Watch out, Esther Williams -- you have some serious competition! After two weeks of ear infections and an $60+ antibiotic, we were able to attend our first Shrimp swimming lesson. We cancelled our first two classes due to her double ear infections caused by her cutting five teeth at once. I can't hate (but I definitely curses A LOT those two weeks), because damn if the girl isn't efficient and appears to like to go things on a grand scale.
Due to prior obligations, E wasn't able to attend our first swim in the pool. So I was flying solo into uncharted chlorinated waters... Our local YMCA has infant swimming "lessons" that last 7 weeks. Finorah is in the Shrimp class as she isn't walking yet. So last Thursday, I took our little Shrimp to the Y.
As I pulled into the parking lot with a screaming baby in the back (apparently, she didn't nap long enough when we got home), I wanted to bust out with some serious "Young Man.... There's no need to feel down..." Finorah didn't find it amusing in the least and continued to scream. (One day, she is going to realize how really cool her mother is...) Luckily, once she was out of the car and snow started hitting her face, she stopped crying long enough to distract herself.
The first 30 minutes of the Shrimp class is held in the gym. There we did some calisthenics, which Finn wasn't having. She has recently realized her power and her height when she is standing and now wants to stand with support all the time. I would have to pull her into a sitting position to do bicycle kicks. And sit-ups were a serious challenge. I gave up around the torso twists and she did the twists and arm stretches while standing and squealing to the entire group of three other babies about what a big girl she was. It also made the somersaults a challenge, but by this time, I'm a professional baby wrangler, so it's all in a day's work. The rest of the gym time was spent playing on foam structures. Time ended with us still playing "hide 'n seek" in the small drawbridge-tunnel type structure. When it was time to collect our babies to go to the pool, Finn refused to leave the tunnel. I would go to one side to collect her and she would crawl to the other side to get away. A small tantrum was involved in us leaving the gym.
We had 10 minutes to go to the locker room, change into our swimsuits, and head up to the pool. The one thing that I did do right for our first lesson was I dressed us in our swimsuits prior to the class. So once we got to the locker room, all I had to do was strip us down and head out to the pool (I wish the departing trip to the locker room was that easy). We were the first to make to the pool. It was nice because I was able to introduce Finorah to the 2.5ft heated pool without any other distractions. Initially, she wasn't sure what to think. The second that I slowly sunk into the water and it started going over her tummy, her grasp on my swimsuit tightened to a death grip. But once we realized that the water wasn't going any higher than her chest and shoulders, she relaxed slightly.
Water time was structured, which I was thankful for. It kept her entertained doing one thing to the next and she appeared to really like the water. There was lots of "swimming" on their tummies and encouraging them to kick. She was a natural. We would have ended the class without a hitch, but... There were balls involved. Due to our ball-obsessed dogs, it has resulted in a ball-obsessed daughter. We got a medium size rubber ball that we pushed around and "swam" after in the water. She was giggling and smiling until... We had to give the ball back and were given a bath turtle. Finorah took one look at the bath turtle and immediately threw it away in the pool and started pointing to the ball we had just given back. When she realized that she couldn't have that ball back, the head was flung and she refused to participate in any other swim activity. No more kicking... No more bubbles... No more back floating... Must keep eyes on the prize... Only pointing and squawks of protest... I did everything I could to distract her and not let her see the ball during the rest of the class. But she was trained on that ball and there was nothing I was going to do to distract her. UNTIL she realized that there was a long-haired cutie of a lifeguard on duty by our little baby pool. Then she couldn't take her eyes off of him and girl was making it very obvious that she was staring at him. I hope that she was just confused by seeing long hair on a boy. Otherwise, I'm in for a LONG ROAD...
Class was over pretty quickly. I was anxious to get out and get home. I was tired from all the squatting that was required of me during the class. But I would have sat in that pool until the sun came up if I had known the debacle that would take place in the locker room.
Yesterday was our second swimming lesson. E came with us and took control of the swimming lesson and got in the water with her. The second lesson was more fun because I was able to take a TON of photos. And I was only in charge of drying her off and not myself.as well. SOOOOOOO much easier!