practising swimming on his back and kicking

Last minute swimming breakthrough

Of course it’s typical.  With only 3 weeks to go before our swimming commitment is over, N has decided that swimming’s not as bad as he’s been making out since September! Yes, we’ve had a swimming breakthrough.

Some people would think I’ve been cruel continuing to take him when he seemed to hate it so much, but it just goes to show that actually babies go through phases and that Waterbabies were correct when they said it was water wobbles and he’d come through it.  It began as they say it can, when he started pulling himself to standing, but they tend to advise that once children walk, the wobbles go.  With N he did it his own way.

When we started swimming a year ago, he was a ‘take it or leave it’ kind of baby.  Some bits were ok, others (going underwater, being on his back and holding on to the edge) he disliked.  Then a couple of weeks before the summer holidays he decided to kick and really seemed to be progressing well.

Post summer holidays, it was great fun.  He started splashing away and seemed to really love it (although still disliked the same bits), then all of a sudden, he just started crying throughout.  Mortifying really, as all the parents bringing their children in afterwards would just hear him moaning.  At that stage that’s all it really was, rather than full blown crying.  Then of course came him learning to stand and cruising out of the pool, and he got worse in the pool.  No kicking, no splashing, worse than he’d ever been.

We tried lots of different things…new full wetsuit rather than a wrap (good timing as he’d grown out of his old one), taking a bath toy along (helped keep him a bit quieter – you can’t chew and scream at the same time), doing our own things (let’s face it, we couldn’t do any of the underwater bits, few weeks off (due to illness, mine and his).  Nothing seemed to work.  Hopefully none of the new little babies in the session after ours were too put off by my screaming monster!  You’d think I’d just dropped him in the water with him never having experienced it before!

So I decided that we’d cancel lessons after finishing the ‘baby course’ which was the year.  A bonus was that it costs a lot of money, so it saves me a bit.  My plan was to take him occasionally (hopefully with his older cousins) over the summer, and then try and find some other lessons in September at a different pool.  Quite a few of our other friends have temporarily cancelled due to holidays etc so we won’t necessarily miss seeing them every week which would have been a shame.

But of course, with only 3 sessions left, N decides that actually this swimming lark isn’t too bad, and we get smiles, splashing, and ooh a bit of a kick last week too.  He’ll even let me use the woggle with him and Bubba the float! Shock horror!  And there was me joking that he received his ‘well done for successfully completing the Waterbabies course’ certificate…successfully! Pah, more like turned up each week!

We now have one week left and I’m wondering what he’s going to be like.  I’m guessing he’ll still moan when we do ‘hold on’ to the edge (N “I put my hands on the side, now I’m taking them off cos I’d rather have a cuddle than carry on doing something I don’t want to do”) and ‘monkey monkey’ along the side (N “that means I have to hold on!”). And of course going underwater will still mean a cry when we emerge, but I’m hoping that he’ll leave without having too much hatred for the pool, so the next time we go swimming, he’ll be looking forward to it.

practising swimming on his back and kicking

And me, I’m relieved that we did get through the water wobbles…even though it took 4 months longer than predicted!

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