With a week off due to a break in her lessons, now seems like the perfect time to reflect on how Amelie has taken to swimming as a Konfidence Swimologist. Has she taken to it like a duck to water? Or have we plunged her into a metaphorical horror film where she provides the screams? Here’s how she’s getting on…
Like anything new, we were all a bit apprehensive about her first lesson. It really didn’t help that she’d been under the weather the previous day either. To say she was clingy would be a mammoth understatement. Picture, for a moment, those cute baby koalas that hang onto their parents. You know the ones…those you see on viral Facebook videos that make you go ‘ahhhh’. Now picture that koala savagely and ferociously refusing to detach itself; screaming at the slightest attempt to remove it. And this was just at home! Clearly, she had no idea we were about to take her swimming, but it didn’t bode well.
We’d made the decision just before we left that Nat should go in with her. This was mostly, of course, because we couldn’t peel her off Nat. She seemed content being held in mum’s arms so why spoil it. I literally have no idea what I’d done that morning, but I certainly wasn’t flavour of the month!
Arriving at the Countess of Chester Rehabilitation Centre where, three years ago, we’d taken Jesse, seemed like familiar ground to us. It didn’t to Amelie. Even getting her undressed was a challenge. She did, however, seem intrigued by the sights and noises coming from the pool area. Maybe we were in luck.
No. It was a false dawn. It’s safe to say luck evaded us during that first lesson. Nat did a tremendous job just keeping her in the pool. Despite the nursery rhymes and confidence activities being played out, she became that ferocious koala again. If memory serves me right, I think there may have been a brief pause in crying for about a minute halfway through the lesson. It’s difficult to tell, though, when your ears are ringing with the echoes of piercing screams!
What we took from that first lesson, however, was that she managed to stay in the pool for the full duration of the lesson. Despite being clingy and upset, she didn’t try to escape or clamber out. Plus, the activities were genuinely fun. Once she had perked up and gained some confidence, we were positive she’d enjoy it. After all, of our two kids, she’s the more daring and adventurous.
The second lesson arrived in no time. Amelie had been back to her usual cheeky self during the week, and I was back in her good books. Consequently, I got the privilege of accompanying her in the pool on week two. It’s a little bit clichéd, I know, but what a difference a week makes.
Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say she enjoyed it. There were still definite grumblings of discontent and sporadic (but short-lived) cries. But, and it was a big but in our eyes, whereas she didn’t partake in any of the activities during week one, she completed all of them, bar the underwater swim (dunking), in week two. This was also understandable; due to illness Amelie had already missed a lesson so the other babies were ahead of the game in that regard. We were both really proud of her.
So, from bouncing around in the water to Hickory Dickory Dock, to being pushed around in a side-swimming position chasing a ball with her hands, Amelie engaged. It felt like we’d climbed a mountain with her. Looking back, Jesse had it easy. He began swimming at around 15 weeks old when he was too young to know any difference or danger. Amelie, at 15 months old, is completely aware of her surroundings and any changes to them. In hindsight, it would have been ideal to start her off earlier. But trying to juggle a new born, a toddler and two demanding full time jobs makes life complicated.
We now have a week’s break from lessons. As such, we’re aiming to continue the verbal cues at bath times in order to prepare her for her first underwater experience, and we’re aiming to get them both in the pool before her next lesson to reinforce the other activities and keep her confidence on an upward trajectory.
Wish us luck for her first underwater swim. I certainly don’t want that pesky koala to return again! We’ll post an update once she’s done it. It’ll be a nervous time for us both.
In the not too distant future we’ll have an exciting Konfidence giveaway, so do stay tuned. Until then, you can check out their great range of baby swim products on the link below. These will make your transition into the water as smooth as possible. Also, if you’re currently considering baby swimming lessons check out the link to the Turtle Tots website for more information: