When we first thought about having children, one of the things I imagined was taking them swimming.
I grew up half a mile from the beach and about five miles from a large area of rivers and lakes, so water safety and being able to swim were a key part of my education when growing up. Even today, despite living as far from the sea as it is possible to get, should I happen to be taking a walk in my pyjamas and come across a brick which has fallen into water up to 3m deep, I will be able to rescue said brick with aplomb.
Naturally, I want Reindeer to be water safe and water confident, so I’ve been keen to take him swimming since he was born. Circumstances conspired against us until today, finally, we got in the water!
Despite being inept and making a couple of elementary mistakes with the swim nappy situation, we eventually made it out of the changing room and into the pool. The kiddie swim pool is fairly small and basic, but just right for what we needed. As it was a dedicated kiddie swim session there were plenty of floats, balls and other water toys already in the water.
Reindeer took to it all really well. He spent most of his time looking around at the other children in the water, trying to figure out what everyone was doing. He was fine upright, on his tummy and on his back, although he preferred being on his tummy. We swooshed through the water, chased a ball, bounced up and down and made some splashes. At one point he put his face into the water, then quickly recoiled in surprise. He didn’t cry, just looked somewhat confused. We sang a couple of songs and bobbed along to them (we did this quietly as I didn’t want to attract unnecessary attention!) which made him smile. At the end, he practised standing on the steps in the water.
Another first was the shower – he hadn’t tried one before and I know from experience with my older nephews that this can be tricky! He was fine with it, again getting water all over his face. He just seemed a bit puzzled as to why warm water was now raining down on us.
I’m really looking forward to going again and hoping that everything will be in our favour for another visit next week. Fingers crossed, after a couple more visits, he’ll become more animated and chatty in the way he is at bath time, so I’ll know he’s enjoying himself and feeling more comfortable in the water.
Assuming all goes well our next step will be to find some local (cheap!) first swimming lessons.