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Withdrawal Withdrawn—Swimming Lessons

2012 February 17
by Becky

baby swimming class, baby swimming lessons, swimming lessons

I decided it was high time Ethan and I took a class together. And after researching the options, I landed on swimming! Ethan was like a fish in the pool this summer, so I figured this was a slam dunk winter activity. PLUS, the last class is one week before we head south to Florida for our little (much needed) vacation, so Ethan would be ready to hit the water.

So three weeks ago, we headed into the water for our first lesson! Ethan was wearing a disposable swim diaper, a Flip cover and seemed excited to get going. We played in the shallow ramp-area for a while then headed in for the class.

This is when the crying started.

It was really just a wimper mixed with increasingly tight clinging to my left side. But as we waded in, water up to around my chest, Ethan’s knees began squeezing my side like a vice grip. He looked around, elevating the level of his whimpers to screams and yells.

I looked around at the other babies and parents—they were all happy and calm. No crying at all. So why was Ethan losing his mind? My little fish was going to be SCARED of the pool?! Yes it was indoor as opposed to the outdoor pools he’d tried last summer. Yes it was noisy and echo-y. And yes, it probably smelled very strongly of chlorine.

But I was still shocked at the reaction. I tried shh-hing, singing, playing with toys, you name it. But Ethan finally worked himself up so much that we had to leave early.

Next week, I tried putting him in a little wet suit (Body Glove small, $15 on, thinking maybe the water was too cold for him. But no, the same thing happened. Only this time the yelling was louder and stronger. He was back to being a baby monkey, clinging to me with all his strength. We had to leave even earlier then the last week.

We returned a couple times between the classes to get acclimated with the pool, but when the screaming continued, I decided it was time to talk to the swimming director and see if we could withdraw from the class. No one had any suggestions for us and I was afraid to keep going and possibly traumatize the Little Man. This was not turning out to be the fun, happy activity I’d had in mind!

Not wanting to “quit”, I decided to give it ONE MORE TRY.

So this week Grandma Schon and I made the trip over to the Chinquapin Rec Center for the class. I had my withdrawal form all filled out and ready. We got there early for some shallow play time. I nursed Ethan for some extra comfort, made sure we were armed with fun (and distracting) toys, and got in the pool holding Ethan facing OUT instead of hugging him close to me.

And guess what…

baby swimming class, baby swimming lessons, swimming lessons

baby swimming class, baby swimming lessons, swimming lessons

baby swimming class, baby swimming lessons, swimming lessons

No crying!!!  None at all. He even had fun!

I did manage to get that diving ring away from him about half way through the class, and we did almost all of the “exercises”. We had a great time!

baby swimming class, baby swimming lessons, swimming lessons

I don’t know if it just took a few classes to get him used to the pool or if it really was the different hold that helped, but something finally clicked for The Peanut and we should be enjoying our lessons from here on out.

And hopefully I’ll be getting a tan in Florida! Geez that is some white skin…

3 Responses
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    February 17, 2012

    YA Ethan!!! Way to go little man… You will be fish in no time.
    Have a great vacation in Florida!!

  2. February 17, 2012

    Yeh!! Some fun coming up. See you soon.

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