She can swim! SHE CAN SWIM! And as of today, she can swim without crying! Yay!
Our daily routine has been adjusted for the past three weeks, as every weekday Emma Vance has been taking swim lessons with an Infant Swim Resource instructor. We did the same program last year in order to teach E.V. how to float in the pool (to avoid drowning), but now that she’s older, she’s been learning how to swim-float-swim. Last year my 11-month old was a quiet, determined floater, and although the kids before and after us cried and cried through their lessons, E.V. was a tough girl. You can imagine, then, how I was a bit surprised and upset when this year’s lessons began with tears. I hoped they would simply subside as the weeks wore on, but they haven’t. I was concerned that she was growing scared of the water, but her instructor was encouraging and, more importantly, she was actually making progress. I figured as long as she was learning, I wouldn’t doubt the time-tested method. But that still doesn’t make it easy to watch! ;)
We had one rainy day where lessons were cancelled, so today was a make-up lesson. The instructor used this Saturday swim to bring the parents into the pool to learn how to reinforce the ISR technique on their own time. I left Ryan at home with Cricket (it was a bit rainy out), fearing the whole way there that when I got in, I’d be a mess with a tearful toddler in my arms. However, it was amazing!
Usually E.V. swims from the instructor to the ledge of the pool, so today I played “the ledge.” The first swim of this back-and-forth, E.V. was a little whiny and clung to me. The second time she just clung. The third time she was a bit quiet…and only a couple minutes into the lesson, she was as happy as a jaybird! We used a plastic fish to entice her to us, and soon she was popping up out of the water and saying, “Tada!” when she would come up proudly displaying her toy. (Which made the other families waiting pool-side laugh.) While taking a quick break, she spied a turtle on the edge of the pool, and it immediately became her favorite thing to swim after. In no time she was coming up for air with a smile on her face, evening shouting, “Fun!!!” one time! My heart couldn’t have been any happier — or relieved! By the end of today, not only were there no tears, E.V. was actually jumping out of my arms to swim to the instructor! YAY!
Today was a MAJOR turning point for Emma Vance, and I’m so elated. She’s been swimming (like a frog under water) for a while (she caught on early), but it’s been a traumatic event each time. At the end of each lesson, the instructor would say, “She’s getting it; we just need her to be happy doing it!” — and she is, she FINALLY is!
Some before and after pictures, including when we got home and told Daddy all about swimming to the “tur-tuh.” :) Oh, and we’re working on the whole, “Look at the camera!” thing. “Smile!” will have to come later apparently…ha!