The Continuing Adventures of SuperPreemie

Inside the mind of the toddler

Posted on: July 17, 2006

Our JCC has a really great toddler pool – it’s about 8″ deep at the corners, and gets deeper as you go towards the middle of the edges and even deeper in the actual center to a max of probably about 16″.

Shoshanna, who loves the big pool and loves swimming lessons, always responded to the kiddie pool by immediately getting upset and trying to climb out. We couldn’t figure out why, or what to do about it. At first we thought it was because she wasn’t steady enough on her feet and fell (thus going underwater) pretty easily. But you’d have thought that she would have been ok holding the side or our hands in that instance, and so our confusion remained.

Then, last week, Matthew figured it out. Shoshanna’s not allowed to stand up in the bathtub. She was probably thinking that we didn’t want her standing in the pool, either! So I thought a lot about how on earth we were going to a) figure out if this was the problem and b) how we were going to explain the difference to her.

When we went to the pool yesterday, I got in with her and, true to form, she immediately fussed and tried to climb out. I asked her, “Are you getting out because you’re standing up?” (She gets taken out of the bath if she stands up.) “Yeah.” “OK, come sit with me, I want to tell you something.” I pulled her into my lap (still in the pool) and said, “The pool is different from the bathtub. It’s ok to stand up in the pool. Okay?” “Yeah.”

And that was that. She got out of the pool when she wanted to get out to get a toy, investigate the filter cover, etc. She did NOT get out every two seconds for no apparent reason. She walked all the way across the pool (holding on to Daddy’s hands) to get to me. She bounced up and down. She didn’t even freak out when she lost her balance and her face went into the water. Hooray! Pool mystery solved and fixed!

We went back to the pool today and I reminded her first thing that the pool was different than the bathtub and that it’s ok to stand up in the pool. She kind of clung to me because the wading pool was full of 4 and 5 year olds from the day camp, but as soon as they left (and she had her afternoon snack), she was off and playing with a very bossy older girl (probably about 4). But she was having fun and I don’t think she realized how much she was irritating the other girl. ;^)


2 Responses to "Inside the mind of the toddler"

Heh. That reminds me of the time I figured out why the dog wouldn’t go through the dog door. My mom’s house has a screened in front porch, so there’s a good 10 feet between the front door and the screen door. She has an electric fence surrounding the front yard, so my grandfather made a wooden screen door with a dog-sized hole in the bottom so we could just let her out the front door, and she’d happily use the dog door–unless we went out on the porch with her, in which case she would patiently wait for us to open the screen door. Huh?

Then I realized, if she was on a leash (in which case we always followed her onto the porch) and tried to go through the dog door we’d yell at her. Of course, we couldn’t explain the difference to her…


Oh how smart Shoshana is! I loved it that you explained the difference and she understood! How cute!

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