Last Sunday, our intrepid hero got his first taste of real-live swimming in a real-live swimming pool. We figured he’d enjoy it, given how much he loves playing in the tub, and how much fun he had in a little kiddie pool in the backyard over the summer. So we signed him up for a baby swimming class at a nearby recreation center. So how did he do?
First, let’s check out the young man modeling the latest in baby swimwear fashion, prior to leaving home for the pool. We have a few options to choose from, all of them with a matching top (it’s still winter, after all, and we didn’t want him to get cold). We went for the blue and white combo, by the by.
Then it was on to the big moment, at the Snaresbrook Leisure Center, a bit up the road from our house. It was a shallow, fairly warm pool, and the air was nicely heated, which we appreciated. There were about four other babies in the class. Daddy donned his own swim trunks while Mommy watched from a bench near the edge of the pool. So did he take to it like a fish or a dolphin? Did he instantly splash around and giggle and practice his strokes?
Alas, he did not.
The poor kid was *not* happy at first. For the first 10 or 15 minutes he mostly clung tightly to Daddy’s neck, crying out “Mommy! Mommy!” Poor little fella. Daddy gave him plenty of reassurances – singing songs, talking calmly to him, and making sure to keep a tight grip. We did a few circuits around the pool, with Nyan submerged only to about his waist. After a few minutes, Daddy crouched down a bit to get Nyan wet up to his chest. Still, the kid was not happy and kept crying out for Mommy.
But then, after about 15 minutes, something must have clicked inside him. I wouldn’t say he was completely enraptured with swimming, but he calmed down and seemed to almost enjoy it. Daddy was able to lay on his back and do a sort of backstroke (back-walk, really; the pool was quite shallow) with Nyan on his chest, getting a feel for moving through the water. Eventually we even got him to where he was facing forward in the water as Daddy held him from behind and slowly pushed him along. He even made a few stroke-like splashes in the water.
And then it was over – this was only a half hour class. We got him out of the pool and into a towel, and he got lots of cuddles and kisses from Mommy. Then back into his street clothes, and before we knew it he was walking all around the lobby of the rec center, exploring every corner.
We have no photos of the actual swim class, as cameras are not allowed in there for security reasons. But here he is after the swim, and getting some cuddles from Daddy (pretty obvious that he’s more interested in exploring, eh?)
So, no lasting emotional damage, and our take-away was that he was enjoying it by the end. We have high hopes for this Sunday’s lesson; there are something like six or so more after this. We’ll keep you posted…