The girls had their first swimming lesson yesterday. I’ve been putting it off – most of the classes were parent/child classes, and there’s two of them and one of me! But they’re four now, and I really want them to learn to swim. Allie was excited, but Kristy is pretty afraid of water. I found a class that would let me stay on the deck with them, which is the only way I got Kristy in the door.
Kristy wouldn’t leave my side. The teachers came over and tried to coax her in, but she just refused. I said she could sit with me for a little while and try when she was ready. Allie though, is going to be the death of me. I was glad she had her Puddle Jumper swim vest on (read a good Puddle Jumper review here), because that little monkey went flying towards the edge of the pool so fast that she fell right in! And loved it! I was pretty impressed with the teachers though – they jumped right in after her, and then sat the whole class down to listen to the pool rules. Obviously, no running was first on the list! Allie was beet red, but still grinning.
They started the class off with having the kids get used to getting their faces wet. I asked Kristy if she wanted to try and she started to cry. I showed her how the Puddle Jumpers kept everyone floating, and how the teachers were right there, but she was still scared. The teacher said I could come down to the edge of the pool with her, so we moved over and dipped our toes in.
Allie absolutely loved it. Apparently instead of calling her Monkey now I should just call her Fishie! All of the kids were laughing and splashing around. One of them splashed us right in the face, but Kristy just laughed! The teacher came over and asked if she would come in now, and she said she would. Phew. She was still scared and kept looking up at me, but I just gave her a thumbs up and the teacher helped her through it. And of course, after all that trouble getting her in, she wasn’t ready to get out when class was over!
It’s so hard watching them conquer their fears. I’m so proud of Kristy though, she was scared, but she did it! And of course, I am forever in awe of my little fearless Allie. Nothing fazes her. It’s amazing to me how two little girls that look so much alike can be so entirely different.
Now they’re begging me to fill up the tub so they can practice swimming. I have a feeling baths are going to be much longer and wetter than they were before! I can’t wait for summer now. I’m hoping they’ll be confident enough in the water that I can take them into the pool alone (in the shallow end of course!) or even go boating as a family. That said, we might have to invest in some full life jackets since the learn-to-swim vests have limits. Seems like the best reviewed life jackets for little kids are made by Stohlquist… a bit pricey but worth it. I’m excited to see how they do next week – think Kristy will get right in this time? (No, me either! But hopefully it will be easier for her.)