Still suffering from overindulgence during last nights Christening after party, we took our 8 month old baby on her 24th swimming lesson this morning. I was hoping for a gentle session but it didn't turn out that way.
Yesterday we had Amélie's Christening, and celebrated long into the night. I actually felt pretty good considering, but was hoping for an easy lesson. Especially as Clare's friend Mary was with us today as an extra spectator. Unfortunately we did 2 of the hardest routines, back to chest back floating, and then chest to chest. For more details check out this article
Both of these routines are tough because the water is shallow, and I have to almost limbo to get low enough in the water. To make things worse you have to walk backward, and every so often we spin around. Add this to bouncing an 8th month old baby up and down, and a surfing race (on the teddy float) and you get quite a workout.
We did the glide swim again, this time we were to let go of our babies at the end of the underwater glide. They would swim the last few strokes on their own, and then be caught be the instructor. So this is exactly as I explained in the previous article but you let your baby go at the end.
Last week the instructor stood too close for me to complete the glide. This week we had our regular instructor, and she stood well back. I managed to complete my glide swim, and let go of Amélie. I saw her swim up to the surface and into the instructors waiting hands.
Other underwater routines we did today were ring-a-ring o roses where we go under the water together and I let go of Amélie and watch her swim up to the surface. We also did the one where you stand at the side facing the instructor or partner. The instructor is standing a short distance away from you holding your baby, and after counting your baby in you go underwater and the instructor/partner submerges your baby and sets them off swimming towards you. In the earlier lessons we ended this with a cuddle, but now we go straight into side holding swim position for a little swim, turn around, and come back to the side for a reaching hold on.
Amélie can hold on pretty well now and pull herself up, but can still be too distracted by the babies to her left and right to bother doing it on command. Next up was 2 sets of sitting on the side and splashing in followed by 2 widths in side holding swim position. We did some surfing, and chase the teddy, along with the new 'pull' move. This is where you move their arm in a paddling motion, it was better this time but Amélie still resisted the movement rather than working with me.
Near the end of the lesson we got out the square float which has just enough room for 4 babies on it. We were to do the usual splashing in and holding on that we have done on previous occasions. What I didn't expect was that we let our babies climb onto the float at the start. All of the babies are crawling now, and capable of climbing up onto the float with a little assistance from the parents.
Seeing 4 babies climb up and face each other with smiling faces was a really nice moment. This along with lots of smiles and giggling from Amélie during the lesson reminded me just how rewarding these weekly swimming sessions are.
We ended with back floating to twinkle twinkle little star, I elected to use hand holding back floating as Amélie has grown restless in many of the other back floating positions. I'd made it through the session!
Next week is a bank holiday so no lesson, I'll get some more work done on the diagrams I'm producing to accompany these articles. The idea is to have a reference section of positions and routines without extra commentary. This way you will have a quick reference to the actual techniques rather than having to dig through all of the lesson articles. Click here for the diagrams part 1 or click here for the diagrams part 2