June 16, 2010

Swim Lessons; Towel Optional

Henry had his first swim lessons at the community pool this week.  I was just as nervous as he was.  I tried to prepare him ahead of time for going into the pool with an instructor and other children.  I told him that I would not be in the water with him.  He seemed fine with the plan until it was time to leave home.  Then he said "I don't want to go" about four hundred times.  I had to make a decision:  Force him to do something he felt was too scary or give in to his fear and protests.  We talked through it.  Luckily, I had allotted extra time to get ready so we didn't have to rush out the door.

By the time we arrived at the pool, Henry was quite calm.  We still had a few minutes before the lesson so he kept reading in the backseat of our rental car.

I really liked that there were two instructors for the four children in his group.  One instructor stayed with him as he began participating at his own pace.  Henry reluctantly entered the shallow water and watched as the other three students held hands and walked in a circle.  He continued watching from the sidelines for about ten minutes, then he joined the fun.

I think Henry liked the individual attention from the instructor; he kept interrupting her lesson to talk about himself.  Cute, but it makes me think he will benefit from a preschool class where he has to share the adult with many children.

Henry is in the pre-beginner class and well, so am I. I'm new to this park district lesson thing. There are so many activities and opportunities. I feel pressured to find Henry's niche before he misses the opportunity to develop essential skills. By this I mean that, in our community, beginning lessons for just about anything start at age 3. Once children reach age 6, there are no classes that teach the basics of soccer, swimming, gymastics, baseball, etc.  It's assumed that kids that age know how to play the sport and are ready for competitive activity. I don't want Henry to be left behind and yet (this is a big YET) I don't want him to feel pushed and overscheduled. How do I quickly but thoroughly introduce him to individual sports so that he gets enough exposure to choose his favorites?

And what about this guy? Sure he's content to sit on the sidelines now, but how long can I count on that?
There's a lot to think about regading future activities and lesson sign-ups.  But  for now I'm going to concentrate on remembering to bring a towel and to remove Henry's shoes before he enters the pool.

Swinging after Swimming


  1. Wow. Great post. I love the story and the pictures of Henry (especially reading in the car), and I appreciate your thoughtfulness about how to handle the next few years. These are issues I'm no the verge of addressing myself. Swim lessons? T-ball? Basketball? And how the hell to juggle it all when kid #2 is ready for all that? We are insane. But it's such a fun insanity. Love, love, love hearing your stories and getting a peak at what's just around the corner for our family. Thanks for sharing everything so beautifully and honestly.

  2. It looks like he had a great time! Swimming lessons can be a challenge if the child is not into it. It sounds like he will really like his time there.

    I totally know what you mean about the second one being on the sideline. Now that E is 6 and doing more activities, I'm finding it more difficult to schedule things both he and e can do...or at least find things on alternating nights. I am confident, though, that if E or e misses out on the early socialization into any particular sport/activity, they will quickly catch up once they join the other kids.

  3. Reminds me of the post I just did about the extra curricular activities. Sometimes this whole parenting thing is just hard...

  4. How cool that his lessons got to start (and weren't rained out)!
    I'm not worried about the future of lessons and activities for you. You already do all that, the scenery will be different, but that's about it. The kids are so lucky to have a super mom, and each other. The rest will come. At least that's what they tell me. In the meantime, there's wine. :)

  5. I can't believe how early everything starts these days... they grow up fast enough as it is! I suppose there a pros and cons, lol. I love the photos - how nice that he's in swimming lessons outside in June :)

  6. Woo hoo!!!!! Looks like he did a great job! It's hard to get used to something different! It's great of you to sign him up! He doesn't have to do everything, maybe there's a class where he can get a little taste of a bunch of different things? Jordan is in an all-star sports class where they do a different sport every week. Just as long as he is having fun!

  7. tough decision and even more so with two kids. It will become increasingly difficult to entertain one while the other is having a lesson.