So lately I've worried a lot about the safety of my kids around water. I mean, Princess is only 2 and no one expects her to swim yet and Young Man wouldn't even willingly stick his face in the water. If we tried to get him to he reacted as if we were asking him to lower his face into a vat of acid. I decided that just wouldn't do, nope, not at all, and I arranged for them to have swim lessons. And by swim lessons I'm talking about private, boot-camp tough love style, one on one, pay through the nose and argue with husband about it, lessons. I found a fantastic gal who with her daughters provides private lessons in 20 minute increments from her own pool in her own back yard. She's all certified and stuff too! So husband and I mortgaged our house and embarked upon an adventure with the kiddos of them learning how to at least not drown (I'm just kidding about our house, the lessons aren't THAT expensive :)...but trust me, this gal's a good deal and lessons with her and her girls are worth every.single.penny. You will get results!). At first, the kids didn't find it very adventurous at all....they found it to be more like torture, maybe something along the lines of water boarding. But here we are a month later of nearly every single day lessons, and they are both swimming (yes, even Princess!). Young Man will be able to join the swim team next week he has progressed so much with learning not only survival, but his strokes as well.
Now the goal with Princess (for me anyway) was never really learning to actually swim, but to survive if she were to fall into a pool or a body of water unnoticed somewhere. It happens you know, and even to responsible, vigilante parents. And those little toddlers tend to sink like stones cause they don't even know to not breathe when they are underwater and they panic and suck in tons of water. Princess learned to flip to her back and float from any underwater position. She was made to dive and jump off the side and taught to hold her breath, allow her body to float to the surface, and flip on her back to rest and breathe. Then she was taught to kick to the side of the pool, flip over, and grab the side to be pulled out or crawl out on her own. She has mastered these skills. Lately she's started to learn to swim by "pancaking" or rolling to her back to rest and breathe and then back to her front to swim a couple of feet, before rolling back to her back to rest and breathe...and rinse and repeat and eventually she will make it to the stairs or the side of the pool. It's such a neat thing to watch your child learn life skills such as surviving in the water. And while she's not ready for water skiing, I feel confident that should I ever turn my back for a second and she slips or falls into water, she will be able to keep herself from drowning long enough to be noticed and saved (and I sincerely hope that we never get to find out just how great her newly learned survival skills are). Heck, by next summer, I think she'll be swimming just like any older kid.
Young Man is of course a pro already :)
I know Princess looks unhappy in this last picture, but these were taken nearly 2 weeks ago, when "swimming" was known only as "torture" to her. She has since come to love her swimming lessons and her instructor. In fact, just today while being buckled into her seat to leave for swimming lessons, she said: "I be brave, put my face in the water and reach the wall"....and so she did.