So on Saturday morning Ava had her first formal swimming lesson and if I’m honest I’ll admit I was seriously nervous! As the day of the lesson drew nearer I started getting more and more nervous about the stupidest things, like loosing my footing and slipping and falling into the pool and perhaps drowning her! Having said that, I think Walter was even more anxious than me, he spent the whole lesson yelling orders from the side of the pool, things like:
“Watch out, her face went in the water..”
“Look what you’re doing!!!”
Thankfully the swimming teacher is used to all of this and she just came over and reassured me that we were doing perfectly fine and I should try and do my best to ignore my overly anxious husband. The pool is in doors and the pool and changing area’s are heated and the pool is heated to 32 degrees so its seriously warm.
Ava really enjoyed the lesson, I did do the parents orientation lesson with her when she was 6 weeks old and we’ve been practicing the floating and splishing and splashing of her legs and rowing of her arms in the bath, but still, its a little more daunting doing it in a swimming pool.
She LOVED all the other babies in the class which did make getting her to float a lot more difficult because she kept twisting her head to try and see all the babies. When we played with the “lily pad” in the middle and the babies are all supposed to bang their hands on it to splash water in their faces, all she could do was stare, open mouthed at all the babies around her, she couldn’t get enough of them.
The lesson itself is really cute, its like a swimming version of Kinder Music with all the actions and floating accompanied by songs.
I’m really glad Walter and I have decided to do this for a number of reasons. We have a swimming pool at home and while I don’t want her growing up terrified of water, I do want her to be able to know the rules of the pool and how to do the basics.
My cousin did it with my niece from when she was around Ava’s age and by the time she was 4 she was swimming without arm bands and launching herself off the edge of the pool and able to swim laps. My sister in law did not do it with either of my nephews and as a result and they are terrified of the water and scream when someone even splashes them.
We live in sunny South Africa, learning to swim from an early age was simply not an option.