Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Things are Going Swimmingly

In January neither of my big kids would willingly let water touch their faces.  Shampoo time either elicited screams or came slowly after much negotiation and compromise.

Their first round of actual swimming lessons went fairly well, and because they felt pressured by an instructor, they SORT of did everything that was asked and Leif only cried once during class.  He also tried using the word 'unregister' quite frequently, as in, "Mommy, I need you to 'unregister' me from swim class, because I really don't enjoy swimming.  And I'm not going."  This was usually accompanied by tears.  

Though there was a lot of stress involved with getting the swimsuits on and everyone out the door, both children were always elated by the end of the class and the change room would be filled with the sounds of Leif singing these strange Italian sounding songs that he would make up.  They were victory songs I guess.  They were very proud of their progress and so was I, so I registered them for a second set of lessons at a different pool where they would be in the water for an hour.

What a difference half an hour makes!  The time to play and get comfortable help a lot, but the real change came from having young and playful instructors.  Most of their instructors are University students who are happy, energetic, and know that this is a short-term gig and so they are having fun with it.

By the third lesson Leif and Laika were bobbing underwater for fun.  They go down the slide for fun, pick things up from the pool bottom for fun and try to swim, for fun.  Now I have kids that actually enjoy the pool!  I could not have done it on my own.  I could not have poured water on their heads, or pushed them under to pick up a ring, or stepped back as they came flying into the water, but I'm so glad someone else could.  Now I can't wait to go snorkelling (in warm water) with our little fish.  Mission accomplished.

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