Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Swim Lessons

I have time to return to my previous mentioned post:
I use to hate swim lessons.  Hate it so much, it made me so angry it made want to cry out of passion.  It totally destroys your whole morning, can't do anything before, too short to leave your kid, to late to do anything after, and then you have to fight the toddler's boredom and desire to explore the water.  Not to mention all you kid does is sit in water they can touch and blow bubbles.  Which is why we haven't been enrolled in swim lessons for 14 months.  Why am I going to pay some over weight teenager to blow bubbles in a waiting pool with my child.  Now overall I don't care about other peoples weight, its their own business, health, whatever.  I know that sometimes genetics takes a toll.  But when I'm paying for an athletic activity for my child, I would like the instructors to look athletic.  I don't know, maybe I'm a snob.
So I did not resign up after the first month of swim lessons last summer.  We just swam a lot in our community pool.  By the end of the summer we made more progress then swimming lessons would.  My son would wander all around the pool by himself, as long as he had his life jacket on and noodle.  He would "swim" with us holding him under his belly without a life jacket.  He would jump in from the side with a life jacket on, to our arms, or jump from the sitting down without a life jacket.  Seriously it took us all summer to get him this comfortable.  He is very cautious around pools, which is I guess a good thing.  My husband said we didn't take him swimming a lot last year, but I took him at least twice a week, so I'm not sure what he judges as often.
This summer, we had no pool, I could see the summer quickly passing us by.  I did not have $50 for swim lessons, since we just moved on our dime, bought a fridge, remodeled a bathroom, and repainted 3/4 of the house.  Not to mention the only swim lessons I could find close were at the YMCA, and I had heard terrible things, to make them just as bad as our previous lessons, I refused to pay for them.  But what was going to happen to my cautious child if he didn't get in the pool at all during this summer.  Then living social saved the day.
We got $50 swim lessons, for $20.  Sure its wasn't in my small town, but at least in the north part of the Springs.  I researched the teaching method before I bought, and I was willing to take a try.
They were so awesome.  My son was proud of what he was accomplishing.  The teachers would talk to me about his progress.  His hair was wet at the end of the half hour!
Then he pointed out what I hadn't realized, during swim lessons, was the first time since preschool got out that he hadn't cried almost once a day, if not more.  He told me he hadn't cried in two days, he was excited about his progress and so was I!
One day the pool was cold, it had rained the night before, it was cloudy, actually it wasn't the first day it was cold, he had already dealt with the horrors of cold swimming lessons, (tell me about it, I never once remember the pool being warm in NH) and he didn't want to get in.  I told him if he got in he could have fruit snacks.  He didn't take the bait.  By the way the pool is heated, but when its cold outside, its cold outside, the pool is not a hot tub.  Then I offered him a small toy (ie under $6) at target if he got in, without crying.  He took the bait, and afterward his teacher said to me, I don't know what you said to get him in the pool, but whatever it was he did excellent today. I told him if he cried again about swim lessons, or didn't get in again I would take away the lego set that he picked out.  We never had another problem.
Then the real kicker came at the end.  Remember the brave story about Nan?  Well he went through all these steps with her to help her be brave.  I realized he was applying what his teacher was doing with him to teach his sister.  That's when I realized it was a good program.
I decided to beg my husband to let me sign up for more swim lessons.  J asked me for more after I decided that.  But unfortunately we didn't have to do much begging, they only had one more session and it was for members of the country club only, then the take the month of August off, I guess swim teachers need a vacation too.  The lessons are through a swim team but they don't have their own pools, they contract multiple pools for their use, which is why I couldn't sign up for the last session.  Anyway, we are sad.
But, it gave me hope, we could live without a five year old screaming.  Which is where the lego coupon came in.

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