A Splashing Time

When Joshua had come downstairs yesterday, sounding hoarse, I understood why he might have been in an unusually bad mood the day before, he may well have been battling a sore throat. That fitted with his lack of appetite too. So I hesitated that my Sunday morning plan included a swim for our young overnight guest, but Joshua seemed to be content enough after his breakfast.

I had not been to this particular swimming pool for years, not since Joshua was small and it has recently undergone a modernisation, so I was keen to see how it had changed. Firstly it had only cost £6 for all three of us to swim, which seemed to be a bargain – I was free as Joshua’s carer. Joshua and I had plenty of room to get changed in a private family changing room and the lockers were large enough for us to fit all three of our clothes and bags into, as well as Joshua’s large boots and splints.

The foot spray on the way into the pool area was unusually warm and the pool area was light and bright, rather like a small Center Parcs dome. The water was lovely and warm so there was no trouble persuading Joshua to enter the pool, as we often get in our local council pool, which always feels cold at first. Joshua bounced off in the warm water, always within his depth, as the deep end was only 5’3″ ,so he could always touch his feet on the floor of the pool. Joshua was beaming, clearly really happy; he kept on giving me the thumbs up and patting his chest to tell me that he loved it. He waved at the other families and groups of young people who were swimming and was just very happy and relaxed in the water, which was wonderful to see.

Our young companion went on the slide  several times and we watched from the shallow end. While we were there one time, the wave machine came on and Joshua loved having the waves crash over him and being wafted about by the rough water. He laughed as the water splashed him in the face, no fear of getting his face wet or of being knocked backwards by the artificial waves.  We enjoyed  50 minutes of play in the pool and Joshua never made any attempt to leave the pool early, which is good for him. He even tolerated the warm shower afterwards too, which is not his favourite activity, but as he was relaxed and happy, he was content to stand under the spray of water for a while.

I am so glad that we went swimming, I will definitely be using this pool again and Sunday morning seemed like a good time and day to go, as there were people there to wave at, but it was not so busy as he was bumping into anyone and we got access to family changing, both times that we needed it. Joshua used to have swimming lessons at our local pool and so he is confident in  the water, considering that he cannot swim, but the cold local pool always made it a battle, so now I am pleased to have found a convenient alternative. He is timetabled to swim in the hydrotherapy pool 2-3 times a week at school but lately his swimming stuff has been returned to me dry, so I queried it and as he is 2:1 staffing, they have been too short staffed to take him recently. Judging by yesterday’s experience, he has missed it and I am pleased to find a fun activity that he enjoys ,that we can do together. It is Riding for the Disabled again tonight after school; he has not been since before Mum died, so I am hoping that he has missed, and enjoys, that too.

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