Today was the day we’ve all been waiting for, the day we’ve been anticipating since well before we met Stinkerbelle, and certainly since the first time we plonked her in a tub and saw she was without a doubt a water baby.
Today was That Baby’s first swimming lesson.
Both BDH and I firmly believe in swimming lessons. We think it should be mandatory for every single child to take swimming lessons. We both loved to swim and took lessons, and I took my niece to swimming lessons nigh unto 15 years ago. AndÂ we want our daughter to be safe around water.
But more than that? We think the idea of kitting out That Baby in a cute little bikini (giant swim diaper underneath, too) and a bright rainbow-striped cover-up and watching her splash about in the water is one of the perks of parenthood. And some of the biggest fun you can have as a parent.
We had always planned for Stinkerbelle to take lessons, and so as soon as she was old enough, we signed her up. And this morning, about 11 other parents and myself toted our kids to the local pool, changed them, and led them out in a baby-bathing-beauty parade around the pool deck to meet their instructor and their class.
She’s a Duck. That’s her class. The Ducks. And it fits. Slightly waddly, bums sticking out, beaks always flapping ’cause they never stop talking… they’re ducks all right.
So all the parents rounded up their respective Ducks and climbed into the learning pool. It’s maybe 3 feet deep and warmer than a regular pool — or, at least, it is supposed to be, to help the little ones adjust. For whatever reason, the learning pool was decidedly chilly today, and this was a bit of a problem for our little Ducks. Not to mention, for the Duck wranglers who had so squat in said chilly water for half an hour.
But squat there we did, bouncing and singing songs and splashing and trying not to suffer the indignity of having a panicking toddler rip down your bathing suit top in an attempt to get out of the chilly pool. We learned to splash, and to put various parts of our person into the water, and to kick, and to float.
Stinkerbelle failed the front-float-on-a-floaty-thing part of the class. Failed horribly. She was not leaning on that styrofoamy turtle thing no way, no how. And she was CERTAINLY not going to kick her feet behind her.
But then we got to the back float portion of the class. This is where the screaming and wailing and crying begins. Most children do NOT want to float on their backs and put their heads and ears into the water. But not That Baby. Oh no. She ROCKED the back float. She could back float all the livelong day. She LOVESLOVESLOVES to have her hair and ears wet, and I don’t mean to brag, but That Baby was definitely at the head of the class in back float. I mean, she is ADVANCED. I can’t lie. One could go so far as to say GIFTED in the back float.
And then it was all done. And we had to go home. Half an hour flies when you are back floating.
That Baby was pooped after all the excitement, all the kids, and all the splash time. We got home and she was ready for a snooze. And after her first swimming lesson, she slept hard and woke well rested and ready for a boisterous after-lunch dance party. And running like a crazy person all over the playroom, like a duck on a mission.
It’s like she took physical activity drugs or something. Is this the baby’s version of a “runner’s high”?
I dunno. But I cannot wait to see what next swimming lesson brings.