The first week of swimming lessons is over. In spite of a rough start, the week went well. On Friday, the class moved out of the 3 ft junior pool, put life jackets on and went in the big pool. A good portion of the moms were wary, wondering how their children would do. Most of them were fine. Boo wasn’t worried at all and swam back and forth across the width of the pool with no problem. Pumpkin Girl wasn’t worried at first either. However, when trying to swim across the pool, she just wasn’t strong enough to propel herself forward. The wake of the other swimmers made her start drifting across the pool. Her instructor, who is maybe 17 years old, but GREAT with the kids, did rescue her and helped her across. On the way back, Pumpkin Girl got a face full of kicked up water and started crying. Again, the instructor got her and brought her to the side of the pool and helped her out. We calmed her down and I gave her a hug and she agreed to try again, now that most of the class was on the other side of the pool. She did great.
Then the class moved on to going down the water slide. I thought there was no way Pumpkin Girl was going to do it. A couple of the kids didn’t and just jumped into the pool from the edge next to the slide. But Pumpkin Girl marched right up there and went down! She cried when she popped back out of the water, but the instructor encouraged her and she was fine. She gave me a thumbs up as she swam by. But once she reached the edge of the pool, I could see she was about to cry again. I got her out, gave her another hug and told her she was doing great. She perked up but said she didn’t want to go down the slide again. But while we were talking, the class started down the slide a second time.
In the meantime, the sun had come out and I needed to move myself and Nicholas into the shade. When Pumpkin Girl’s turn came again, I remained out of her view, but ready to step in if need be. But again, she surprised me and headed up the stairs and the down the slide.
Later, she said her favorite part of the class was getting her face wet. Go figure!
One of the things I have been really happy about is that the instructor does not insist on the parents staying out of things. I was once told by a potential gymnastics instructor that I would not be allowed to stay with Boo, then 3 years old, and I needed to “kiss-kiss him goodbye.” She actually made kissing noises. I stopped filling out the paperwork right then and she ended up kiss-kissing my $175 goodbye. I know my own children, I know their strengths and weaknesses. I knew that Boo would need me to be there, not quite right next to him, for about 2 or 3 classes, then he’d be fine. He had wanted to take gymnastics classes, just needed some additional reassurance. But I wouldn’t want my child in any class that couldn’t understand and respect the emotional needs of a 3 year old.
So I was pleased to see that the instructor actually allowed 2 of the moms to get right into the pool with their children. Those little girls are probably not ready for this level of swimming, but at least their moms are right there, where they need them. And when another mom and I needed to get our children out of the pool for some hugs and reassurance, the instructor was good with that.