This summer we have had lots of opportunities to go to the pool. It has been very, very nice. When we first moved here I was sad that our HOA did not have a pool. It doesn't even have an agreement with another HOA so that we can use that HOA's pool. For a while, we didn't go to the pool very much. Then Elie and Isaac got old enough that I wanted to put them in swim lessons. I wanted to put them in lessons for two reasons: safety and comfort. When we started swim lessons they were petrified of the water. Elie was definitely uncomfortable and Isaac was downright scared. They both were completly unsafe.
We enrolled and started taking lessons, and bit by bit they've both made huge strides in learning to be safe in and love the water. Meanwhile, Talia and Leila have had lots of exposure to the water from an early age and are exhibiting none of the timidity that the older two had.
This summer I wanted to get Elie and Isaac into some lessons, but the only class that our busy travel schedule allowed was just four lessons long. (A usual class lasts for eight lessons.) I went ahead and registered the kids, knowing full well that it was unlikely either one would pass to the next level. (I'm not one of those moms who is vested in the kids passing. If they don't pass a level, well then, they weren't ready to. I once met a mom who had her kid registered in two different sesssions of the same level AND private swim lessons; she was so vested in making sure the kid passed. It was sick.) I figured the lessons, even if they were short, would reinforce and help them to continue learning. And since I take Talia and Leila into the water while Elie and Isaac are in lessons, it helps them get more experience too.
The first day we were at the pool, Leila must have gone under the water seven or eight times. She is fearless. In the baby pool the water comes up to her chest AND the floor slopes slightly. She refused to hold my hand and was just charging around, only to loose her footing and not be able to regain it. I was standing right there and everytime I just scooped her up and put her right again. The worst part was that she REFUSED to hold my hand. When I would put her up on her feet, she would immediately bat my hand away or try and wiggle out of my grasp. Amazingly, she never, ever, not once freaked out about going under the water. She would just gasp when I picked her up and go right back to what she was doing.
Talia was also charging around and "swimming". When we first started going to the lessons, she wouldn't put her face in. But today, we were at a friend's HOA pool, and she was putting her whole face in and floating around, face down. It was amazing. She hasn't even been in lessons, but she sure has been exploring and getting a lot more comfortable. I just love seeing her explore. Her favorite part is jumping in from the side, which she is skilled at!
So Elie and Isaac took their four lessons. At the last lesson the teacher hands you a sheet that lets you know what class level they are assessing your child as being. Elie did not change levels. BUT, the teacher was so excited about the advances that Elie had made, that she got back into the water and had Elie swim around and show me. It was amazing. Elie is now swimming, arms out, face into the water and keeping herself afloat for several feet or more. She can also float (by herself) on her back. I was blown away by the progress she had made.
Then we got to the end of Isaac's lesson. And the teacher told me that Isaac needed to....move back a level! WHAT?!?! He's managed to loose swimming ability in the four lessons that he's taken?? I don't understand. Not only has he managed to loose ability, but this was the second time he'd been in that level. I was so mad I wanted to spit. The teacher took no time to explain this to me and only responded with "well that's my recommendation." Truth is, it is just a reccomendation. She can't tell me what level to register my kid for. And I'm not even sure they keep a log of their "reccomendations." I took a deep breath and just let it go. But today, when we were at our friend's pool, Isaac pulled out the skills. In just one day, he figured out how to do a front crawl with his arms and keep his face in the water. He's swimming almost as well as Elie is!!!! It was amazing to see him so comfortable and in control. He just needed to figure it out in his own time and in his own way. He'll have no problem passing the current level the next time we have lessons.
There you have it: four little fishies. It's so cool to see them all swimming and playing in the pool. And experiencing EVERYTHING!!!