I knew Ava was going to love swimming when she was 6 weeks old. We took her to the pool and she was so content and just loved the cool water on her little newborn body.
Then, by the next summer, when she was 14 months old, I had her signed up for survival swimming lessons for ages 6months-2 years. I decided this class was the best option for my Ava, for I knew her fiesty, independent personality and I feared that because she had no fear, she would just jump in the first pool of water she came upon.
So we went and I had no idea what to expect, other than being told that babies would cry, and moms would too, but to remember that this class is to teach a baby to save themselves from drowning. And so I kept that in the back of my mind, and tuned out all the wailing for one week last summer. I was on a mission to teach Ava how to save her life if she were to get in a dangerous situation at the pool.
To my surprise, Ava hardly cried the entire week! Even through the dunking, the passing of babies to unfamiliar mommies/daddies, and even going off the diving board! She loved it! And she learned how to swim to the side of the pool when jumping in, holding on to the ledge, and then pulling herself out of the pool to "safety" (land).
Here's my little baldy last summer...
It was remarkable! She learned to hold her breath upon the count of three, and I learned some important tips as well.
Fast forward to a year later...
We decided to do a refresher class the beginning of June, and there were a few more tears this year, but I quickly learned that she was only crying because of the others crying. My girl has a lot of empathy! ;)
Sidenote: Sheila, my partner who I still have not officially introduced you to, is in the red swimsuit with her daughter, Gianna!
Miss Margaret, Ava's teacher, told me during this first week that Ava was ready to move to the 3-4 yr old class. So, I decided that we would give it a shot, although I had many doubts. I never doubted that Ava was ready to learn how to swim a longer distance, using the technique "touch and push" with her arms, and whatever else they may teach in that class. What worried me was that Ava had to WAIT HER TURN and sit still on the ledge of the pool while the other kids had their turn. I COULDN'T even fathom for a second that she would sit and listen. And to give her credit, she is only 26 months old.
However, her attention span is that of a goldfish.
Anyway, we gave it a shot, and yes, it was a beating trying to get her to sit still. I mean look at her naughty self giving me that face!!
We had to tell her to sit still 56,789 times in 45 minutes. She would cry and cry to get in the water or get up out of her spot. She was perfectly happy as long as she was in the water.
Or if she was getting to go off the diving board.
But don't make her sit still! Oh! And don't make her float on her back! If this girl thinks for a slpit second that she is not in control, she flips out. And being on your back is giving away some sense of control, apparently.
Look at that pitiful face, refusing to straighten out her legs and relax!
Swimming to Miss Margaret after jumping off the diving board.
And here is a video of her swimming the length of the pool with Miss Margaret's son. Ava loved him! Notice at the end he says something about her using her left arm. This is because she swims with her right arm doing the touch and push, while her left arm stays in the back. It is so funny! I guess she thinks she can get the job done just as well with only using her right arm. Which actually, seems to work for her. It just looks a bit odd!
I am so thankful my girl took these lessons and we look forward to putting them to great use much of the summer!