Friday, March 18, 2011

Swim Lessons - The 2011 Edition

Emma was so excited when I came home in early February and announced that I had signed her up for swim lessons and that this year, she would be taking the class all by herself. That excitement reigned up until a week before her first class at which point she started saying she didn't want to go by herself and wanted Mommy or Daddy in the water with her. We reassured her that her teacher would be watching over it and come the day of the first class, we didn't hear anything about needing Brad or I with her in the water. In fact, as soon as we got to the pool, she could not wait to get started. The first class, Ms. Regina, the instructor, didn't bother to look at her class list and somehow got it into her head that Emma's name was Maggie. She called her Maggie for the entire class even though Emma tried to tell her on more than one occasion "I'm Emma." In the class that Emma is taking, they use a lot of flotation devices and the teacher takes them out one at a time. Overall, the first class went well but I wasn't sure how well it would go especially after seeing her try to hold herself up on the step and kick; it wasn't pretty.

Week two was cancelled due to a last minute commitment by Ms. Regina so fast forward to week three. Oh yeah, remember how I wasn't so sure about the lessons after watching Emma try to kick about one sentence ago. Hello kicker, Emma was all the sudden a champ. Not only that but every time Ms. Regina took her out, Emma was overheard to say "I can do it by myself" and while she was very sure of herself, in fact, there was quite a bit she could do by herself. In one case, they used the pool noodle as a "pony" and Emma was kicking and moving those arms without being supported for a short stint. She also got brave enough by the end of the class to duck her head under water and watch out when you strap on the flotation belt. Emma was all over the pool once she got that on. I should note that Ms. Regina actually checked the roster so Emma was no longer Maggie.

The make-up for week two was the following day and Emma spent a lot of time demonstrating how she could put her head under water when it wasn't her turn. She also used the kickboard without being held for a short distance. At the end of class, they had some races with everybody wearing flotation devices. Emma and the five year old boy in the class are the only two who can "swim" by themselves with the belts on so they would race to a toy. Let me just say that Emma was right with him the whole time and was a little frustrated that she never actually got the toy but he did have the advantage of two years and longer arms. Overall, swim lessons are going very well ad we'll see where we can get Emma by the end of the summer.

Now for Josh, the parent/child class is right after Emma's class and right about naptime, which was definitely a strike against us. However, we decided to give it a go and the first week, Brad planned to take the class with him. Week one did not go well. As soon as they hit the water, the screaming and crying ensued. Brad tried everything to turn that frown upside down and get him used to the water but to no avail and we called it quit after about 10 minutes. Last week as soon as we walked onto the pool deck for Emma's class, Josh started fussing but he calmed down and watched Emma intently. After Emma's class, Josh and I hit the water and more tears. However, this time, I decided to see if we could get past the crying and have a little fun. Approximately one lifetime or more like 10 minutes later, Josh quieted down and we joined in the fun. Dare I say, the little guy actually had fun. When it came time to try to show them how to climb out of the pool and then jump back in, he didn't run away and jumped or slid back in so finally, success.

On Sunday, Josh was actually excited to get into the water after Emma's class and there was no crying. You know it was bad the previous two class when not only the teacher but the other parents remarked about how much better he was doing and no crying. We'll see what this week holds but I am hopeful we have turned a corner and will be ready for the neighborhood pool to open this summer!

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