When my son was born I was determined that he would not be afraid of water ……
I have been afraid of water for as long as I can remember, not in all forms I must add. I can actually drink a glass of water and have a bath, but I have issues!!
Before I was 26 I couldn’t swim, having a shower was a total trauma if the shower head was fixed, froze halfway across some stepping-stones which crossed the shallowest stream in the Lake District you have ever seen, was petrified of boat trips on exotic foreign holidays and on and on the list went – I drove my ex-husband mad on many occasions with my total dread of H2O. I did however manage an undersea walk in Mauritius, to this day I have absolutely no idea how I did it – I have never been so scared in all my life. Facing my fears – water!
When I was 26, as part of a personal development course at work I learnt to swim and got my 10-metre certificate – you have no idea what an achievement that was, especially as I had to sit on the bottom of the swimming pool! It is still one of my most treasured possessions. I wanted to be able to snorkel in the Maldives later that year, sadly I didn’t manage that – a bit like learning to drive – too many things to think of at once – lol.
I still don’t like standing under a shower and would really struggle to put my face in the water, but we’ve made progress. However, when my son was born, it had been a number of years since I’d been in any sort of swimming pool so a lot of the anxieties had returned.
I really didn’t want my son to have any of my fears and wanted him to enjoy swimming as he grew up. He was a big baby so I was very concerned about being in the pool with him and keeping him safe, as well as myself. One of my NCT Mum’s was so brilliant with me and my ‘issues’, (she’s a pediatric physiotherapist and is used to being in a pool with young children) she came along to our local pool with us and her son and spent time with us; giving me the skills to be confident in the water with my son as a starting point. I owe her a lot 🙂
Once I realised I could actually be in a toddler pool without either of us drowning in minutes, and saw how much my son LOVED the water I decided to take the metaphoric plunge and sign us up for baby/toddler swimming lessons.
We started this time last year, although my son loved the water he wasn’t so keen on a structure to our water play to start with, and tried to strangle me for most of the first few lessons. But we stuck with it, I’m as stubborn as they come! Slowly, it all started to come together and he was doing really well. I had to explain to the teachers that my son might be able to blow bubbles in the water but I’m NEVER going to be able to! But they have been fantastic at helping both of us on our journey.
Sadly, at the end of last year, there was a large maintenance issue with the toddler pool, which is still not resolved as I type so he’s had no lessons since. That was until this week…..
All this week we are having half-hour lessons in the ‘big pool’. I was full of dread on Tuesday morning, getting in an adult swimming pool by myself would be a task, getting in with my son was on a whole different level. Luckily the teacher knew both of us, and as it happened we were the only ones who signed up for the course – so one on one lesson, which gave both of us the chance to get used to our new environment.
Day 2 – I wouldn’t say I love water, but I’m dealing with it and my son is doing so well, and is so confident in the water – he puts me to shame 🙂