In today's swimming lesson my Baby and I were joined in the pool by a little fish. I'll miss that little orange fish, with his little yellow fins and bulging eyes. I wonder if he is available for babysitting?
No new routines today so if you only read these baby swimming articles for the new routines you may want to skip this one.
First of all Clare usually sits at the side of the pool close to the action to take pictures for these articles, and to watch. Today she sat out of the way, just in case Amélie saw her and cried to go to her mummy. We don't think that is happening but did it anyway to be safe.
After the usual 2 sets of 3 'name ... ready ... go' head splashes we moved straight into last weeks new routine. We moved around in a big circle in side holding swim position. One by one the instructor came over to us and we were to count our baby in, then submerge them in the water for a few seconds, before bringing them up and out again (remember to keep them moving the whole time, even when they come back up).
I knew this would upset Amélie, which would be a shame so soon into the lesson. I warned the instructor but she said to go ahead anyway, and when Amélie came up she was crying and ready for a tantrum. I am glad the instructor told us to go ahead in a way, it kind of shares the responsibility in that we both think we should go ahead. I just wish it wasn't right at the start of the lesson.
Next came holding onto the side, which last week Amélie had made a giant leap forward. Today though she was still upset and when we got to the side of the pool she cried and refused to play ball. The instructor told me to give Amélie a cuddle, but I knew that would make things worse. So I just tried to distract her, and appeal to her nosiness by showing her the other babies holding onto the side.
Next was the relatively new routine where we bounce around in a circle and say 'daddy/mummy ... ready ... go' and dip our heads underwater while holding our babies up and out of the water. I've found extra big bounces seem to turn Amélies' cries into smiles, as usual this worked like a charm. When we stopped though and I went underwater she started crying again.
Next it was her turn to go underwater, the extra big bounces got her to smile again. It was our turn to go under first, down we went, face to face. There was no immediate cry but pretty soon she was crying again. The instructor gave her the magic little fish and from that moment on the crying was over with. Unless you tried to take the fish away from her.
There were another couple of babies crying and one of those got a fish too. As I waited for the big underwater swim I tried to take the fish off her, but she wailed and I gave her it back (which immediately stopped the crying). The other baby was screaming now, and although I felt for the Parents I've got to admit it was good not to be the odd one out amongst immaculately behaved uber babies.
It came to our turn, the instructor took Amélie and took her for a little swim as I waited at the side. She turned around and gave me the nod, I said 'Amélie ... Ready ... Go' held my breath and waited underwater for her. The instructor lowered Amélie under the water and she swam towards me, under the water, still clutching onto the fish.
When we surfaced she was too busy with the fish to react, and we continued the lesson right to the end with no tears. The Mother of the other baby pulled him out of the lesson before the end, naturally you don't want to see other babies crying but it was interesting to see what someone else did in the same position I had been in some weeks before.
I really wish there was more information, I'd like to discuss the issue further and find out more but with this particular company the crying just seems to be ignored. The fish really seemed to help though, but at the end of the lesson she wouldn't give the fish back. I tried everything to make her drop it or forget about it but she wouldn't be distracted. We had to just take it off her and hide it, then put up with half a minute of crying while we dried her and tried to distract her.
It's half term so no swimming next week, I've had requests for some diagrams and more information on baby swimming techniques and routines. I'll definitely get some diagrams together, but can't promise they will be up by next week. I'll definitely be posting another swimming article in 2 weeks time when Amélie will be 6 months old.