There's something about water being on his head that JR just hates. Showers make him nervous, and being dunked is traumatic. I'm sure some of it could come from the fact that he has slipped under water a couple of times and had that drowning sensation. I don't blame him for that.
Splash parks are fantastic, aren't they? Most of the time they're free (if you don't count your property taxes as the entrance fee), and it's really a glorified sprinkler park. I know I would have LOVED one as a kid!
Today I decided to take JR to the splash park without telling him beforehand. I knew it would be a gamble if he would like it, but I also knew that I have plans to take him with friends in two days. So, I had to acclimate him. After about 15 minutes, of running in, dipping his toes or his hands and running back to the towel, he was getting more and more wet and didn't worry as much. I can't say "didn't look back" or "didn't think twice," because I know my son by now. He thinks about it very much and what he's going to do. He lasted for about 25 minutes. I was so proud of him.
Is it bad to say that I'm proud of myself, too? I didn't push him to hard. I kept encouraging him and nudging him along, but I tried very hard not to force it. I didn't give him the option of going home -- I didn't give him an out -- but I didn't make him run in the water. I pointed out different children and how they were playing and what they were doing. I didn't say, "Oh, see, now that kid is doing it right." It was more like, "Oh, see that girl stuck her hand in the water, you could try that."
I'm learning that I need to not be afraid to introduce new things to JR. I'm worried about how he will react and that I will regret trying something new. I'm working on it, and I think I'm almost to the point where I'm ready to look for opportunities that will push him because I'm almost ready for him to push back.