Last night, Murray and I took Gulliver over to the pool for some swimming. We haven't taken him swimming since this summer, and when we walked into the pool area, his face was just like [what I hope] Christmas morning [will be]. Of course as soon as we got there and he saw the other family playing, I realized our error in totally forgetting to bring any sort of toy over. Like a ball.
Previous to last night, Gulliver was fearless when it came to swimming. What he loves most is getting out of the pool and jumping back in, into your arms. And just to mix things up a little and make them more interesting, he was always really good at running around the edge of the pool, faster than you could swim, keeping you guessing about exactly where and when he was going to jump into the pool.
Well, last night, Gulliver for some reason was being a little more cautious. He would go to Murray and then very cautiously jump into the pool. Then when it was my turn, he'd come to me, grab my hands, sit down on the side of the pool, and very carefully slide in. What happened to my jumping baby (who this summer jumped right onto my head when I looked somewhere else for 1 second)?
Of course, this gave rise to no end of gloating on Murray's part. Almost each time we tested, Gulliver would jump into Murray's arms, but for me, almost every time, he'd sit down on the side of the pool and then slip cautiously in. Murray read into it in all sorts of ways. He's the protector. He's the physical one. He is the man. He also wanted to make sure I blogged about this (am I doing a good job, honey?).
At one point, it was time to bust out another trick from this summer. This summer, when Gulliver was outside the pool and I was inside, I liked to go over to the filter vents, stick my arm in, and stick my finger up and out of one of the holes in the cover at the side of the pool. This made a little worm that Gulliver LOVED. He would laugh and laugh and try to catch it, and try to stomp on it (once or twice successfully---ouch!). Great, wonderful fun!!
Last night, I stuck my finger through the vent, and the look on Gulliver's face immediately told me that he was maybe a little bit afraid of that worm. Because I'm the tender love-giver, the sweet and sensitive mother, the nurturer, then I didn't push this game on him and gave up on the worm idea.
A little later, Murray tried the worm game. Again, Gulliver's face showed he was a little afraid. Instead of running over and playing with the worm, Gulliver immediately tried to get back into the pool as quickly as possible. Murray told me to get Gulliver out of the water again and try to get him to play with the worm. So together, Gulliver and I got out of the water and went over to the worm. He was terrified. He stop, dropped, and almost rolled right into the water. Then, he clung to me tightly. Scary, scary worm!!
Well, what do you know, for the rest of the evening, he wouldn't let Murray hold him. He certainly wouldn't jump to Murray. In fact, Gulliver was no longer interested in getting out of the pool at all (the worms might pop up if he is out there!!).
And so he clung to me. ME. His mother. His nurturer. His best friend in the whole wide world.