Loves the Tub, Does Not Love the Pool!

A few times a week after a long hard day of playing, all four of my little grubby monkeys go upstairs for a relay race of scrub-a-dub-dubbing in the tub before bedtime. Typically baby Paul is first, and he’s immediately followed by the older three, ending with my 8 year old taking a lukewarm shower.

When it’s all said it done, the kids are clean and the bathroom looks like a hurricane hit.

Baby Paul? He LOVES the tub. He kicks, he plays, he splashes and squeals. Honestly, the kid would slip and slide around in the water all night if I let him, and I probably would if I didn’t have three others waiting for their turn. Because of his tub love, I was super excited to haul out our favorite backyard blow-up pool for him to enjoy.

So yesterday I inflated the pool around 9 AM, and filled it up with water from the garden hose. My plan was to have the water heat up naturally all afternoon in the sun, and then in the evening after dinner the pool would be in the shade and the water at a perfect temperature for playing.

And just like I suspected, the water was warm, crystal clear, and so lovely. I put Paul in his new Mickey Mouse Swim Trunks (so stinkin’ cute) and threw his favorite yellow ball in the water to entice him to play.

And then I grabbed my camera and watched, because this was going to be epic fun. Slowly but surely he became intrigued and wobbled over to the water. My husband coaxed him in, and then it happened…

HE. HATED. IT. Like, he wanted and needed out immediately! Super bummed, we of course dried him off and found something else to do for the rest of the evening. But friends, I’m pretty bummed. I had such high hopes for his love of this pool, and it doesn’t look like it will be happening anytime soon.

How can a kid love tub time but hate the pool? It doesn’t make sense to me at all!

My hope is that he just needs some more time to ease into the situation, and maybe in the not so distant future he’ll come around. I’ve done a little research, and I’m going to try a few things with him:

- I’m going to put on my swim suit and get in the pool with him. Hopefully this will lessen his apprehension and make him feel safe and secure.

- Less water next time, probably just a few inches. Enough to sit in a and crawl around without feeling scary.

- Play together, outside of the pool to get familiar with it in the backyard. I’m thinking it would be fun to work with him on scooping out the water with cups or something.

Basically, I think we dove into the pool (pun intended), way too fast. I assumed the tub and the pool were the same type of thing, and they totally are not. at all. Looking back, I now know we need to move way slower. Thankfully, a long (warm) weekend lies ahead of us, and we’re going to keep on working on it.

Does your toddler love the pool? How did you introduce him to the water?

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