Monday, November 26, 2012

Making a splash!

So we know Mia (almost 2) and Jad (8 months and a half) have been taking swimming lessons for five weeks now. 

Unfortunately Jad has had to stop a few lessons ago as the weather is getting chiller and we could not find an indoors pool to accommodate us which is a shame because he is such a natural. Like all smaller babies, just like that, he will instinctively start to move his arms and splash with his legs and basically "swim". Sort of. All four-legged animals will agree he is swimming. That should settle the debate.

Mia on the other hand is still going strong, and her dad and I could not be more astonished with the results. The improvements are simply spectacular. And I am not kidding. 

Before she started this course, every time we would take her to any pool (whether the kids or adults one) she would grab on to the closest neck at hand's reach and hold as firmly as her little arms would allow her. 

Well now, let us just say mama is the one a little freaked out and stretching arms and legs and whatever stretches to reach, grab and hold on to Mia's newfound confidence! 

Here is the thing. She is jumping in the deep end of the pool, all by herself. At this point, more than ever, we must continue with the swimming lessons to make sure, God Forbid, if one day she decides to make that jump and there is no one around to see or grab her, she will hopefully know how to swim to the end and ideally lift herself out of the pool. 

So what has been happening really?

Very rarely did Hubby and I put floaters on Mia's arms because we knew it was not advisable to teach her to swim just in case she gets used to them and does not want to let go when we need her to. Of course some children, like Mia's swim-mate do not really care and will forget about floaters the minute they are off. But I have a feeling it would not have been the same for us. Our drama queen is, well, what is the word? Let us put it this way: she is strong-willed. Or we could put it the real way and just say she is so darn stubborn it makes us loose it 99% of the time!

So Mia started, with no floaters on (thank God), swimming with me supporting her. Whether it was with swimming aids like a board or a noodle, I was always there to hold her while she was learning to move in the water. 

October 15, 2012
Photo: R. Abouzeid

A few lessons ago, she started ordering me to "let go of the noodle, Mia swim alone"! 

And she did. With a noodle, granted. But still, she moved around the pool all by herself. She also decided to jump in and out and in and out and in and out of the pool, about one hundred and twenty times. Or it felt as much. Who knows, I was never good at maths. 

Another impressive transformation was Mia's willingness to go under water. She moved from  categorically refusing this exercise to going under water quite comfortably in just a few hours. She never really cried about it but it was obvious she did not like it and if she had the body strength, she would have happily nailed me to the floor of that pool!

But without a doubt, the most amazing development was Mia swimming all by herself with no aid. Of course she does not go very far and the distance between the instructor and I is about a meter but still, Mia goes under water and tries to move forward towards the person in front of her. That is completely out of this world to me!

Any recommendation?

Absolutely. It is never too early or too late to start! Enroll your kids in swimming lessons as soon as you possibly can. It will change the way they view themselves, their aptitudes and their potential. This is how talents can be fostered. 

Mia's confidence has tremendously grown (as if she needed more attitude, right?) and I am certain it is greatly related to her swimming progress because she spends all day at home, on dry floors, singing the songs we sing in the water. She just loves them. And when we take her swimming for fun, she is like a little fish, doing all the new tricks and moves she has learnt. Which really makes me wonder why she gives her instructor such a hard time. Actually, I do know why. She is a hard-core-drama-queen-B with an attitude. But that is OK, these classes and soon others, combined with nursery in january will hopefully teach her some discipline and humility. Did I say hopefully? Hopefully. 

What can you do?

Get in touch with Ellie Hanlon (+971.50.5095535) the fantastic instructor who turned Mia into a baby shark, because let us face it, she simply does not have it in her to be Nemo-like. 

You will not regret it, I promise. 

This could possibly be one of the finest gifts you grant you child!

Mamma Mia

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