Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Swimming Lessons

We hadn't done formal swimming lessons with him since he was 6 months old. Why we did it then, I don't know. This time around it was just the kids and the teachers.
Day 1: He was so excited to go swimming. He followed his teacher down the ramp happily, but then something snapped and for the next 25 minutes the 4 teachers took turns taking him out in the water while the rest of the class sat on the step playing. He cried and screamed for me the whole time. I was a good mom and kept back, letting the teachers do their job, all the while worrying about the emotional scars this would leave on him. He got out of the pool and I wrapped him up in the towel and he says with a smile "Mom, that was a fun swimming lesson!" --repeated at least a dozen more times on the way home and during lunch. Maybe tomorrow wouldn't be so bad after all.
Day 2: He was so excited to go swimming, again. I made sure that he had a snack and used the bathroom. He wouldn't get in the pool. "I have to go potty!" was his excuse. Not wanting to create problems with our successful potty training experience, I took him to the bathroom. It was just a stalling technique because he didn't do anything, and it took me 20 minutes to finally get him in the pool. He screamed the remaining 10 minutes that he had to use the potty. His teachers were so patient. Same as Day 1, he got out of the pool and exclaimed "Mom, that was a fun swimming lesson" over and over again.
Day 3: He didn't want to go swimming. I bribed him with going to the library or something. I also tried to point out ahead of time that they had little water squirters that all of the children could play with, and that maybe he could squirt his teacher in the face. Well, that worked! It was all smiles the entire lesson. And he didn't let go of the squirters as long as he was in the water. He interacted well with each of the teachers and other children. Interestingly, there weren't as many "Mom, that was a fun lesson" comments afterwards. Every lesson since was easy.
Skip to Day 8: Diving board day. I overheard his teachers commenting that this was the same kid who screamed for two days straight. If you zoom in on his face you see that there is no fear, only joy!

On the way to the diving board followed by our new friends Nicholas and Selene

First jump is with a teacher


Oh yeah!

Thank you Caroline!

He has learned to close his mouth so that he doesn't swallow water. Next goal is floating on his back. It will take much more practice and many more swimming lessons, but I feel like his skills are improving and may help to counter his daring personality in the water.


dietcokegrrl said...

He really does look like he is having fun despite the drama at the beginning. Way to go Michael!!

Jessica said...

Kids are so interesting. Don't you just wonder what causes the screaming, followed by the "that was fun." Glad he is learning to enjoy the pool.