outside, which didn't work quite as well as we would have liked - next time, we need to bring a portable highchair for YB.
I'm of two minds about the Family Park. On one hand, most of my summer memories growing up are of the time spent at the town pool - playing with my friends, taking swimming lessons, joining the swim team, lifeguarding, chasing my brothers, playing in the playground, etc. On the other hand, I lifeguarded for six summers and an additional couple of years in college, and am not excited about the prospect of spending more time around the pool. Swimming as an exercise has lost its luster for me; I understand the benefits, but got severely burned out at staring at that stupid blue line for a couple of hours per day.
I was never a fast swimmer, particularly, but I was a strong swimmer. In college, I was doing 20-ish minute miles, 2 or 3 miles at a time without breaks; I swam recreation-competitively locally, and I always did okay. I have a nice freestyle because of my wingspan and comparatively narrow frame; I don't have enough of a kick-base to be good at backstroke (also no shoulder flexibility) or breaststroke, and I was a decent butterflier. I'm sure that it's important for my sons to swim well.
The nice thing about pool days? Between the sun and the couple of hours running around in the water, the kids are exhausted when they get home. Last night, they were all asleep by about 8:15, and The Wife and I caught up with the rest of the season on House.
Next on the agenda: getting a little swimmy-tube for The Boy to play with, along with some toys and such to bring to the pool. Maybe tomorrow, I take The Boy into the Big Pool with me!