pool lessons 101
after two rounds of swim lessons, a handful of trips to various los angeles community pools and one glorious airbnb last summer, i feel ready. i am here today folks to school you on the pool. to briefly discuss the potential roller coaster that is teaching your child how to swim. brace yourselves.
of all the classes we have enrolled the boys in, swim has been the most emotionally trying. though the kid gymnastics ranks a close second. my biggest issue with swim lessons is you can't just show up. you have to have all of the gear, change of clothes, special underpants, towels. UGH. on top of THAT we've dealt with last-minute cancellations, closures and perhaps some ear loss from the deafening screams from max the first 15 minutes he's in the water. repeat if you dunk him under.
what i have learned, but have yet to fully apply, is that the trick is not to just teach them necessarily, but train yourself on how to aid your child through it. it makes me think of the time i took my dog to obedience school. the trainer stressed that it was how YOU held the leash and YOU made your commands that was important. man that was hard. i'm an old dog! ok, I'm not that old but still.
nevertheless, it's a great skill for both you and your child to master. it's not just like teaching a kid to draw or catch a ball; knowing how to swim can save a life. and it's a lot of fun once you know how. anyway, a few things to prepare yourself for.
your kid will probably be terrified and hate it.
thankfully, lessons are pretty short, around 20 minutes long. so keep that in mind as your kid screams his head off. and try to not to resent the other kids who have mad skills and make it look soooo easy (just ask josh about GRIFFIN sometime, seriously that's a funny story). be thankful if he/she at least gets IN the pool. that doesn't always happen on the first go. or the second... or the third. but don't get discouraged. it's my opinion that kids just have to learn whether they like or not. it's about safety. also, if you're like josh and never learned you'll be bitter about it later. so there.
i on the other hand was born on an island so i'm basically a walking mermaid.
semi pro tip: supplement the lessons at a community pool. because lessons can be expensive and you want to get the most out of them, it's a good idea to get more practice. community pools are a great option if you don't have a pool of your own or know someone who does. most are only open during the summer when, duh, it's warm out. but indoor pools are open year-round so google it! just be sure to call ahead and read their rules. pools all seem to have their own hours and rules and blah blah blah. oh yea, BRING CASH. ain't nobody take debit cards apparently. WTF.
and a word on fashion for the mamas: invest in a cute one piece bathing suit that can sub as a top. trust me on this one. you can be all ambitious and bring a whole outfit to change into afterwards (lord knows I always do) but just wait until you have a wet, cold + cranky child in a women's changing area and then thank me. you want to get in and out as quickly as possible. but still look CUTE AMIRIGHT?
and whenever possible. find a cool wall and strike a pose.
and just embrace the wet butt.
that's it for now. but i will be updating this situation as the summer progresses. until then, keep your head above water sunshines!