I finally got around to signing Owen up for swimming lessons at our neighborhood YMCA a few weeks ago. (Part of the reason why it took me so long is that joining the Y, surprisingly to me, is prohibitively expensive. It was something like a $125 joining fee and then $79 per month for us all to have a membership. Who can afford that? Not us. But it turns out that Owen can join with no joining fee and at a cost of $20 a month…much better!) I signed him up for a “Perch” class, which is a class for 19 month-olds to 3 year-olds, and the class is for the child with a parent.
Owen had never been in a pool before this – just the ocean in Maine last summer, which he did like, although it took some initial coaxing. So I wasn’t sure how he would do in the pool, although I was pretty sure that if I were in the water with him, he would want to stay there. He’s had two classes now and both went really well! On the first day, he walked right behind me down the steps into the water, holding on to the railing, but with no hesitation. At about ten minutes into the lesson, he asked for a “Daddy hug” (Sean was sitting in the gallery watching the lesson), but after I distracted him from the Daddy hug, he was fine. Sean said he was smiling most of the lesson, which is good.
I also wasn’t sure if he’d be as willing the second time, but this Saturday went really well too. The teacher has them practice kicking, throwing a toy in the water and then making their hands into “spoons” and scooping the water to reach the toy, and blowing bubbles in the water. Owen had never had his face in the water, and still isn’t comfortable submerging even his chin. He also doesn’t like it when water goes in his ears, so will struggle to get upright after being on his back in the water. But the whole point is just to get him comfortable in the water, and I think he is becoming that.
He’s strangely buoyant in the water and very pink—bobbing Owen about in the pool is oddly not unlike swimming with an easter ham.