Friday, July 30, 2010

Swimming Lessons

**I've been working on this post for a long time now. We have now used close to 99% of the storage Blogger allows for pictures, video, etc. I'm not sure what we need to do to get back on track, but time has been very short as of late. We do have more swimming pictures, video to share...check back soon. Or in December :)

We enjoyed two whirlwind weeks of swimming lessons here. We were at the pool every evening Monday through Thursday. Which was a lot of fun - but I think I ready to have some evenings left without rush, rush, rushing around. Both kids did really well with the lessons.

Amelia had her swimming lessons first. I usually got in with her because she is really truly a Mama's girl. Daddy got in with her twice and she spent a lot of her time trying to get to me instead of blowing bubbles. Plus, it was nicer to be in the pool when the temperature is 100 degrees (no exaggeration here, the temperature was at or over 100 for most of our swimming days - such a difference from last year!). Although the water is not exactly refreshing after baking in the heat all day. Most days it was like getting into a warm bath - yuck! It beat sitting on the hot concrete outside the pool though!

Amelia is totally fearless when it comes to the water and being around it. My heart may have permanently taken up residence in my throat after the last two weeks. She runs into the pool, dips her head in the water, and splashes herself without hesitation. She also jumps gleefully from the edge whether I am looking or not. Giggling. I will admit I harbored a jealous grudge towards the other mamas in our class. The other babies in the class were not mobile and were happy parked on their behinds in the shallow end with a water can for entertainment. Not our Amelia. She ran laps in, out and around the pool with me chasing her every which way. The other mamas sat and gabbed while their sweet babies played quietly at their feet. My sweet baby spent her time alternating between running away from me and then shrieking when I carried her back to her classmates at the shallow end of the pool. I got quite the workout! Skills wise, Amelia did some great kicking and perfected her bubble blowing skills. She jumped fearlessly to me until somehow I let her scrape her arm on the way into the pool one time. Then she spent her time trying to run away, giggling like crazy. All in all, I was exhausted every evening and she had a good time wearing me out.

We weren't able to find swimming lessons for both kids at the same time which meant William had to wait his turn.

Which really was hard for him when he really wanted to get in and play in the water with Amelia.
Amelia had to do some waiting too after her lesson. Oftentimes one of us would just take her home - she is SUCH a handful to watch in the pool area! If you take your eyes off her for a moment she would be climbing into the pool fully dressed with shoes on. Or digging in the garbage can. Or investigating the contents of another mom's diaper bag.

This is the first year William is actually old enough to get in without a parent. He was so excited and PROUD to be swimming with the other kids. Just look at his cute little face in the above picture. John and I attempted to calmly watch the lesson from the deck chairs. Each evening I, in particular, would resolve to sit back and watch so as not to put unneeded pressure on William. I wanted him to have fun and learn without me breathing down his neck. Without fail moments in to the lesson, we both transformed ourselves into Helicopter Parents and hovered close by for the entire lesson. We tried, honestly. But failed. We clapped, we cheered, we hissed at him to sit DOWN and LISTEN. We were excited, thrilled and disappointed all in a 25 minute lesson. I'm not sure if William even knew we were there.

He very much admired his teacher, Tori and was so EXCITED about swimming.

With some of our previous struggles with fear of water and resistance to swimming, this was a wonderful thing. He jumped, he splashed and he tried very hard to do what the teacher was asking. He had to work VERY hard to relax in the water in order to float on his back. My poor baby was so scared the first time. His body was stiff with fear and I could see him struggling - I just really wanted to jump in and rescue him. But, as if by magic, he allowed himself to relax in his teacher's arms until he was floating with assistance. With his HEAD in the WATER touching his EARS. This is Big News people. I had tears in my eyes because I knew how hard he was having to work and how afraid he was. But he did it and a LOT of other new things too.

Skill wise, William grew by leaps and bounds this year. Enough that I am considering signing him up again this fall for the same class to keep the positive feeling and cement some of his new skills. William allowed his face to get in the water, he jumped willingly into the pool, and tried just about everything the teacher asked him to do. He floated on his front and back with help. He kicked his feet on his front and back and reached for weighted eggs in deepish water. The only part he flat out refused to participate in was putting his whole head under water. He wouldn't be peer pressured, bribed, bullied or otherwise convinced that it was a good idea to put his whole head under water. No way, no how. Not even after two weeks of swimming classes (minus the two days he was sick, poor guy).

Funny William story:

The teacher had explained the crawl stroke to the kids as using your hands to reach out into the water and scoop it up toward yourself like spooning ice cream from a bowl into your mouth. Every night she would review the skill and remind them to scoop some ice cream with their hands. Because of the age of the students, the kids got individual turns with the teacher assisting them. It was William's turn and John was watching when he noticed on every stroke, William was opening his mouth and pushing water in. When William's turn was over and another student started, John asked William what he had been doing. William replied, "Eating my ice cream!"

1 comment:

Tom and Robyn said...

Your description of Amelia at swimming lessons gave me a flashback to when I took Jacob to his first one 3 years ago. He was about 22 months old, and was the exact same way! I had to go back and make sure you didn't just cut and paste from my blog. ;) The details are uncanny.