I am a huge advocate of teaching your child to swim. Not only is it great exercise and good fun, more importantly it is a life saving skill. Trying to teach Harry swimming has had it’s fair share of ups and downs. The down’s have included such things as showing my post-pregnancy body off to a load of strangers, trying – and failing – to pour myself in to my pre-pregnancy suit (lycra will only stretch so far before it has the transparency of a pair of 7 denier tights), and lastly – and my pet hate – carrying a small child whilst trying to cram a mountain of bags and towels in to a cubicle that then doesn’t lock!
But it doesn’t stop there. Our sessions have been fraught. Harry has played up so much getting ready that I swear people thought we were having a wrestling match in the cubicle. One week he clung to me like a limpet for the whole session. By the end of it I felt like I had been through an SAS secret selection process. But he topped all of that one week by completely freaking out every time we swam over the black lane markings.
And yet it had all started off so well. He had danced a jig of joy in reception, started to undress, and announced to everyone at the top of his voice that we were going swimin’. Every time we went over these bl**dy black lane markings – and it was impossible not to – he climbed up me yanking my swimsuit down in the process. I lost count of the number of times I flashed the pool attendants and other parents. As a result I considered inventing a polo-neck swimsuit but someone has already beaten me to it. Honestly, Google it. Later on that day I received a phone call offering us a free session because the water temperature had been on the chilly side. If they knew who they were calling they might not have offered. I am hoping that the sight of me having a Miley Cyrus moment every few minutes was not the trigger for them to get the thermometer out!
Anyhow, a few weeks ago Harry’s Daddy and I took him for a routine swim. Nothing in the preparation gave us any indication that today was going to be any different than the others. Harry did his usual trick of putting both feet in to the same leg hole of the swimming nappy – something he finds hilarious and I find mildly irritating. And I went blue in the face and lightheaded trying to blow up his arm bands. Yet as we climbed in to the baby pool something was different about him. He didn’t want me to hold his hand or support him in the water. Confidently he strode out on his own towards Daddy and without any warning lifted his legs and floated! Once he had got the hang of that he then started kicking furiously. The concentration was that immense that even his eyebrows were moving with the effort. My boy was swimming! All the humiliation (mine) and tantrums (his and mine) had been worth it. Cue Mummy clapping like a sea-lion, crying tears of joy and jumping up and down like a jack in the box.
And there you go, Mummy was once again flashing her boobs to a pool full of strangers and consequently informing the attendants that the water temperature was a little on the nippy side. Normal service had been resumed.
Harry’s Honest Mummy x