Friday, August 31, 2012

Little Fish

Ava LOVES water.  So much so that it's pretty ridiculous.  In fact, it's starting to drive me crazy.  I would say that about 75% of the naughty things that she does somehow involve water.  :)  A few weeks ago she figured out how to turn on each of our bathroom sinks by herself.  In her bathroom she stands on her step stool and then gets one leg up on the counter so that she can reach the faucet and turn it on herself (by the way, one of her new favorite sayings is, "Do it self!").  In the half-bath/laundry room she moves her other stool around to the side so that she can turn the water on and then moves it back to get her hands in the water.  And--most annoying of all--in our bathroom she stands on the toilet seat and leans way over so that she can turn on my sink and play in the water.  And this is where she gets into the most trouble.  That girl finds all kinds of different objects to fill up with water.  Her favorite is this:

Her baby's sippy cup.  She unscrews the lid, climbs up on the toilet and fills it up time and time again to drink from it (also filling up her diaper!).  One day I found her doing this and there was water everywhere.  I mean, all over the door even, which is across the bathroom from where she was standing.  I'm still not sure how she accomplished that.  Last night, after dinner, she snuck up and grabbed my glass off the table and I found her in the bathroom filling it up.  The other day she was trying to fill up her empty chapstick container that she plays with.  The girl will drink water out of ANYTHING.

She has had this love of water for a long time.  I've never known a one year old that loved to drink water as much as she does.  We have to limit how much water she drinks.  She drinks from her Camelbak water bottle like it's her job.  It often becomes a problem, as she soaks through diaper after diaper (and outfit after outfit).  I never worry about whether or not she is hydrated . . . not even when she's sick!

Not only does she love to drink water, but she also loves to play in water.  All the time.  Anywhere.  Any water.  Nasty water on the side of the road.  A wet spot on the couch where Mama just cleaned off the crayon that she got on there.  The water (which is actually not water!) in Mama's contact lens case.  If there's a liquid around, she WILL find it.  Yes, she drinks her bathwater.  I know it's gross but, honestly, there are only so many battles I can fight.  We do discourage her from drinking it after we have washed her up with soap . . . but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen!  Last time Nana was here she turned Ava on to bubble baths.  So now we always put a little soap in with the running water to make bubbles.  Well, she still drinks the water as she plays, saying over and over again, "I drink soap."  Apparently it never occurs to her that it tastes bad.

The most trouble she has gotten in with water came two weeks ago at Tim's company picnic.  It was held at the Island Marina in Fort Collins.  Basically it's a small lake in south Fort Collins with a few islands.  They set up big canopies, decks, tables and such on these islands and rent them out for parties.  They also have those giant water trampolines in the lake, paddle boats and canoes.  You have to catch a ride on a boat to get out to your island.  It's really quite fun.  We knew Ava would have fun playing in the water there, so pretty much as soon as we got there (they held it on a Friday, so Tim came home early from work and we headed down there together) we suited her up in a life jacket and Tim waded around with her.  It didn't take her long to spot those giant trampolines out in the water.  Since she also LOVES jumping, that was right up her alley.  My first reaction was to say that there was no way Tim was going to take our two year old out there, so he tried to hold her off for quite a while.  Next thing I know he was loading her up in a paddle boat and taking off toward the middle of the lake.  Oh my.  He tried to appease her by just circling around one of the trampolines in the paddle boat . . . yeah right.  Pretty soon he was hoisting her up and the two of them were jumping on the trampoline in the middle of the lake while their paddle boat drifted off.  I won't go into details, since this post is getting really long, but they did make it back to shore safely.  Minutes later Ava wanted to go back, but we corralled her toward dinner.

Ava's first boat ride out to the island

 After dinner Tim introduced her to the giant catfish in another part of the lake that the kids can feed with dog food.  She made me nervous the whole time by standing right on the edge of the deck.  I just had a bad feeling.  A little while later (right after I changed her diaper and got her out of her swimsuit, of course), Tim was holding June and talking to some coworkers, while I was cleaning up our dinner stuff and getting ready to take June.  Ava had been standing by Tim, but I looked up and saw she had wandered off to look at the fish at an unspecified dirt bank with no rope and a sharp drop-off into the water.  Lights and sirens starting going off in my head and I started making my way over there slowly, not wanting to cause a scene.  I glanced away at Tim for a second and when I looked back over she was no longer standing there.  Instead I saw her head just above the water and a crowd beginning to form where she had been standing.  Without even thinking I was over there in a flash.  In a split second I assessed the situation, heard Ava starting to cry and saw that she was moving further out in the water that was already up to her neck.  I threw down June's blanket and my Coke that I was holding and jumped in that nasty lake water, with the catfish.  I scooped Ava up and handed her to some guys who were standing at the edge of the bank.  One of them took my hand and helped me up and we were out in a matter of seconds.  And Ava and I were soaked in a matter of seconds.  The water hit me right about at my chest, so my clothes were pretty wet.  But what else are you going to do?  It's amazing how that instinct kicks in without any necessary thought or plan of action.  I know that any one of those people that Tim works with would have jumped in to get her if I hadn't gotten there first, and I am thankful for that.  But I'm glad it was me who had to do it and I'm SO thankful that that party didn't have to end in tragedy.  Many people congratulated me afterwards and a couple moms called me a "hero".  All I know is that if someone's kid had to fall in the water . . . I'm not at all surprised that it was mine.  :)  And now all of Tim's coworkers will probably remember me as "the lady who jumped in the lake to save her kid".

The best thing I can do is try to channel this love of water into healthy activities.  I set up a sprinkler in our lawn a few weeks ago and let her run through that.  Here is some video:

Of course her favorite thing was sitting on the sprinkler
Unfortunately it wasn't the greatest day weather-wise and got pretty cloudy and windy.  It was chilly so she didn't play for too long.  Last week I got out her baby pool on a hot day and she had a ton of fun playing in that for an hour or so.

Eating her first popsicle!
I wanted to do the pool again this week but it often clouds up and gets windy in the afternoons (although it never rains!) and that makes it a little cool for that sort of thing.  One of Ava's good friends (her parents are on our Discipleship Team) that we play with sometimes has a really neat water table that Ava enjoyed one day.  I think she would love having one of those, and it would be a little easier for me to set up quickly.  We have a Babies'R'Us gift card so I think we might go this weekend and see if we can get one on sale.  Why not feed the addiction, right?

There's a reason we call her Ava "Crazypants" Kelleher!

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