Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wild Dan the swimming man

Danny and I are taking a parent-tot swimming class. Usually, I'm not a big fan of classes of any kind. My personality (and I suspect Dan's, too) is such that I do better in self-led learning by trial and error. But I thought this would be fun for us and we took the same class last year when he was about six months old. Today was our second class; the class began on Tuesday.

The class is a little cheesy with a lot of songs and some independent play/practice time woven in. Dan shrieks the entire half hour with delight at being in the water and frustration at having to be supported. A few times, he let go of the side of the pool and just went under. He blows bubbles, uses his arms to reach toys and is even starting to kick his feet. He also scoots off the side of the pool and can even climb out of the pool on his own. And when we get in a circle, he shrieks so loud he drowns out the instructor. It's a little embarrassing, both that he's so loud and that he's so fearless. I feel like everyone is thinking, "Look at that woman, she can't keep her kid from choking on water." (He recovers really quickly and puts his face right back in.) One woman did ask if either my husband or I were swimmers. I was, still am and am more calm and comfortable in and around water than anywhere else. Apparently, swimming is in his genes.

Watching him reminds me of my own swim lessons as a kid. I failed, by the way, and then went on to swim competitively and made it to the regional swim meet each year in high school. (That should tell you something about the value of subjective grading.) Of course, I failed on a technicality. We didn't make it to the rec, as it was known, for enough of the lessons. Car trouble, I think. Anyhow, I remember very vividly one lesson where all the kids were instructed to float in one place and do underwater "breathing" for 30 seconds or something. I couldn't float in place. Instead, I swam circles around the other kids, literally.

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