I know it’s been a while between updates (again), but today was the kiddos first swim lesson and I couldn’t resist the chance to write up a recap of the event. Shae and I signed the kids up for the swim class a while back, and have been getting them ready for it ever since. Yesterday, we finally told them that today they would get to go swim and they were really excited (especially Ella). I took off of work a little early so I could tag along and witness the fun.
As excited as Ella and Jack seemed to go swimming, I kept thinking back to our trip Sedona last summer and Ella’s “swimming”. If you don’t remember (and don’t want to re-read the entire trip recap), Ella kept telling us how much she wanted to swim, and then started crying and refused to budge the second her toes touched the water. As soon as we got back to our room, she’d tell us how she “swam! and kicked! and splashed!”. Sure you did baby girl, sure you did. As excited as Ella said she was, I couldn’t shake the feeling we were going to have a repeat. Sitting there waiting for the earlier class to end, both kids (especially E) got really quiet and seemed a little nervous. Uh oh.
Anyway, as I was watching all of this I decided to keep a list of notes as things were happening. Here’s my recap (100% accurate with no embellishment, of course):
5:00: Sitting in the bleachers waiting for the previous classes to finish. Both kids are very quiet. As nice as it is to have some silence, they must be nervous. I just hope we don’t have a meltdown or a nervous poop once it’s their turn. Oh crap (literally), at this point I guess I’m rooting for a meltdown. I do not want to be a parent of the kid that shits in the pool.
5:10: We watched the kids in the earlier class do a little “wall crawl” where they had to hang on and pretend their hands were covered in glue. A little while later, they all got out, ran to the edge of the pool, and took turns jumping into the teaher’s arms. I watched all of that thinking, “it’ll be pretty cool in a few classes when our kids get to jump in, too.”
5:15: The teacher who had been leading the earlier class we watched just called Jackson and Ella. It’s go time. Of course, both of our kids run around confused by who to go to. Apparently “girl in red” isn’t descriptive. At least the other girl in their class seemed confused too.
5:17: Here we go! After some quick introductions the kids hurry over and climb into the pool. After being told to sit on one of the steps, they both do a half-crouch/half-sit thing that looks like they’re squatting to poop. Oh shit! NO! Please don’t poop. Please don’t poop…
5:20: Whew! No poop! Way to go kids! Keep it up. Now that we made it past that, it’s time to swim. Ella gets to go first. This should be good. C’mon, baby girl, no crying. There she goes, out in the water. No breakdown! She’s blowing bubbles and everything. She likes it, and she’s smiling.
Ok, now it’s Jack’s turn. Let’s make it two-for-two. Yes! We have bubbles!
Now it’s the other girl. She isn’t ours, so let’s just say she didn’t drown and move on. Fine, she can have a quick summary: our kids blew better bubbles.
5:22: The teacher just asked our kids a few questions. Both of them just stare at her and give a confused nod. Come on guys, you can say “yes’. Try it. Well, I have no idea what the kids just agreed to but apparently the nods were a good enough answer.
We have kicking! And bubbles. My kids rock bubbles.
5:24: Jazz hands! I don’t know how this applies to swimming, but kiddos did awesome.
5:25: The teacher just grabbed something from the side of the pool. What could it be? It’s kick board time! Yes! This should be fun. The other girl got to first this time, and she did pretty good; I hope my kids took notes.
Ella’s turn, she did awesome on the kick board. Jack did great too, but he needed a little more help. Both kids are still smiling though.
5:27: More kicking. The kids have the hang of this and are having a blast. Ella just did her excited tongue hanging out thing. She is the Michael Jordan of pike swim lessons.
In other news, we’re about 10 minutes in and we haven’t had any sort of crying or meltdown yet. I don’t want to jinx it, so let’s just move on.
5:28: The teacher just asked if they knew how to do something, and both of my kids raised their hand. They have no clue what she’s asking, they’re little liars. The teacher believed them and asked them to show her, and of course they had no clue what to do. Busted!
Oh! Arm swimming! They do know this one. The teacher just tried to trick them by asking them if she was doing it the right way (she wasn’t). E wasn’t fooled, she’s been doing the arm motions and pretending to swim since before last summer’s Sedona trip. You’re going to have to do better than that if you want to get a trick question by her. I’ve found “what did you do today” usually stumps her.
Ella just had this exchange with the teacher:
Teacher: “Make scoop arms. Like ice cream. Do you like ice cream?”
Ella: ”I like strawberry!”
She wasn’t offering you ice cream Ella, just focus on swimming.
5:29: Right after Shae says, “Our kids are doing way better than the other kid” Jack does a face plant in the water. Way to jinx it, mom. After getting over the shock of having his face in the water, he’s back to arm swimming. Good recovery!
5:30: Now it’s time to do some “swimming”. Basically, the teacher holds them up and helps them as they kick and swim out to pick up a toy. Jack goes first, and he’s great at the arms but needs to kick more. He must get that from me. Ella rocked this part. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering she’s been practicing in the bathtub for months.
Now it’s the other kid’s turn. Yup, she’s still there. Ok, enough of her. Let’s get back to Jack and Ella.
While the other kids does her “swimming”, Ella is practicing her strokes. Good work, E. Way to get in some extra work. Jack is getting cold and spent his little break shivering. Still no crying though, so that’s good.
5:33: The teacher just told them they’re going to do some “crab walking”, whatever the hell that is. This must be complicated, there is a lot of talking going on. This is a lot of instructions. Better focus kids, I don’t want any drowning.
5:35 ”Crab walking” is apparently what I called wall walking. Both kids are doing great and holding on. I guess they paid attention better than I did. After the wall walking, the kids take turns going out with the teacher and doing a little back float (with some help of course). Jack was pretty nervous, but he did a great job. Ella didn’t quite understand the idea of letting yourself float and kept arching her back up. She loved the part when she got tossed up in the air though. She wanted more.
It just occurred to me that this is the same stuff we watched the kids in the earlier class do. That means our kids are going to get to jump into the pool at the end. That seems pretty advanced for the first class, but they’re doing great so far so let’s see how this goes.
5:37: More wall walking. Is it jump time yet?? Nope. Now that I realized they’re going to jump in, I just want to see how they do.
5:38: The teacher just told the kids to do “peanut butter jelly hands”. My kids eat PB&J sandwiches all the time, so they should rock this, but they only do OK. I think Ella was disappointed she didn’t get a sandwich when she did it right. Jack probably argued that he only wanted jelly. After they master the “peanut butter jelly hands”, they do some more swimming-with-help. They are getting pretty good at this stuff.
5:40: Jack is freezing, but is still having fun (between shivers). He’s still the best in the class at bubble blowing. After the bubble blowing, it’s time to pick their favorite toy and blow bubbles while they pick it up. If Ella doesn’t pick pink I’ll jump in. The teacher asked if the other girl wanted to go first, and E tried to jump in and take her spot. She seemed genuinely surprised to find out it isn’t her turn.
Now it’s E’s turn. She picked the pink toy. Shocker.
5:42: Ella has the shivers now, too. Jack is doing great blowing bubbles again, he’s a bubble’s rockstar. He picked the blue toy, another huge surprise.
5:43: Is it jump time yet? Nope. Come on! Well, at least we got to witness another fun exchange between the teacher and our kids:
Teacher: “Have you ever been to ocean before?”
Both kids: “Yeah”
They don’t remember the ocean! They’re just saying yes because they want to seem cool! Liars!
I’m not sure what game they’re playing now, but when asked what animal she saw Ella said she saw a turtle (or at least that’s what the teacher interpreted). Jack saw something, but I didn’t hear what. Knowing him, it was probably a panda. When it was the other kid’s turn (yeah, she’s still around) she said she saw a turtle, too. Ella called turtle, kid! You can’t copy her! Get your own animal! The teacher let this go, but I think she should’ve had to pick a new animal.
5:45: Jump time? Jump time!!! Yes! This is the one I want to see. C’mon kids, let’s rock the jump. Basically, the kids line up along the edge of the pool and then jump into the teacher’s arms and get to splash around a bit. The other kid went first and did good. Ella was hesitant, but she jumped in pretty well. Jack, well, he needed a little help jumping in but he got nice and wet.
5:46: That’s it, the kids’ first swim class is done. Time to dry them off and get them warmed up. As we were wrapping them up in towels, the teacher came over and filled us in on Jack’s quote of the day (during the wall walking instruction):
Teacher: “What happens if you let go of the wall?”
Jack: “You die!”
I think he’s got it. Can’t wait until the next class.