Our first day there, we arrived to find that our room wasn't ready. We were disappointed. We left our stuff with the bell hops...and wandered around..until we wandered outside...and there it was...in the middle of this strange tourist trap...Waikiki Beach. I heard Polynesian rhythms in my head as I watched a group of people row a native-style canoe in the pale blue surf. So this was it. This was Hawaii...not a secluded waterfall in the middle of a rain forest, but one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen set straight across a busy city street.
Because the good people who designed the beach were smart enough to put in a wave wall,so that kids could swim without having to fear for their lives (ahem! Ocean Beach!) We were able to take Snappy down to the water, only to discover that Snappy had developed (along with her new stranger anxiety) a fear of water and wanted nothing to do with it and ran around the beach, knowing full well that we would chase after her. Oh yeah...did I tell you it was a record -breaking heat wave? Yeah, people from Hawaii were complaining about the heat. We were accustomed to life in a fog bank...the last thing we wanted to do was chase a two-year old in the mid-morning sun around the beach.
So, I took her to the pool. Still the blazing sun, still the searing heat, but it had something the ocean did not: steps! I sat her down on the first step and told her to splash in the water. She did this for awhile and then I suggested she try the next step. She did it! I decided to push my luck and try for the next step. At first, she seemed game, but then she balked...and bolted. I caught her just before she went sprinting across the slick tile. I started over again. Slower this time.
The whole process repeated itself a few times before I remembered that Snappy's speech therapist said we should make motor boat noises for her. "Snappy, would you like a motor boat ride?" She shook her head. No she did not. I grabbed her by the waist and spun her in the water Bbbbbbbbrrrbbbrrrbbbbb! Snappy's expression turned from fear to anger to surprise to joy!
"Swim! Swim!" She said.
"That's right! Snappy's swimming. Just like the ducks!" We ventured out into the pool.
"Swim! Swim!" Snappy said at the 5 foot mark, pushing at my arms. It was then that I realized that by "swim swim" she meant "Yes, mom, I've got this swimming thing down. You can let go now. Come on. Let go! Oh for Chrissakes mom, you've got to cut the apron strings sometime."
Much to Snappy's mild annoyment, I did not let go, but I did take our little Swim Swim show on the road. Technically...across the road. To Waikiki beach, where we spent many sunscreen-covered hours splashing and saying stuff like "swim! swim!" and "Bbbbbbbbrrrbbbrrrbbbbb!" Oh...and losing wedding rings, but that's no where near as important as the swimming.