Toddler Swimming Lessons | The Great Equaliser

In true second child fashion, Nixon began swimming lessons last week at the ‘advanced’ age of 19 months.  Ethan on the other hand, had his swimming debut at 3 months and has never stopped – 10 years of swimming $!$

Dave and I were in complete agreement that the need was not there to subject ourselves Nix to hours upon hours of singing nursery rhymes in the pool while spinning him around like a motorboat.  Child loves the water and has had plenty of swims over his two summers in pools and at the beach, so we decided to wait a bit until he could actually comprehend swimming instruction and potentially benefit from it.

Unfortunately our weekly swimming lesson seems to be the thorn in my schedules side.  I can’t seem to remember the damn date/time.  We completely missed the first lesson, I was at the library, chatting away to another mum about how our lessons were beginning the following day, only to get home, check the calendar and find that I should have been in the pool that morning instead of talking about the pool.  Monday was my chance to redeem myself – I was prepared for the 10.30 lesson, I was packed and ready to go {apart from being actually in my togs, dressed and with my teeth brushed}.  I was almost ready to go!

Then I walked by the damn calendar and 10am leapt out at me like a cattle prod.  10am!!!  It was already 9.40 and…..see above…..

I think I may have been trying to sabotage swimming as the make-up lesson graciously offered to me for being so ditzy the week before was a freaking nightmare.  A terrible, toddler nightmare.

Dave was working from home so decided to come and ‘work’ via the pool.  We thought it would be a great idea for him to take Nixie swimming as you never know when he may be able to attend again right?  Such a bad idea.  Nixon dominated the whole lesson, bossing, yelling, screaming NO NO NO.  You would think he didn’t enjoy it – truth was he was having a great time, as long as he could do what he wanted to do.  Baby boy had zero tolerance for listening to instructions, no time whatsoever for doing what the other bubs were doing and certainly no interest in co-operating with his Dad.  It was almost embarrassing.  There, I said it.  My son’s volume goes up to 13 and he DEMANDS attention.  The only time he stopped yelling at everyone was when he and Dave would ‘swim’ past the seating area when he would raise up a little arm and wave at the spectators with a huge smile on his dictator-like-angel-face.  We left without even getting changed and simply popped a dry nappy on Nix in the car.

I was so scared of a repeat performance.

Luckily we arrived with minutes to spare and Nix was on his best behaviour.  We only had one incident where he climbed out of the pool and ran away from me, laughing of course! This was the moment I realised that when you are in a pool filled with numerous small people and their parents {and who knows what volume of wee mixed with chlorine} you are all equals.  There is no time to visually measure yourself up against the other Mums, to check out mani-pedis and the brand of swimwear each other is wearing – my nana-esque tankini is from Shanton if you were wondering.  There is nary an ounce of grace and beauty to be found in my being whilst I am in the pool with Nixon for his swim lesson.  It feels like helping a blindfolded baby hippo/octopus navigate through Farmers when all of the pensioners are shopping on cardholder day.  Excruciating in other words.

As I was hoisting myself out of the pool after my naughty boy, I caught a glimpse of another mummy blogger waving at me from the seats.  Of all the times in my life to bump into one of the most put-together, 10/10 babein mamas it would be on the day I was running super late, ergo I look like shit, I’m in my togs in public – FML –  and I’m wrestling with Nixon.  Too good I tell you, but you know what?  None of it mattered.  My little guy had so much fun in the pool which was a huge relief and I loved the feeling of his little hands gripping me tight around the neck when we did exercises he wasn’t quite sure of, I loved the joy on his face when it was time to jump off the edge of the pool and how it felt to catch him and pull him close.  I loved the whole damn, wet half hour and I’m kinda looking forward to next Monday to do it all over again.

God, this parenting gig never ceases to amaze.

Toddler Swimming Lesson 

 

 

Let’s do this thing. Sometime this week, ok?

Swim training gear

My big guy is a swimmer, amongst other things, so there is a high chance of me spending an hour or two at the pool each week, sans baby, ‘relaxing’ and mindlessly playing Jurassic Park.  <<< There you have it people, my dirty little secret is out.

What a waste of fucking time.  

I have talked and talked about how great it would be if I just grew some balls and got in the pool and swam some laps while I was there.  

Two problems;

  1. Togs
  2. Me wearing togs.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not deluded about my body shape/size etc.  I’m feeling good about how things are hanging at 35 and after two jumbo boys.  I feel good IN clothes, not so much in lycra – in public.  But who does right?  Supermodels? Lucky I don’t know any supermodels.

So I put on my big girl panties and splashed out at The Warehouse. There was no way I was spending mega bucks on a pair of togs that may only get worn once – let’s be honest – and will undoubtedly get consumed by chlorine in due course IF they were worn more than once!  I came home with a swimming cap and a pair of the most goddamn ugly sports togs you have ever seen.  I didn’t even try them on because frankly, they weren’t going to look any better on then off!

Sunday was to be the day.  E had swim training from 9.30-10.30am and I was primed and ready.  I even googled ‘how to swim laps’ to ensure I was extra ready, there’s pool etiquette to follow you know people!

We arrived, turns out there was no training {major mummy brain moment) so E set about coaching me for the next hour.

It actually was awesome.  Trying to stuff my big afro into a cap didn’t work very well and wasn’t at all awesome, but aside from that it was a-ok.  I forgot about my fugly togs as soon as I was in the water, and I loved exercising with my son.  The pools weren’t that busy so we had a lane to ourselves and with Ethan’s guidance we swam many, many lengths.  Freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke, over and over again.  It’s quiet when you’re swimming, it doesn’t hurt, you can’t twist your ankle and you can’t stop halfway as you’ll be in the middle of the pool!

The best part is that I’m fairly certain I’m going to do it again.  The addition of fins on about half of the lengths put a little more burn in the quads, plus, an arm workout with no press-ups yah!

Out of the comfort zone and I survived, do it.  I dare you.