Thursday, September 12, 2013

Zahara's First Swimming Lesson

Dan and I both grew up with swimming pools in our back yards. In Texas, where it's pool weather most of the year, I spent countless hours splishing and splashing away. My sister and I played all sorts of pool games like Marco Polo and ring toss. I used to put the brightly-colored rings around my ankles and pretend I was a mermaid. Tell me I'm not the only weirdo who did that, right?

Though we don't have a swimming pool of our own here in England or back in Marlyand, it is really important for both Dan and me that Zoey is comfortable around water. That's why, at two-months old, we enrolled Zoey in her first swim lessons!

The classes are a half-hour long and are specifically designed for infants. We have ten classes this term. Normally they'll be on Thursday afternoons, but since we couldn't make the first class our makeup class was on a Sunday. That was great because it meant Dan could come.

Initially we both got in the water, but Dan asked if I would let him have this lesson since I get all the other ones. Isn't that sweet? I love how hands-on he is.

During the class, Dan held Zoey in the "face-to-face" position, in which he holds her at arms length and says "kick, kick, kick." Eventually she'll associate that movement with kicking and learn to do it on her own. The teacher also dunked each child for the first time. The key is to say the baby's name, then "ready, go." That allows the child, eventually, to prepare for going underwater. At this age there isn't any preparation on their part, of course. Zahara looked pretty stunned when she came out of the water. She was confused and a little scared, I think.

My favorite part was when the babies were all sitting on the ledge of the pool with the parent in the water singing "Five Little Monkeys." You know the song:
Five little monkeys were jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed
At the last line, the parents lifted the babies in the air and brought them into the water. Then they brought them back out again and started the next verse. It was really cute.

At first a half-hour classes seemed way too short to accomplish anything, but it was actually almost a little too long. Zoey got cold and hungry half-way through the class. I'm not sure how much she actually enjoyed it. We have our second lesson today. I bought her a wetsuit that will hopefully keep her a little warmer. She loves baths, so I think she'll love swimming too. I'm sure it was just a very confusing lesson for her. I'll let you know how today goes though!

1 comment:

  1. How fun to see Zoey in action! Mermaid, really? Hmmm.
    I definitely remember playing Marco Polo in Nana's pool with Uncle Scot growing up!
    Great going, Zahara!