Our baby is now 4 months old and we have finished our first term of formal baby swimming lessons. We thought it was time we took her back to the local swimming pool for some fun before the next term begins in the new year.
If you have been reading our baby swimming series you will know Amélie didn't have a great time the last few visits to the pool. The last time we went to the public pool it was so cold we only got a few minutes before she was shivering and we had to leave. The last few swimming lessons also proved difficult so we were expecting the worst.
I was doing my usual swim and saw Clare and Amélie changed and waiting for me as I was finishing my laps. Then someone official looking person came and took them away so my last lengths were spent wondering what had happened to them. Thrown out for not paying? Baby too young to swim? Clare wearing obscene costume?
It turned out she wasn't allowed the baby bag (towel, wipes, change of swim nappy) with her so she had to go and put it in a locker. Something about anti terrorism and bombs in bags. When they came back I was done and we got into the kids pool which was much warmer than last time. All we had planned for was to have fun, no underwater swimming and no swimming techniques.
Things went so well having fun that we did some back stroke and swim position. Not a problem, just good fun. The last lesson we had I got to go underwater with my goggles as the instructor set Amélie swimming towards me underwater. It was amazing to see her swimming to me, her eyes wide open. We had ruled this out before we got into the pool but decided to give it a go. Clare needed a bit of convincing and it could just as easily have been a mistake as a good idea.
We did exactly as we had learned and it went great. Not a single note of distress from Amélie, and Clare enjoyed it too. We didn't want to push our luck too much so the rest of the time we just played around and made her laugh.
When we got out Clare fancied a swim so I took Amélie to get changed. Clare is always on hand to do this for us, so I was in for a strategical nightmare. How do you change yourself and a baby while keeping your eye on your valuables? There was a baby seat on the wall to strap babies into but I was worried about how clean it was so just winged it. The hardest part was getting all our things out of the locker and into the changing room while carrying a baby. I did consider locking the baby in the locker while I took our stuff to the changing rooms but I could see that would be considered bad form.
I did an okay job but was glad when Clare came back. I guess there are lots of things she does which I take for granted. I could manage on my own if I had to, but I sometimes prefer the traditional role of the Man.
So if you have one or two bad times at the pool do persist. Just go back a few steps and get back to having fun. I think it helped that Clare was there, it allowed me to by myself rather than playing the role of a Mother.