Today was a different swimming lesson as it was the first time that I had been in the swimming pool with Amélie during her lesson. I have watched Alex and Amélie over the past 16 lessons and today we decided it would be nice for me to experience the lesson with her. Also to get a mothers point of view of the lesson.
I've been at poolside every lesson taking pictures and video footage for the site. I've also been in the public pool a few times with Alex and Amélie, but this was going to be different as I joined the other mothers and babies in the pool.
I was really amazed at what fun it was doing the sessions with your little one.
I have always watched on the sidelines whilst Alex took Amélie swimming and not really appreciated how busy a session is.
The lesson started in the usual way bouncing around the pool with baby and then doing three 'name, ready, go's.' Details of this are found in previous articles that Alex has written. All the moves that I mention below that are not new are detailed in Alex's previous articles.
We then went straight into learning a new technique. So far the sitting on the side routines (these are humpty dumpty, 8 waterbabies sitting on a wall, 'name ready splash', and the new emergency procedure all detailed in previous articles) baby has been lifted onto the side of the pool, held by the armpits and lowered into the water.
The new move was an extension of the 'name, ready, splash' routine. The baby is lifted to sit on the side of the pool. Mum or Dad puts their arms out slightly bent in front of them under the baby's arms and then whilst keeping their arms slightly bent they clasp their hands together behind the baby's back. The Parent then says 'name, ready, splash.' On the 'splash' part the baby is lifted into the water via your arms that are under the baby's armpits. This move is to encourage the baby not to be passive. We did this technique twice. The first attempt Amélie stood up on the bar which I guess shows that she is already not being passive but the second attempt she did the move correctly.
It was then time to move onto the emergency hold on position. This position was not the extension of last weeks but just counting them in, splashing them into the water and then turning them around saying 'hold on, hold on'. Amélie was not too interested in this move and would not hold on. She was too busy looking at the other babies.
The fish were then bought out and we played the throwing the fish game as mentioned in previous articles. This by far I am sure is Amélies favourite part of the whole lesson. Her eyes widen and she kicks and kicks to get to the fish in a constant fury. It feels like she is going to swim away from you and you can feel the baby pulling forwards towards the fish.
We then did the first underwater swim of the lesson with goggles. This underwater swim was to be followed straight after by another underwater swim. I was looking forward to this hoping that Amélie would not cry as I had only seen her underwater once at the local swimming pool. We had to take it in turns and hold the baby in side swim position and then say 'name, ready, go' and then we both went underwater. When the baby was far enough underwater you let go and watch them swim to the top before catching them and putting them back into side swim position ready for the next underwater swim. It was great to see Amélie underwater she looked straight at me. I was beaming when we finished that move.
On handing back the goggles we were given the teddy bear surf board. This was fun and the babies derived immense pleasure out of the activity. By the time the song was over the lesson had almost finished and there was just enough time to do the normal song that goes ' 8 waterbabies sitting on the wall.' Quickly followed by twinkle twinkle little star with the baby lying in the new back floating position that was taught a couple of weeks back.
All in all it was a successful lesson both baby and Mother happy. Alex said in the car on the way home that I was glowing and grinning from ear to ear as I got out of the pool. I can guess who enjoyed the lesson the most.