Once upon a time,there was a little girl.She loved the water but she was prone to ear-infections.A day at the beach and she would catch an infection.So,her mommy and daddy decided to keep her away from water. No swimming for her.She grew up to be a rebellious teen and took some lessons,from her friend. Now,the little girl is grown up,and has a little girl of her own.Yes you guessed,it,Me..who else!
I still love the water.One hot day,I decided to see if Aadya liked the water too.We went to the pool in the community and tested hands first and then feet,in the small warm pool. Aadya was so excited,seeing that,I rolled up my Capri and and sat on the steps in the shallow pool,she was so excited,squealing and kicking.I was enjoying it too,but I was nervous.You see,I had never taken formal lessons and the few lessons that my friend gave me would be enough to save myself,but I wasn’t confident getting into the water with Aadya.But she loves the water,more than I do.
So,I started looking for swimming classes..and found this one for babies. It said age 6 months to 2 years and there were going to 6-8 babies in each group. That was perfect and one of the parents had to get in the water with them. DH agreed to drive us there,but getting in the water was my job. I hadn’t been in the pool for about 6-7 years and was nervous.But I figured,there would be other people and so we’d be OK.That and I really wanted to encourage Aadya and let her love for water grow.So,I sucked up..and signed up for these lessons.
Today was the first day. As always,we got there,just in time.And so there was no time to change Aadya’s diaper from regular to swimming diaper. The thing with the swimming diaper is,that if she pees in it,it leaks.Its just made to hold the poop in!*sorry TMI..so, i couldn’t take her in it,from home itself.
Anyway,when we reached the assigned spot,the instructor was doing head count and briefing the parents about the class. I half-listened,half- looked for a place to change her diaper.There were no benches or chairs.So,I had to do it standing.Luckily the swimming diaper is pull-up,and another mom standing by,looked at me.I asked her to help me. Then,I quickly took off my clothes ( see,here I did the smart thing..I was wearing,my swim-suit inside the clothes). and got in the pool.Well,almost.
I was fine,till I was holding the railing and getting down the step.And then,suddenly the water seemed so deep.I felt myself panic,just a little..But,Aadya was ready to go join the group and I forgot about my panic. And I still had my two feet on the floor.So,we walked up to the wall and joined the group.And then the fun started.
First,we learned to kick.The instructor told us,how to hold the babies afloat,facing us,so they could kick. Aadya was excited,kicking her feet,splashing water.Slowly,I was getting more and more comfortable and soon,we were in the centre of the pool,away from the wall.And she was using her hands too.
The next step was,reach and pull.Here,we each had to throw a toy,a little away from the baby and encourage her to go and get it,while holding her side ways.I did as instructed and Aadya,pushed with her hands to grab the toy.She was so excited,when she got it and didn’t want to leave it.After the first two attempts,she realised that retrieving the toy was more fun than holding on to it..and stopped resisting. We walked from one end of the pool to the other,reaching for the toy.
Next was bubble time. We had to blow bubbles at the surface of the water and teach the babies to do it.Aadya tried that and gulped a little water..but the instructor,taught her how to spit it right out. And then she had fun trying to spit out.. rather than blowing.Poor child,didn’t realise that she had already gulped the chlorinated water and that there was no spitting it out.
Soon,it was time for a wrap up.And we wrapped up with some singing and dancing.The instructor told us,to go around in a circle,while singing,” The wheels on the bus go”.We did,imitating the instructor,and the babies squealed. Then we said,good-byes.I let Aadya,splash her way to the steps, and she didn’t want to leave.She was so mad at me,for making her leave.
As I came out the water,I realised,how heavy we were- the whole idea of being weightless in water,completely forgotten!!Wish I could just stay in the water,all the time!
It was fun fun experience.I think sometime in those 30 minutes,that little girl in me,got her shot in the water too…looking forward to doing it again tomorrow.