Friday, October 25, 2013

The swimming lesson debacle...

A while ago, I decided I wanted Liam to be one of those babies that can swim. Not a typical baby that flaps its arms around in the pool and laughs, but like the baby on the Nirvana album - only less naked. So I looked for the type of swimming lessons where they literally throw the baby in the water, its primal instincts kick-in, and voilĂ ! The baby swims! Yeah... there aren't lessons like this within 300 miles of where we live. Booo!

Ok, so plan B:

I signed Liam up for "mommy-and-me" type swimming "lessons" at one of the local pools. He's been in water before -- two lakes, and bathtime (yes, I do clean my child) -- so I figured he'd at least have fun. Last Saturday was the first lesson:

Confession #1: To onlookers, it may have looked like I was nonchalantly drowning my child. We were instructed to hold baby on their tummies and let them kick and "paddle" the water. Liam's having a blast... I'm having a blast.... and apparently I am completely oblivious because another parent points out to me, "Your baby's face keeps going under and he's breathing in water." Oh shit! I pick Liam up and he's coughing, choking, spitting water. Oops. My reaction? "You're fine, baby."

Confession #2: I apparently don't know when to stop. We move to the "deep" end of the pool and the instructor (a teenage boy, mind you) tells us to sit our babies up on the side of the pool, count to three, and then quickly dunk them under the water. I look at the instructor and ask "Really? Put them under?" He nods. Why this even phased me, I have no idea because my original swimming lesson plan was to hire someone to just chuck my kid into the pool... Whatever - so what do I do? I dunk my baby under water. He was not impressed. Looks at me all wide-eyed. Hmmm. I continue to set him on the side of the pool and dunk him like three or four more times thinking to myself, "He has to try new things! He will learn to like it!"

Well, he is REALLY not impressed by this and starts screaming. I look around... only some of the parents are dunking their kids... and those kids are all older, like two years old. Yeah.... maybe it's time to rethink my strategy here. He's only 7 months old... he's got plenty of time to swim...

So from this point on I feel like a jackass. My baby is not having anymore of the swimming lessons. He just wants to lay on my shoulder and whimper. This is when I realize I'm really a jackass because I have scheduled him in swimming lessons during his nap time. "Go me." If this isn't enough, I submit my child to one last torture - during the song "Three Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed," the instructor makes his rounds and lightly tosses each child into the air before handing them back to the parents. Liam really loses it then. I not only became "that mom" with the screaming child in public, but it was all my fault! Ahh!

The guilt that followed this is unimaginable. The Facebook community assured me Liam won't remember a thing about it... the next swimming "lesson" is tomorrow... we shall see. Hopefully I have not scarred my child and hopefully none of the other parents remember me as the horrible mother who dunked her infant.

Did your infant take swimming lessons? Did you dunk them underwater? Hoping I'm not alone in this type of "doi!" moment.

I leave you with another picture of Liam "swimming." This is not from the swimming lesson, but rather months before when I decided I really wanted him to swim in the baby pool. As you can see, he was again, unimpressed.


  1. He should have his dive reflex still, I think they have it close to the first year. Were you diving him in or putting him feet first?

  2. I was doing feet first! Is head first better? I don't know why, but I couldn't get myself to turn him upside down and dunk him head first...

  3. LOVE the unimpressed photo- and I bet he rocks lessons tomorrow- and I bet O is the one freaking out!!