Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Water Babies

Swim lessons started this week for all three girls. Let me just preface this by saying that their swimming background is nonexistent - that is, up until Monday, none of the three of them had ever set toe in a swimming pool (unless you count the inflatable pools we get for them to splash around in every summer, which I don't). I suppose I should have had them in swim lessons much sooner than now, especially the twins who are fast approaching six years old. But, spilled milk and all that.

Anyway, they were all actually very excited about the prospect of having swimming lessons, and the first day went surprisingly well. Probably because their swim instructor, a college girl who is Red Cross certified and gives private lessons in her parents' backyard pool, went pretty easy on them the first day. It was just a gentle introduction to an actual swimming pool, a get-to-know-each other proposition, during which all she really asked of them was to stand on the steps of the pool and get their faces wet.

Yesterday, the second day, however, she got down to business. And it's gone downhill from there. Kacie, the instructor, is great - I really admire how she handles the kids, and she clearly knows about teaching kids to swim. It's my kids. Man, oh man. Here are (poor-quality cell phone) snippets from today:

Annabelle -

Daisy -

Lilah -

I don't know if the commonality is obvious (she says sarcastically), but they're all screaming and crying. Gah.

I have a little sympathy, but not much. I mean, really, I do feel bad that they're scared, but I am completely confident that they're in good hands and I don't think that coddling or babying them through this is going to do them any favors. I think they need to tough it out and at some point (hopefully), there will be the turning of a corner, the clearing of a hurdle. Fortunately, Kacie and I are in agreement on this.

At the instructor's suggestion, we - er, they - practiced putting their heads under water during bath time later in the day. Still, Daisy informed me at bedtime, "Mommy, I have a tummy ache, and when it's time for swimming tomorrow, I know I'll still have a tummy ache and I won't be able to go swimming." Oh brother.

Three weeks of daily lessons we've signed up for, people.


Heidi said...

They might do better if you're not there. Or at least if they can't see you. When Luken was in swim lessons, he'd do stuff with the teacher that he'd never do with me. With me, he was afraid of the slide, afraid of the ducks, afraid of the blah blah blah. With the teacher, he'd do anything.

Lisa B said...

Yikes - good luck! I second the other comment - I know at the swim lessons I've done for the kids over the years so far that whenever there was an upset kid the lead instructor always suggested that the parent get out of the kid's sight - kind of like school - they fuss when you are there and drop it once you are out of sight. Hope it smoothes out for them all soon - they will be so happy once they are water babies :) L