I started taking my darling first-born to swimming lessons when he was six months old. All the mums in my mums group did. We sang songs and dipped them under the water, giving them cuddles when they emerged half-drowned and stunned.
We continued going until I was about to burst with number two. And then, after a couple of months, resumed; Nanna was on baby duty while I was in the pool.
When Diesel was almost four and the teacher refused to progress him into a class where he could swim by himself, I decided I’d had enough of getting in the pool with a defiant toddler and we cancelled the lessons. I didn’t miss them. At all.
Two years later, my two big boys are considerably terrified by water. When we were away over Summer they hated the water, and missed out on a lot of fun because they wouldn’t go any deeper than their ankles. It was time to go back to swimming lessons.
I booked them in to the same swim school I attended as a kid. My old swim teacher still runs it. And it looks exactly the same. And has the same chloriney smell and hot, humid atmosphere. I love it.
Dubs was super excited about going. He’d had a swim at the pool the week before and had loved it eventually, so I had high hopes for lessons. I walked with him to the ladder, and as I went to help him in, he screamed. And screamed. And refused to get in.
So we sat at the side of the pool, watching. He sat with his goggles on, happy to watch, but flatly refusing to get in. It took two teachers and a whole lot of sweet talking to trick him into getting in. Where he sat, silently on the step with his goggles on his head.
We got refunded for that lesson.
This week, I had very low hopes indeed. I walked with him to the ladder and helped him slowly get in and walk across the pool with his lovely, patient teacher. Then I watched him play and kick and float, just like the other kids.
Big mummy sigh of relief.
They’ll catch up to their peers in no time. And I’m actually really glad we’ve waited until this point to get back into the water. Everyone is a lot happier. And I don’t have to bare my stretch marks to the world. Which is awesome.
Are you a conscientious mum who has taken their kids swimming every week since they were born? Or are you a slack mum like me who decided to risk their kids’ safety for the sake of their own comfort? No shame in that, I say!