Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just Keep Swimming, Swimming

Molly is a fish. She love, love, loves the water. On any given day, you will find us at the pool. And I do mean any given day. Last week we were there 6 out of 7 days. Yep, swimming is our life this summer, and that’s fine with me. You know how much I love the sunshine and warm weather. I am more than happy to spend my summer recreating outdoors.

Since we are at the pool anyway, I decided to sign Molly up for swim lessons. And I must say she really improved her skills. The swim vest is now a thing of the past. Molly can hold her own in the water. She can swim! Really. Seriously. She swims. Who’d a thunk it?
Not only does she swim, but she also dives to the bottom of the pool to retrieve toys and has a variety of Ester Williams-esque jumps executed from the pool’s edge.

Here’s some pics of the little guppy in action at her swim lessons.
Here's Molly doing "the bob."

And here she is going under the water (See that wavy blackish blob in the foreground? That's Molly!)

Molly swimming....And coming up from the bottom of the pool with a toy.

Learning to float on her back:

She even does the backstroke by herself:

Scaling the wall:

Molly also got to ride on the big water slide. She was thrilled beyond belief. Here she is at the top of the tower:Coming down the slide at breakneck speed (She loved this):Entering the water. Give her a 10 for this...very little splash:
Surfacing with a smile. You're gonna have to trust me on the smile thing. All I got a picture of was the back of her head.
Lest you think that swim lessons went, well, swimmingly, let me assure you that they did not. Here’s a picture of Molly that could have been taken on 7 out of the 8 days of swim lessons.
Molly has no fear of water or swimming, but come to find she does have a fear of swim instructors. For the first several days of lessons, we had to work through some attachment issues. Molly REALLY needed to know that I was not leaving her while she was in the pool.

We practiced swim lessons at home using our sunken living room as the pool and a variety of dolls as swim instructors. We practiced swim lessons during our free time at the pool. We came up with coping strategies. We implemented said strategies at the lessons.

During the lessons, I sat on the pool’s edge with my feet in the water. Molly could wave at me or come over and touch my feet at any time during lessons. After a few days of doing this, those tears subsided and she felt confident with her teachers.

But our problems were not over. Come to find out, Molly also has issues with being cold. Yep, she’s my kid alright. Right after we adjusted to the teachers we had several cold nights. That left morning temperatures low and the water cold. Great.

Now let me say that all of the kids were cold—goose bumps, shivering, teeth chattering cold. But they somehow had the ability to deal with it. Molly didn’t. So we had more tears. More whining. More wanting to get out.
Molly didn’t get as much sympathy from me with this issue. My response: “I know it’s cold. I know it feels terrible. Suck it up. Get back in the pool.” I’m sure I lost a few mother of the year points for that. Oh, well.

It got to the point where I started to dread 10:05 a.m. Swim lessons became just as much work for me as they were for Molly. I had the screamer. Joy.

Finally on the last day, the issues faded, the weather warmed and we has a tear-free lesson. Great. Tear-free on the last day. Just my luck.
Molly was one of the few kids in the class that actually passed the lessons. She got this nifty little certificate to prove it!
And here is her report card. Look at her grades; feel the warm, proud glow that I felt when my kid was one of the few that passed….Then read the comments. I really like the part about waiting a year before putting her in the next level. Hmmmm, could this be code for “We don’t want to listen to your kid scream for another two weeks?” I’m thinkin’ it is. Heh! I don’t blame the instructors. I feel the same way. So we will wait until next year to transform Molly into the next Michael Phelps.

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