Infant Swimming Resource....heard of it?
I call it survival swimming. Seth's mom Lee used to teach it. Lila is now taking lessons.
When we (Seth, Lee, and I) first started talking about this I got panicky. But then we went to the pool one day and Lila had the most minor of incidents. She had on a swim vest, fell forward, and had a hard time getting back up. My neighbor Christy was in the water in front of her and helped her up. Like I said...very minor. But, being that we were at Seth's mom's pool where Lila will spend a lot of her little life my panicky feelings turned to curiosity.
I went to watch a few lessons by a few instructors. I only knew what Lee had told me. Lee went with me and helped me pick. And here we are almost finished with week one of four.
If you know nothing about these kinds of lessons I would be concerned to just tell you my thoughts. I wouldn't want to sway you one way or the other if you ever thought of doing them. Let me just say they are intense. If you don't want to be swayed I would advise you stop reading now.
Each lesson is ten minutes and you go every weekday for four weeks. Lila had gone with me to watch the lessons last week. Therefore, I'm sure on Monday she thought we were just observing again. Let's just say we both survived. Tuesday when we got out of the car she started saying (to herself) "it's ok, it's ok, it's ok". That's what I say to her when I'm trying to calm her down. We still survived. Yesterday when she figured out halfway there that we were headed to swim again she started saying (loudly) "Katie's house! Katie's house! Katie's house! Please go to Katie's house!". Surviving still...
Today she started crying in the car. Not the kind of crying that involves whining or screaming. The slow, quiet crying that is just plain heartbreaking. I texted Seth that she was breaking my heart.
Those are the bad parts.
Lila never has candy. I mean, with the exception of Christmas and Easter she doesn't ever consistently have candy. You can imagine that when she does have candy it's like I have just introduced her to Elmo. The instructor brings a gigantic container of lollipops and Lila thinks it is the greatest thing that's ever happened to her. While she was doing the heartbreaking crying I was promising her as many lollipops as she wanted. I started telling her all the flavors just hoping she would light up. Nothing.
When each lesson is over the child is lifted up onto the edge to lay on towels and rest. That is when I give Lila a lollipop. Today after she did amazingly well in her lesson and was laying on the side she started, in order, reciting the flavors I mentioned eighteen times in the car. I painstakingly tried to find each flavor.
While it stresses her out she tries so hard to do well. I can tell she wants to get it. In yesterday's lesson she struggled kicking her feet to propel her to the side. Today she had to wear tennis shoes in the pool during the lesson but she still couldn't connect the kicking with moving herself through the water. When we get in the car after the lesson I spend the entire ride telling her how well she did. Today I also talked about kicking just to see if it would stick for tomorrow's lesson. Well, this afternoon we played on the deck and she actually got in the little blow up kiddie pool, plopped on her belly, and started kicking while yelling "mommy I'm kicking!!!".
Those are the good parts.
Tomorrow I will get in with her for part of the lesson. Wish me luck! In case you think I'm crazy for doing this or you are just plain curious, take a look at the video below. I don't have to justify, but I'm willing to get through four tough weeks for the peace of mind that she could save herself from drowning. This video sold me on ISR. Updates coming soon!